Apple on Wednesday stopped signing iOS 16.2, which means that iPhone and iPad users can no longer downgrade to this version of the operating system if they’re already running a newer version of iOS. This comes just a week after the company released iOS 16.3 to the public.
Apple no longer signing iOS 16.2
iOS 16.2 was released by Apple on December 13. The update was a significant one, as it added features such as Apple Music Sing, more advanced encryption features for iCloud, the new Freeform collaboration app, and much more. On the iPad side, iPadOS 16.2 added external display support when using Stage Manager.
On January 23, Apple released iOS 16.3 for iPhone and iPad users. There isn’t much new about iOS 16.3. The update includes the ability to use physical security keys to protect Apple IDs. This means you will have a physical hardware device that you can set up to serve as the second layer of two-factor authentication for your account.
iOS 16.3 also adds support for the second generation HomePod, enables thermostat capabilities for the HomePod mini, and adds a new Black Unity wallpaper for iPhone.
Reverting to older iOS builds is a technique often used by those who jailbreak their iPhones and iPads. Back in December, the hacker team palera1n released the first jailbreak tool based on the checkm8 exploit compatible with iOS 15 and iOS 16. The tool works with all versions from iOS 15.0 to iOS 16.3.
Restoring an Apple device to a previous version of iOS can also sometimes be helpful for users who experience significant bugs after upgrading to the latest version of iOS.
Downgrade from iOS 16 to iOS 15
While you can’t easily revert to iOS 16.2, you still have a chance to downgrade from iOS 16.3 to iOS 15. That’s because Apple is still providing security updates to users running iOS 15.7.3. Those who want to downgrade an iPhone or iPad must do so using a Mac or PC.
This is not the first time Apple has offered the option to let users stay on an older version of iOS. Last year, once iOS 15 became available, users could choose to stay on iOS 14 longer while Apple was still releasing security updates for it. However, the company removed this option a few months later.
It’s unclear how long iOS 15.7.3 will remain as an alternative to iOS 16.
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