iOS 9 icon

Apple has officially pulled the plug for signing iOS 9.3.1 on Friday.

The change means iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad users can no longer downgrade to iOS 9.3.1 via iTunes and will now be forced to install iOS 9.3.2 upon any attempts to restore their devices.

Unlike a number of recent iOS signing closures in the past, Apple seems to have pulled the plug on iOS 9.3.1 for all of its devices at once this time rather than for only some devices now and more later.

Apple stops signing iOS 9.3.1

The iOS 9.3.1 firmware was launched at the end of March and was followed by iOS 9.3.2 in the middle of May. iOS 9.3.1 has been available to iOS device users to restore or downgrade to for about three weeks following the initial iOS 9.3.2 firmware release, which fixed minor bugs throughout iOS.

A second iOS 9.3.2 release was also put out to the public on June 2nd after the original software update was pulled for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro by Apple due to problems, and these issues may have been the only reason for some users to have any desire to downgrade back to iOS 9.3.1.

Now that the problem has been resolved in the latest iOS 9.3.2 release, there’s really no reason for anyone to need go back to iOS 9.3.1 in the long run, and with Apple no longer signing iOS 9.3.1, it would be impossible to downgrade anyhow.

It should also be noted that Apple has iOS 9.3.3 in the pipeline for a near-future release, as the second beta was seeded to developers less than a week ago.

What it means for jailbreakers

There is currently no jailbreak for iOS 9.2 or later, and the latest jailbreak only covers firmware up to iOS 9.1, so it’s technically irrelevant to jailbreakers that iOS 9.3.1 is not being signed anymore. Friday’s change shouldn’t really harm your chances of being able to jailbreak again if you’re stuck on iOS 9.3.2.

Although some might be strongly opinionated that a jailbreak for iOS 9.3.1 would be more likely than a jailbreak for iOS 9.3.2 due to the rapid succession of firmware updates from Apple as of late, my opinion tends to differ.

iOS 9.3.2 is a minor update and it doesn’t appear to contain any major security updates. Any jailbreak that would have been released for iOS 9.3.1 would have almost certainly worked for the current iOS 9.3.2 release too, but with WWDC 2016 on the horizon, it doesn’t make sense for any jailbreak team to release a jailbreak right now as we await more news on the upcoming iOS 10 announcement.

With that being said, if you were waiting on iOS 9.3.1 and crossing your fingers for a jailbreak, I don’t think it would harm your chances if you were to update to iOS 9.3.2. Of course, it’s ultimately up to you to make that call.

Wrapping up

With Apple no longer signing iOS 9.3.1, all users will be forced to upgrade to iOS 9.3.2 when they attempt to restore their devices in iTunes. Fortunately, this change won’t get in the way of jailbreaking since no jailbreak even existed for iOS 9.3.1 in the first place.

To easily check and see if a firmware version is being signed for your device, you can use a handy online tool called IPSW.me, which allows you to select your device from a list and see the firmware versions that Apple currently supports for your device. If the firmware appears green, it’s being signed; if it appears red, it’s not being signed.

What are your thoughts on Apple discontinuing to sign iOS 9.3.1? Share in the comments.