One full week has passed since Apple released iOS & iPadOS 13.7 to the general public, and like clockwork, the Cupertino-based tech company has pulled the plug on its signage of the older iOS & iPadOS 13.6.1 firmware for iPhones and iPads alike Tuesday evening.
The rather predictable move means that iPhone and iPad owners are now unable to downgrade the firmware they run on their handset of choice after upgrading to the newer iOS or iPadOS 13.7 release.
It isn’t common that iPhone or iPad users fancy downgrading their device’s firmware version, but it’s a popular trend among jailbreakers who want to cash in on the benefits of third-party hacks and extensions that only support older versions of iOS.
Jailbreaking isn’t the only reason one might want to downgrade a device’s firmware, however, and this is because software updates can sometimes introduce frustrating bugs to the user experience. Reverting to an older firmware can offer temporary relief from said bugs, at least until Apple can release another software update to resolve them.
The fact that Apple no longer signs iOS or iPadOS 13.6.1 isn’t that big of a deal for the jailbreak community, and that’s because the two latest software exploit-based jailbreaks, Odyssey and unc0ver, only support up to iOS and iPadOS 13.5. At this time, only the checkra1n tool can jailbreak the latest versions of Apple’s mobile operating systems, and that’s because it relies on a hardware-based bootrom exploit dubbed checkm8 that can’t be patched by Apple with a software update.
The phenomenon surrounding Apple’s reasoning to stop signing older versions of iOS remains a widely speculated upon. Most obviously, Apple wants its users using the latest software to ensure the best user experience. One thing Apple often brushes under the carpet, however, is that the company doesn’t want you jailbreaking your device. Doing this makes it more difficult to get to jailbreak-supported firmware versions. Apple also benefits from blocking downgrades by being able to gloat at its Keynote presentations about new firmware adoption.
You can always check what versions of iOS or iPadOS are being signed for your device by visiting the handy IPSW.me online utility. There, you can check signing statuses and also download firmware files at your leisure.
How as Apple’s decision to stop signing iOS & iPadOS 13.6.1 affected your workflow? Discuss in the comments section below.