Apple stopped signing iOS 13.2.3 Thursday evening, barely over a week after releasing iOS 13.3 to the general public. It’s an expectable move on the company’s behalf that prevents iPhone and iPad users from restoring to that particular firmware version, or from downgrading from the newer iOS 13.3 release.
Apple’s official reasoning for doing this is to facilitate software upgrades to ensure that users take advantage of the latest features, bug fixes, and security patches. Behind that marketing façade, it’s also evident that Apple prevents software downgrades in an effort to keep the jailbreak community at bay, as most jailbreak tools only operate on older versions of iOS, and Apple quickly patches these jailbreaks in its software updates.
While jailbreaking is undoubtedly the most influential reason for downgrading one’s iOS version, it’s not the only reason. Many turn to software downgrading as a means of dodging newfangled bugs introduced by new iOS releases, such as the infamous application backgrounding bug that debuted with iOS 13.2 and was later patched in a subsequent software update.
While Apple’s rapid software update release cycle and gradual phasing out of older releases is a somewhat effective means of jailbreak suppression, the lone exception to this rule is checkra1n, a jailbreak that utilizes a hardware-based bootrom exploit present on handsets spanning from the iPhone 5s to the iPhone X. Notably, this exploit can’t be patched with a software update, and so the jailbreak works even on the current iOS 13.3.
As always, jailbreak hopefuls who can’t currently take advantage of any current jailbreak tool and are using a firmware prior to iOS 13.3 are advised to stay where they are as opposed to updating. Unc0ver jailbreak lead developer Pwn20wnd has repeatedly validated the notion that this practice gives hopefuls the best chance of landing a jailbreak, especially since new exploits very seldom target current iOS releases.
If you’re ever curious about whether a particular version of iOS is being signed for your iPhone or iPad model, then we’d recommend using the free online IPSW.me utility. The site intuitively lays everything out for you, making it easy to discern what’s being signed and what isn’t.
Has this news hampered your iOS-centric downgrading plans? Discuss in the comments.