Apple stops iOS 7.1.2 code signing, restricts downgrading from iOS 8

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 2014
After rolling out two point updates for iOS 8 earlier this week, Apple on Friday stopped signing iOS 7.1.2 firmware, meaning users who migrated to the new mobile operating system no longer have the option of downgrading.



Apple's decision to halt iOS 7 firmware signing is part of the natural progression toward a wider iOS 8 rollout for compatible devices, which include the iPhone 4S and above, iPad 2 and above and both iPad mini models. The change was noted by developer Steven Troughton-Smith via Twitter earlier today and confirmed by multiple sources, including popular third-party iOS firmware database IPSW Downloads.

With Apple no longer performing iOS 7 code signing, users who previously upgraded to the latest iOS 8 version can no longer revert to the last-generation OS. As noted above, owners of non-compatible devices like the iPhone 4 and original iPad still have access to the firmware.

The last iOS 7 version to see release came in June with iOS 7.1.2, which brought fixes for issues found in Mail, iBeacon and barcode scanner accessories.

Apple released the latest iOS 8 operating system for public consumption last week, bringing a slew of new features to iPhones and iPads, including app extensibility, support for Continuity, new messaging options and more. The launch also came with a HealthKit bug, however, prompting Apple to pull apps that connect to the framework as it researched a fix.

The company promised a patch and subsequently pushed out the iOS 8.0.1 maintenance update on Tuesday, but that release also contained bugs. Limited to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, iOS 8.0.1 disabled cellular connectivity and Touch ID drivers for many users. Apple's most recent iOS 8.0.2 version appears to fix the aforementioned problems, though some iPhone 6 users in Australia are still reporting trouble with cell networks.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37


    …natural progression… 


     

    Ah geez, I thought we were over this phrase…<img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" /> 

  • Reply 2 of 37
    The company promised a patch and subsequently pushed out the iOS 8.0.1 maintenance update <a href="http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/09/24/apple-releases-ios-801-with-support-for-healthkit-apps-photo-library-fixes-more">on Tuesday</a>, but that release also contained bugs. Limited to the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, iOS 8.0.2 disabled cellular connectivity and Touch ID drivers for many users. Apple's most recent <a href="http://appleinsider.com/articles/14/09/25/apple-issues-ios-802-with-fixes-for-ios-801-cellular-and-touch-id-bugs">iOS 8.0.2 version</a> appears to fix the aforementioned problems, though some iPhone 6 users in Australia are still reporting trouble with cell networks.

    iOS 8.0.1 disabled cellular connectivity and Touch ID drivers for many users

    Fixed that minor point for ya.
  • Reply 3 of 37
    IIRC, and I'm pretty sure I do, last year they stopped signing the old iOS 3 days after the fresh release of iOS 7. Any speculation on why this years' window is much longer?
  • Reply 4 of 37
    droidftwdroidftw Posts: 1,009member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post



    IIRC, and I'm pretty sure I do, last year they stopped signing the old iOS 3 days after the fresh release of iOS 7. Any speculation on why this years' window is much longer?

     

    Speculation?  I can handle this one.

     

    1) I speculate that they are more confident with iOS8 and therefore didn't need to restrict people from downgrading.  Who would want to downgrade when iOS8 is so much better?

     

    2) I speculate that they are less confident with iOS8 and therefore wanted to leave everyone a Plan B in case it's needed.

  • Reply 5 of 37

    DAMMIT! I was just going to downgrade my mom's 4S when I got home from work.

  • Reply 6 of 37
    Anyone else facing the following problem in iOS 8: pressing and holding down a word brings up the 'Select etc.' buttons -- and then the Cut/Copy/Paste button -- only fleetingly?

    It sometimes takes multiple tries....
  • Reply 7 of 37
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post



    IIRC, and I'm pretty sure I do, last year they stopped signing the old iOS 3 days after the fresh release of iOS 7. Any speculation on why this years' window is much longer?

    Well, there were a bunch of teething issues with iOS 8 - Healthkit and the like. It may be that they wanted to make sure everything was running smoothly before they stopped signing 7 (and then the 8.0.1 issues delayed the cut-off further).

