Apple on Wednesday stopped signing iOS and iPadOS 13.4, a move on the Cupertino-based company’s part that prevents its users from intentionally downgrading their handset’s firmware version to anything besides the latest release.
Notably, iOS and iPadOS 13.4.1 were only just released last week. Apple typically waits two weeks before closing signing windows for its firmware, but has demonstrated a more aggressive approach to this behavior more recently.
Firmware downgrades have been conventionally used by jailbreakers as a means of ensuring jailbreakability post-bug fixes, and because of this, Apple routinely closes signing windows after a new firmware release as to prevent such downgrades.
Jailbreaking aside, another reason why someone might want to downgrade their device’s firmware is if a software update introduces instability to their handset. We’ve witnessed such events before, and unfortunately, Apple prefers to make users wait for software updates to resolve such bugs as opposed to making software downgrades easier.
Understandably, Apple is also responsible for making sure that its handsets remain secure from rogue hacks in the wild. The same exploits that are used for jailbreaking, and even those that aren’t, can potentially be used to inject malicious code into iPhones and iPads. Allowing users to downgrade to these impacted firmware versions would have serious security implications by Apple’s standards.
iOS 13.4 isn’t really that big of a deal whether you’re a jailbreaker or not. iOS 13.4.1 can still be jailbroken via checkra1n on compatible handsets, and it didn’t introduce any notable bugs to the platform. With that in mind, this change will have little impact on the jailbreak community, if any.
Nevertheless, if you’re waiting for a jailbreak on iOS 13.4 on any device newer than A11, then you may want to stay put instead of upgrading to anything newer as it’s always best to stay on the lowest possible firmware when hoping for new exploit releases.
As always, you can see what firmware versions are being signed for your device at the helpful IPSW.me online utility.
Are you upset that Apple isn’t signing iOS 13.4 anymore for any reason? Share in the comments section below.