Apple stopped signing iOS & iPadOS 13.6 Wednesday evening, a predictable move on the Cupertino-based company’s part that is known to prevent users of these particular devices from downgrading from the newer iOS & iPadOS 13.6.1 firmware that was released to the general public one week ago to address a ‘green tint’ issue exhibited by some OLED displays, among other things.
We say predictable because Apple follows this trend like clockwork every time the company releases a new version of iOS & iPadOS, but we digress…
While most people aren’t trying to downgrade their handset’s firmware version since newer releases are known to incorporate bug fixes and improvements, there are two major camps of people that still partake in this procedure: 1) those who jailbreak and require the use of an older firmware that is still vulnerable to exploitation; and 2) those who downgrade because a new firmware breaks features or renders their favorite apps unusable.
The former circumstance is the more common of the two, but there have still been instances where a new iOS or iPadOS release has actually caused more headaches than it fixed. Perhaps the most recent example is that of iOS 13.2, which caused backgrounding issues on some handsets due to its ‘aggressive’ killing of background processes. Apple has, of course, since addressed this issue.
For what it’s worth, the two newest software-based jailbreaks, Odyssey and unc0ver, only support up to iOS 13.5 at the time of this writing, so this change on Apple’s part doesn’t really have any impact for jailbreakers. Those using older handsets vulnerable to the checkm8 bootrom exploit can still use the checkra1n jailbreak regardless of what firmware they are currently using since this exploit can’t be patch via a software update.
Notably, the iOS 13.6.1 firmware was recently in the spotlight of a newly-teased exploit, which means that its jailbreakability on newer devices could potentially change in the future, but this is merely speculation.
As for why Apple stops signing older versions of iOS & iPadOS, it simply comes down to the fact that the company wants you using the latest version. As a user, you not only benefit from the new features, bug fixes, and security patches that every update warrants, but you also collectively help Apple gloat about new firmware adoption as they do at every WWDC keynote. Not that users have much of a choice in the matter, anyway…
If you’re curious what firmware version(s) are being signed for your iPhone or iPad, then we’d strongly recommend the free online IPSW.me utility, which lists devices and their signed firmware versions in an easy-to-read fashion.
Are you upset that iOS 13.6 is no longer being signed? Let us know in the comments section below.