After releasing iOS 15 to the general public, Apple stops signing iOS 14.8

A couple of Mondays ago, Apple officially released iOS & iPadOS 15 to the general public with a slew of new features for Apple’s mobile device lineup following an extensive beta period throughout the Summer months.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Apple’s move to launch a new firmware version for its platforms has now been complemented with the unsigning of the previously current firmware — iOS & iPadOS 14.8.

By unsigning iOS & iPadOS 14.8, Apple has effectively halted downgrades from the company’s brand new iOS & iPadOS 15 operating system to last season’s iteration (iOS & iPadOS 14).

Downgrade iOS 15

While there are a few exceptions to this rule, such as using unofficial utilities to save .shsh2 blobs and forcing a software downgrade with futurerestore, other iPhone and iPad users can no longer revert back to iOS & iPadOS 14 if they later decide that they don’t like the changes in iOS & iPadOS 15.

Software downgrades are most frequently used by the jailbreak community as a means to jump to a lower, more easily exploitable firmware for the sake of jaikbreaking. But while that may be the case, real examples exist for ordinary iPhone and iPad users too, such as when an update introduces excessive bugs that make coping with the operating system’s changes a challenge.

Real-world examples of the above do exist. One example would include when iOS 13.2 imposed aggressive backgrounding rules that would arbitrarily kill backgrounded processes like media playback without the user’s desire to do so. Another example would have been iOS 14.7, which broke Apple Watch unlocking with an iPhone’s Touch ID authentication.

Apple’s reasoning for unsigning older versions of iOS & iPadOS is understood, but has certainly received a lot of pushback over the years. While the company has a responsibility to help ensure that its users are protected by the latest security patches and enjoying the latest new features, it also limits what users are able to do with the devices they bought by stifling freedom of choice for the end user. In fact, many would argue that Apple should let users run whatever firmware they want, assuming they understand and agree to the potential risks.

Apple also benefits from blocking software downgrades, as the company often brags about how quickly its user base adopts the latest firmware updates at its keynote presentations. For what it’s worth, the company tries to corral the user into enabling automatic software updates by default on newly-configured devices and then artificially boosts its figures by preventing users from going back to older versions. But I digress…

As always, iPhone and iPad users are able to see what versions of iOS and iPadOS are being signed for their particular device(s) via the handy online utility. Specific firmware files can then be had directly from our downloads page.

Are you upset that you can no longer downgrade from iOS or iPadOS 15 to the older iOS or iPadOS 14.8? Tell us why or why not in the comments section down below,