Apple stops signing iOS 15.5 and blocks downgrade

Apple stopped signing iOS 15.5 and iPadOS 15.5 on Wednesday, exactly one week after the company released iOS 15.6 and iPadOS 15.6 to all users. As a result, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users will no longer be able to downgrade from iOS 15.6 to iOS 15.5, which could affect users waiting for a jailbreak.

iOS 15.5 was released on May 16 with minor improvements to Apple Cash and Apple Podcasts, plus other bug fixes. iOS 15.6 was made available to the public on July 20 with a new option that allows users to pause or rewind a live sports game in the Apple TV app. The update also fixes bugs and security breaches.

These exploits can lead malicious software to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges in the operating system. This is the main reason why Apple doesn’t allow users to downgrade their devices as older versions of iOS are more prone to security vulnerabilities.

You can read the release notes for iOS 15.6 below:

  • TV app adds the option to restart and pause, rewind or fast forward a live sports game that is already in progress.
  • Fixes an issue where Settings may continue to show that the device storage is full even if it is available.
  • Fixes an issue that could cause Braille devices to slow down or become unresponsive when navigating text in Mail.
  • Fixes an issue in Safari where a tab could return to a previous page.

Downgrading from iOS 15.6 is no longer possible

Reverting to older iOS builds is often used by those who jailbreak their iPhones and iPads. Earlier this month, the Odyssey Team group announced that they were working on the first jailbreak tool for devices running iOS 15. Because of how strong the system’s protections have become, this tool only works with versions from iOS 15.0 to iOS 15.1.1.

The developers behind the jailbreak tool have said they have been working on extending support for versions up to iOS 15.4.1, but it will take even longer. Of course, if you’ve updated your device to iOS 15.6, you won’t be able to go back to those versions.

Restoring an Apple device to an earlier version of iOS can also sometimes be helpful for users who experience significant bugs after upgrading to the latest version of iOS.

Unfortunately, if you’ve been experiencing issues with iOS 15.6, you should now wait for a future update instead of downgrading to iOS 15.5. Apple is currently working on the beta version of iOS 16, which is expected to be available to the public this fall.

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