Apple has officially closed the signing window for iOS & iPadOS 15.6.1 on Monday after just last week dropping a multi-pronged software update comprised of both iOS & iPadOS 15.7 and the debut iOS 16.0 for the iPhone & iPod touch (iPadOS 16.0 is currently delayed for a while longer).
It is very unusual for Apple to release two different firmware versions on the same day, but we expect this could be the norm going forward as Apple is expected to continue pushing security patch updates for iOS & iPadOS 15 users who don’t want to upgrade to the newer iOS & iPadOS 16.
With iOS & iPadOS 15.6.1 now unsigned, this means that iPhone and iPad users can’t turn to traditional methods to downgrade from iOS or iPadOS 15.7 or the newer iOS 16.0 to the older iOS & iPadOS 15.6 release. Non-traditional methods including the DelayOTA method (for upgraders) and FutureRestore (for downgraders with saved .shsh blobs) are still within reach.
For what it’s worth, it’s still possible to downgrade from iOS 16.0 to iOS 15.7 at the time of this writing. That could change in the future.
Apple regularly un-signs older firmware to have more control over what version(s) of iOS and/or iPadOS that its users are taking advantage of. The company doesn’t want its users utilizing outdated firmware for a myriad of reasons, chief of them all being that it opens the door for jailbreaking and security vulnerabilities, which jailbreaks take advantage of.
Another benefit for Apple is that the company can corral users into installing newer software updates, which pleases the company’s shareholders every time they get up on the stage to brag about new firmware adoption when compared to the likes of Android devices. Of course, the numbers are artificially achieved, as users don’t really get a choice in the matter…
Still, jailbreaking isn’t the only reason why someone might want to downgrade the firmware on their device. As it turns out, software updates can introduce new bugs or glitches that interrupt a user’s workflow, and in this case, downgrading can offer temporary refuge until Apple fixes it. Great examples of this happening in the past include:
- iOS & iPadOS 13.2 imposing aggressive background app management that force-closed backgrounded apps too early
- iOS 14.7 breaking the ability to unlock a paired Apple Watch using the host iPhone’s Touch ID biometric authentication
Because of these issues, iDB has always been particularly vocal about having the choice to downgrade the firmware on the device you own, as has much of the jailbreak community. Obviously, not being able to downgrade is both an inconvenience and a disappointment to some.
If you’re ever curious about what iOS or iPadOS version is or isn’t being signed for your device(s), then you can head over to the handy IPSW.me website to find out. You can also utilize our Downloads page to get a physical copy of whatever firmware file you might need.
Are you sad to see that Apple is no longer signing iOS or iPadOS 15.6.1 as of today? Discuss in the comments section down below.