We reported yesterday on the release of nitoTV, the package manager for tvOS. Just like Cydia does on iOS, it allows for the installation of unsigned apps and tweaks on Apple TV 4 and 4K, and currently supports tvOS 9, 10.0-10.1 and 10.2.2. All of these firmwares have jailbreaks, but only one of them is still being signed by Apple, ready to be downgraded to and jailbroken. But is it that simple?
The interesting thing about tvOS 10.2.2 is that, at the time of writing, Apple was still signing it. This means that, for now, Apple TV 4 users can still restore back to tvOS 10.2.2 and jailbreak with greeng0blin. This makes greeng0blin a jailbreak for a current firmware, something that has been increasingly rare of late. Any Apple TV 4 can move to the right firmware to use it, regardless of their current setup, but you’ll need to think carefully before you do.
We’ll show you how to downgrade to tvOS 10.2.2 in this article, but first there are a few things to bear in mind.
What to know before deciding
- This is for Apple TV 4 users only. Apple TV 4K cannot go back to tvOS 10, and Apple TV 3 cannot go up to tvOS 10.
- tvOS 10.2.2 is the only signed tvOS 10 version.
- greeng0blin supports tvOS 10.2.2 only, no other firmware version.
- If Apple stops signing tvOS 10.2.2, you will no longer be able to downgrade to it. At the time of writing this article it was still signed, but it will not remain signed indefinitely. Check before beginning.
- If you downgrade to tvOS 10.2.2, you will probably not be able to return to your current firmware, unless you have saved blobs. If you decide to upgrade later without blobs, you will have to move to the currently signed firmware (at the moment tvOS 11.2.5), which will almost certainly not have a jailbreak.
- You will lose any tvOS 11 features, like automatic dark mode switching, and any apps which support only tvOS 11, such as Netflix.
These caveats are not to be taken lightly, so decide whether the downgrade is for you. Some of the problems above might be avoidable, for example using a tweaked version of Netflix for tvOS 10, or escaping to tvOS 11 via a futurerestore upgrade with saved blobs when a newer version of nitoTV is ready, but that is for you to consider, and to risk.
Should I downgrade my Apple TV 4 to tvOS 10.2.2?
I’m currently on tvOS 9.x, or 10.0-10.2.1
Yes, I think you should restore to tvOS 10.2.2 while you have the chance. For you, the choice is easier as you’re upgrading rather than downgrading. You are thus getting more features and app compatibility, as well as the jailbreak and nitoTV. Once jailbroken with greeng0blin, you can to futurerestore to tvOS 11.0-11.1 if you have saved blobs. Go for it!
I’m currently on tvOS 11.2 or higher and I have blobs for tvOS 11.0-11.1
Yes, should restore to tvOS 10.2.2 while you have the chance. You will lose some stock features and app compatibility, but you’ll get a jailbreak and nitoTV. Once jailbroken with greeng0blin, you can stay there and enjoy it, or futurerestore to tvOS 11.0-11.1 with your saved blobs. Your current firmware has no jailbreak anyway, so go for it!
I’m currently on tvOS 11.2 or higher but I have no blobs for tvOS 11.0-11.1
I personally think you should restore to tvOS 10.2.2 while you have the chance, but only as long as you understand the caveats. You will lose some stock features and app compatibility, but you’ll get a jailbreak and nitoTV, which might be able to compensate for them. Your current firmware has no jailbreak anyway, so it’s worth considering, though without blobs you’ll be forced to the most recent firmware next time you want to upgrade. The choice is yours.
I’m currently on tvOS 11.0-11.1 and I have blobs for tvOS 11.0-11.1
You should consider restoring to tvOS 10.2.2 while you have the chance, but understand the risk. You’ll get a jailbreak and nitoTV, but you’ll lose some stock features and app compatibility. Once jailbroken with greeng0blin, you can futurerestore back to tvOS 11.0-11.1 with your blobs anyway, so your risk is less than if you had none. However, your current firmware already has a jailbreak in LiberTV 11.0-11.1. This means that if you wait you will probably get a version of nitoTV, without downgrading. If you downgrade and then mess up your futurerestore back to tv OS 11, you’ll have lost your chance of a tvOS 11 jailbreak entirely, so perhaps waiting it out is the better option. The choice is yours.
I’m currently on tvOS 11.0-11.1 but I have no blobs for tvOS 11.0-11.1
You should almost certainly not restore to tvOS 10.2.2, unless you really want to. You’ll get a jailbreak and nitoTV, but you’ll lose your chance at a newer tvOS 11 jailbreak completely. You’ll also lose some stock features and app compatibility. Without blobs, you can’t use futurerestore to get back to tvOS 11.0-11.1, so it’s a poor trade. Your current firmware already has a jailbreak in LiberTV 11.0-11.1. This means that if you wait you will probably get a version of nitoTV soon enough, without downgrading. If you downgrade you’ll have lost your chance of a tvOS 11 jailbreak entirely, so waiting it out is the better option.
Ok, I’m doing it. But how?
2) Ensure that tvOS 10.2.2 is still signed before starting. Otherwise, your restore will fail and you will have to upgrade to the current firmware.
3) Connect your Apple TV 4 to your computer and open iTunes.
4) Hold down the shift key (Windows), or the option/alt key (Mac), and then click the Restore Apple TV… button.
The next step will wipe your device, and all your saved info and settings. It will have to be set up again as new.
5) A file browser will appear. Navigate to the tvOS 10.2.2 IPSW firmware file which you downloaded and select it.
6) Accept the prompts to restore, and wait until it completes before disconnecting your computer.
For more in-depth instructions, check out our full guide.
To block updates once on tvOS 10.2.2, check out our guide.
Done, done, done. Once on tvOS 10.2.2, download greeng0blin and jailbreak with it. It will install nitoTV as part of the process, so you’ll be good to go once it’s finished. Let me know how it goes for you, or whether you decided to wait it out for tvOS 11 instead. Make sure to save your .shsh2 blobs for your Apple TV from now on, if you haven’t already. Good luck!