As some of you may have seen from my tweet yesterday, there is some exciting news afoot for owners of 32-bit devices on iOS 9.
A group of developers including alitek12, ee_csw and Trevor Schmitt have stated that they are working on a downgrade solution which will allow users of legacy devices to escape from iOS 9.3.5 and return to a jailbreakable iOS 9 firmware.
This is big news because many 32-bit devices do not support iOS 10, and so iOS 9.3.5 is the highest firmware they can currently be forced to restore to. It also happens to be the only recent unjailbreakable firmware for these devices, what with Home Depot and the like.
What does it do?
Allows 32-bit devices to downgrade from iOS 9.3.5 to any other iOS 9 firmware without a jailbreak, provided you have blobs for the destination firmware.
What does this mean for 32-bit devices?
- Everyone stuck on iOS 9.3.5 could return to any other iOS 9 firmware, most notably jailbreakable ones such as iOS 9.0.2 or iOS 9.2-9.3.4.
- Anyone on any lower firmware who wants to upgrade could move to 9.3.5 and then down to 9.3.4 and jailbreak. This would only apply to 32-bit devices whose most recent firmware is iOS 9.3.5, not those that got iOS 10.
- Anyone whose jailbreak messes up and is forced to restore to 9.3.5 could just restore back to 9.3.4 again, with no harm done. This would only apply to 32-bit devices whose most recent firmware is iOS 9.3.5, not those that got iOS 10.
- Anyone who uses this method to move to a jailbreakable iOS 9 firmware from an unjailbroken one could then use another tool like Odysseus or OdysseusOTA to move to any other firmware they wanted, provided they had blobs for it. In this way, the tool can be seen in a broader sense as a gateway to moving freely to any firmware you like, provided you have blobs for it.
What’s the catch?
- This method requires blobs for the destination firmware. Hopefully you’ve been saving your blobs for a while even when it seemed they had no use, as we always counsel that they could come in handy in future. Prometheus was one example, this method is another.
- 32-bit devices only. This method is not for the iPhone 5s or higher, please don’t ask about 64-bit.
- This tool will not help you if your 32-bit device is already on iOS 10. Some devices are lucky and can’t upgrade to iOS 10 anyway, so they are always covered. Others, like the iPhone 5(c), can upgrade to iOS 10 and therefore they can only use this tool if they’ve already remained on some iOS 9 firmware to begin with.
- An iPad 2 on iOS 9.3.5 could restore to iOS 9.3.4 and jailbreak with Home Depot.
- An iPhone 5 on iOS 9.3.5 could restore to iOS 9.0.2 and jailbreak untethered with Pangu9.
- An iPhone 4s on iOS 9.2 could restore to iOS 9.3.5, and then downgrade to iOS 9.3.4 and jailbreak with Home Depot. This essentially allows upgrading between jailbreakable firmwares without getting stuck on iOS 9.3.5.
- An iPad Mini stuck on unjailbreakable 8.4.1 could restore to iOS 9.3.5, downgrade to iOS 9.3.2, jailbreak with Home Depot, and then use Odysseus to downgrade with blobs to a preferred lower firmware, such as iOS 7.1.2, and jailbreak with Pangu7.
As you can see, provided you have your blobs and the right device, the possibilities here are almost limitless. I had the lucky chance to test out the tool personally, and successfully downgraded my old iPad 2 Wifi to iOS 9.3.4. It’s now jailbroken again after being stuck on iOS 9.3.5 for a while. Hopefully once this tool is released many others will be able to do likewise.
Details of the tool’s workings cannot be given out at the moment, until it has been finished and officially announced. However, I can say that the process is slightly more complex on cellular devices than on Wifi-only devices, but is pretty easy regardless. Once the tool is released, I’ll put together a guide on how to use it for anyone who wants to give it a go.
Do you have 32-bit devices that you’d love to downgrade to older firmwares for the performance? Are you stuck on iOS 9.3.5 at the moment? And did you, of all things, save your blobs for earlier firmwares?