Apple has stopped signing iOS 14.5.1 following the release of iOS 14.6 a couple of weeks ago. That means that, if you’ve already upgraded to the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, there’s no going back again. (Although, to be fair, why would you want to?)

Apple stops signing firmware quickly after introducing newer, more up-to-date versions. “Signing” is the process of confirming that code is legitimate and has not been altered or corrupted. This allows downloaders to know their software updates are coming through official Apple channels.

Since it would be impossible for Apple to support every piece of software indefinitely (otherwise, who wouldn’t occasionally be tempted to take a time machine back to 2007 and spend a couple of days with the initial versions of iPhone OS?), there has to be a point at which it no longer decides to keep signing firmware. But Apple does this very quickly. That’s because new versions of software more stable, pack the latest features, and often get rid of bugs and vulnerabilities that exist in software.

Since Apple wants to make sure its new software features are available to as many users as possible, and it definitely wants to make sure vulnerabilities can’t be exploited, it makes it tough for users to downgrade once they’ve already upgraded. It usually gives a window of a few days just in case a major problem is discovered with the new version. Then, when it isn’t, it puts the kibosh on downgrades.

iOS 15 is a-comin’

iOS 14.6 was a relatively minor update for iOS, compared to the far more significant iOS 14.5. The same is true for iOS 14.5.1, which updated only a bug in the App Tracking Transparency feature.

Apple’s push to get users to upgrade to the latest version of iOS certainly seems to work. According to Mixpanel, 91% of users are currently running some version of iOS 14. While it doesn’t break that down into specific versions of iOS, it’s nonetheless a massively impressive achievement.

At next week’s WWDC, Apple is expected to unveil iOS 15. As usual, it will be initially available only in a beta version for developers. That means that we’ve likely seen the last of the major updates for iOS 14. You can expect periodic tweaks for the next few months, but the majority of the work is now focused on its successor.

Via: 9to5Mac

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