Apple halts downgrades from iOS 13.2.3 by unsigning iOS 13.2.2

Apple systematically stops signing older mobile software releases as newer ones become available. Given the company’s track record in this regard, it should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the matter that Apple has stopped signing iOS 13.2.2 Monday evening, a move that effectively averts firmware downgrades from the newer iOS 13.2.3 that Apple released approximately two weeks ago with miscellaneous bug fixes.

There are two primary reasons why someone would want to downgrade their firmware in the first place, with the first being to revert back to an older version of iOS after a new release breaks functionality or introduces unwanted bugs, and the second being to restore the device to a jailbreakable firmware after a software update patches the necessary exploits used by a tool.

The latter circumstance is much more common these days, but that’s not to say that the former isn’t a legitimate reason to downgrade iOS. In fact, an earlier release of iOS 13 actually caused issues with application backgrounding, and many users found their way around it by downgrading firmware until Apple could release an authentic fix for the problem.

As far as jailbreaking is concerned, users of A7-A11 devices don’t have much to worry about, as the checkm8 bootrom exploit ensures lifetime jailbreakability regardless of software version. That said, devices as new as the iPhone X can be jailbroken even if they’re running Apple’s latest and greatest iOS 13.2.3, and this will hold true even when iOS 13.3 launches sometime in the near future.

Devices that aren’t susceptible to checkm8, including the newer A12-A13 varieties, are bit trickier to jailbreak. Jailbreak hopefuls using these devices are advised to stay on the lowest firmware possible to increase their odds of jailbreak eligibility. Unfortunately, Apple’s ritualistic practice of preventing firmware downgrades makes it challenging to get back to jailbreakable iterations of iOS after accidental upgrades or forced restores.

Each software update Apple releases generally includes bug fixes and security improvements in addition to new features, and with that in mind, it’s understandable that Apple wants to facilitate software upgrades. Doing so ensures the reliability and security of their platform, and helps users get the most out of their (stock) devices. On the other hand, one could still argue about how nice it would be if Apple allowed its advanced users to make choices of their own.

As always, you can see what versions of iOS are and aren’t being signed from the handy online utility.

Are you upset that iOS 13.2.2 is no longer being signed? Discuss in the comments section.