Apple no longer signing iOS 14.6 following the launch of iOS 14.7 (& iOS 14.7.1)

Following a lengthy beta testing period involving developers and volunteer participants, Apple officially released iOS & iPadOS 14.7 to the public last week with a long list of new features and improvements for iPhones and iPads alike. But no software update from Apple comes without the bitter aftertaste.

Just as Apple always does after releasing a major software update, the company closed the signing window for iOS & iPadOS 14.6, which makes it substantially more difficult for iPhone and iPad users to downgrade to the older firmware version if they’ve already updated the device(s) to iOS or iPadOS 14.7, or perhaps the newer yet iOS or iPadOS 14.7.1.

For all intents and purposes, users can no longer merely plug their device into their computer and attempt to restore to iOS or iPadOS 14.6 via Finder or iTunes. The process becomes more convoluted, as the user would have needed to save .shsh2 blobs while iOS & iPadOS 14.6 were still being signed and would then need to use futurerestore to perform the downgrade.

Since the overwhelming majority of iPhone and iPad users don’t save their .shsh2 blobs or use futurerestore, the above point would be moot unless you went out of your way to do just that. In preventing downgrades, Apple can force more of its user base to upgrade their firmware, effectively inflating adoption numbers and ensuring the highest number of users possible are using the latest changes to the mobile operating system.

The sentiment above won’t have much of an impact on the average iPhone or iPad user, as it’s generally ideal to be using the latest and greatest version of Apple’s mobile operating system for the sake of security and new features. On the other hand, software updates can sometimes introduce major bugs, and making it impossible to downgrade to a more stable release can effectively trap users on an unstable version if this is ever the case.

The crowd most impacted by this change would usually be those in the jailbreak community, as new software updates tend to patch security holes that would otherwise be used in jailbreaking. However, in this particular case, iOS & iPadOS 14.6 weren’t jailbreakable on most devices apart from those susceptible to the hardware-based checkm8 exploit used by checkra1n, so today’s change wasn’t as painful for the community as it could have been.

While we at iDownloadBlog wish that Apple would give users the ability to choose which version of iOS or iPadOS they run, it doesn’t seem like that’s going to be the case today. Fortunately, iPhone and iPad users can monitor which version(s) of iOS and iPadOS are being signed for their device(s) by visiting the handy online utility. Individual firmware downloads for each device can be had from our dedicated downloads page.

Did the closed signing window for iOS & iPadOS 14.6 affect you in any way? Be sure to let us know how in the comments section down below.