Apple unleashed iOS & iPadOS 14.2 to the general public last Thursday with a plethora of new Emojis, wallpapers, and other improvements. That said, no one should be astonished to learn that the company has stopped signing the older iOS & iPadOS 14.1 firmware this Thursday evening, just one week after the aforementioned release.
The unsigning of a particular version of firmware means that iPhone and iPad users can no longer officially downgrade to it via Finder or iTunes, and that’s because these platforms depend on ‘permission’ from Apple’s servers to continue the software restore on one of these devices. Third-party workarounds exist for the daring ones, of course.
Downgrades are most popular among the jailbreak community, as they permit a user to install older version(s) of iOS or iPadOS that may be vulnerable to an exploit used by a particular jailbreak tool. Even so, software downgrades are sometimes articulated by users who don’t jailbreak, generally when Apple releases a software update that introduces bugs or breaks a particular feature that users depend on.
The latter case isn’t as common these days, but just over a year ago, Apple released iOS & iPadOS 13.2 to the general public with an unfortunate burnback. It wasn’t long after installing the update that users found it ‘very aggressive’ in its handling of backgrounded or suspended applications. Apple later issued another software update to fix this, but users could downgrade to the previous firmware to remedy the situation in the interim.
For those wondering why Apple stops signing older versions of iOS & iPadOS, the answer should be obvious: control. Apple doesn’t want users jailbreaking their handsets; but more importantly, the company wants to coral users into using the latest features and improvements. As an added benefit for Apple, forcing software updates allows the company to brag about adoption at its Keynote presentations each year as compared with competing platforms. But I digress…
The waiting game continues for a new jailbreak tool targeting all handsets running iOS & iPadOS 14, and so the news that version 14.1 is no longer signed doesn’t impact the jailbreak community all that much. Still, it’s advised that avid jailbreakers-to-be stay on the lowest possible firmware to increase their odds of jailbreak eligibility since newer releases tend to fix bugs that might otherwise be viable in producing exploits.
As for the checkra1n jailbreak, which utilizes the powerful hardware-based checkm8 bootrom exploit to pwn handsets, only devices equipped with Apple’s A8-A9X chips are supported on iOS 14 at this time. Support for handsets with the A10 chip will come at a later date, but we don’t yet know if support for A11 devices (I.E. the iPhone X) will ever be added for iOS 14.
If you’re interested in learning what version(s) of iOS or iPadOS are being signed for your device, then you can visit the handy IPSW.me website and choose your device from the list. There, you can discern what’s being signed for your handset in just a few clicks.
Are you upset that iOS & iPadOS 14.1 aren’t being signed anymore? Share your thoughts in the comments section down below.