Safari and Mail crashing on your iPhone? Trying installing iOS 9.3.1

ios 9 3 1 update universal links bug iphone connected to computer 01
Apple Stack Exchange
If you’ve got an iPhone or iPad with the latest version of iOS (9.3) and have been experiencing problems with Mail, Messages, Chrome, Safari, and other Web apps, you definitely aren’t the only one. A connectivity bug uncovered earlier this month causes a number of first- and third-party apps to become unresponsive and eventually crash. But don’t fret — today, Apple released a patch, iOS 9.3.1, intended to fix the problem once and for all.

The patch, which is available as both an over-the-air update and iTunes download for iOS 9 users, isn’t accompanied by a changelog. Some speculate, though, that that it modifies the way iOS processes universal links, system hooks which allow app developers to associate webpages with sections inside apps. (A mobile link to an article on the Washington Post’s website, for example, opens the article within the native Washington Post app.)

Prior to the update, iOS 9.3 downloaded, updated, and retained local databases of the individual associations and, when you tapped on a URL, sifted through the database for possible in-app matches. But when an app had many associations, iOS 9 would sometimes struggle to process them all. Developers Sergey Roschin and Ben Collier pointed to the Booking.com app as a particularly egregious example: its huge, 2.4MB universal links database contained every URL on the service’s website.

Further investigation by Collier identified another culprit: the Shared Web Credentials Daemon, the iOS process that lets websites and apps to share sign-in information. Data corrupted by large association files caused the process to crash repeatedly, leading to app slowdowns and hangups.

Previously, deleting the apps wasn’t enough to resolve the hangups because iOS 9.3 didn’t include a mechanism to recover from corrupt associations. The only fixes involved switching from Safari to a third-party Web browser, turning off JavaScript through Safari’s advanced settings menu, and by rebooting the device with Airport mode enabled. But Apple says iOS 9.3.1 should resolve any lingering performance issues that resulted from the system’s handling of universal links, and should furthermore prevent future crashes from occurring.

If you’ve got an iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro or iPad mini that’s been misbehaving lately, the new fix is worth a go.

Deals

REI slashes prices on Suunto, Garmin, and Fitbit Versa smartwatches

Though fitness trackers and smartwatches can get pretty pricey, REI is offering some sweet discounts on top brands. Right now, you can get a new smartwatch from Fitbit, Suunto, and Garmin for up to 35 percent off its normal price.
Mobile

How to jailbreak your iPhone on iOS 12: A beginner’s guide

The latest jailbreaking tools for iOS 12 make freeing your iOS device easier than ever. This guide will teach you how to jailbreak your iPhone or iPad, and explain what jailbreaking will do for you.
Mobile

Android vs. iOS: Which smartphone platform is the best?

If you’re trying to choose a new phone and you’re not sure about the merits and pitfalls of the leading smartphone operating systems, then come on in for a detailed breakdown as we pit Android vs. iOS in various categories.
Deals

Looking to upgrade? These are the best iPhone deals for January 2019

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for January 2019.
Mobile

Keep up-to-date with the best news apps on iPhone and Android

Are the days of traditional newspapers and broadcast news dwindling? With apps this good, maybe. Catch up on the latest headlines on any platform with the best news apps on iOS and Android.
Social Media

Twitter suffers privacy scare as bug reveals tweets of protected accounts

If you set your Twitter account to private and you have an Android device, you'd better check your settings now. Twitter says it's just fixed a four-year-old bug that flipped the privacy switch to make the account public.
Wearables

Check out the four cool Swatch watches you can use for mobile payments

Swatch has announced its Swatchpay technology is now available in Switzerland, enabling mobile payments from your Swatch watch. It works in a similar way to Apple Pay and Google Pay. Here's everything about it.
Social Media

Spice up your Instagram videos by adding your top tunes to the soundtrack

Have you ever taken a beautiful video, only to have it ruined by some jerk in the background yelling curse words? Here's a list of apps you can use to add your own music to Instagram posts as well as your Story.
Home Theater

Dolby’s secret recording studio app may soon exit stealth mode

In secret testing since June, Dolby's stealth recording and social network app may soon be ready to make an appearance. Dolby 234 blends unique noise-canceling tech with Instagram-like audio filters.
Business

Google is buying mysterious smartwatch tech from The Fossil Group for $40 million

Google is about to step up its smartwatch game. The company has agreed to buy an unnamed smartwatch technology from The Fossil Group for a hefty $40 million. Considering the acquisition, it's clear Google is serious about smartwatches.
Mobile

Here’s how to take a screenshot on an iPad, step by step

The ability to capture screenshots may not be the iPad's most glamorous feature, but it's one of its most useful. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to take a screenshot on an iPad, whether it's an iPad Pro from 2018 or an older iPad model.
Home Theater

Here are some common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Social Media

Here’s how to save someone’s Instagram Story to your phone

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Mobile

5G phones make a lot of promises. Here’s what to really expect

There has been a lot of marketing copy expounding the potential benefits of 5G networks, but a lot less on the practical implications of 5G smartphones. There's a reason for that.