  • Reply 8 of 37
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,113member
    I've never been happier I didn't upgrade. iPhone 5 running 7.something.
  • Reply 9 of 37

    I downgraded my 4S to 7.1.2 because 8 was not a pleasant experience.  Typing response was very slow and the new keyboard features takes up too much screen real estate, leaving very little room to see what you are typing.  Since 8 was the final version for the 4S, Apple seems to have a track record of the final version not running very well on minimum devices.  Same was true with the 3GS and 4, and their final versions.  The 4S was much more speedy once 7.1.2 was re-installed.

     

    Unfortunately, a device running an older version of iOS 7 or iOS 6 cannot be updated to 7.1.2.  Apple won't allow that either.  I just tried it on an old 4S with a burned out Wi-Fi chip.  It was running 7.0.2 and I tried to manually select the 7.1.2 file to update or restore, and Apple kicks back an error saying the device is not eligible.  So I guess when I sell my iPhone 4S, I will have to use the manual delete settings to wipe the phone to keep it at 7.1.2 for resale.  Might have better resale value with iOS 7.

  • Reply 10 of 37
    hillstones wrote: »
    I downgraded my 4S to 7.1.2 because 8 was not a pleasant experience.  Typing response was very slow and the new keyboard features takes up too much screen real estate, leaving very little room to see what you are typing.  Since 8 was the final version for the 4S, Apple seems to have a track record of the final version not running very well on minimum devices.  Same was true with the 3GS and 4, and their final versions.  The 4S was much more speedy once 7.1.2 was re-installed.

    Unfortunately, a device running an older version of iOS 7 or iOS 6 cannot be updated to 7.1.2.  Apple won't allow that either.  I just tried it on an old 4S with a burned out Wi-Fi chip.  It was running 7.0.2 and I tried to manually select the 7.1.2 file to update or restore, and Apple kicks back an error saying the device is not eligible.  So I guess when I sell my iPhone 4S, I will have to use the manual delete settings to wipe the phone to keep it at 7.1.2 for resale.  Might have better resale value with iOS 7.
    IOS 8 is not for an old phone like the 4s.
  • Reply 11 of 37
    512ke512ke Posts: 782member

    Once upgraded, you cannot go back.

     

    Once bent, you cannot straighten.

     

    Sorry, but I'm pissed at Apple this week, I hate it when my favorite technology company opens itself up to looking downright foolish and competent.

     

    May next week and the rest of 2015 be better!

  • Reply 12 of 37
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post





    IOS 8 is not for an old phone like the 4s.

    I agree with you.  That is why I downgraded my 4S.  Apple should have made iOS 8 for the iPhone 5 and above, since those have an A6 chip or better, and a larger screen.  Then you could at least continue to restore an iPhone 4S with 7.1.2 if something goes wrong down the road.  But now you can no longer do that troubleshooting task.  iTunes will force the 4S to upgrade to 8 if a restore is needed, since Apple stopped signing 7.1.2.  my iPhone 6 Plus is on the way, so not too concerned about it.  But glad I rolled the 4S back to 7 for the time while I still have it.

  • Reply 13 of 37
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by 512ke View Post

     

    Once upgraded, you cannot go back.

     


     

    Maybe Apple doesn't want downgraders messing with their iOS adoption rate numbers that they publish after every major release.

  • Reply 14 of 37
    Quote:


    With Apple no longer performing iOS 7 code signing, users who previously upgraded to the latest iOS 8 version can no longer revert to the last-generation OS. As noted above, owners of non-compatible devices like the iPhone 4 and original iPad still have access to the firmware.


     

    The original iPad did not have access to iOS 6, let alone iOS 7. iOS 5.1.1 is still the latest version you can put on it. "The firmware" being 7.1.2, the subject of this story.

  • Reply 15 of 37
    Very disappointing. iOS8.0.2 on a 4S is sluggish and a battery eater. I can watch the % of charge drop 1% every 43 to 55 seconds with little to nothing running but the stopwatch to time the drop. This sucks! I was about to downgrade because of this unacceptable drain. Good thing I didn't upgrade my wife's phone. Maybe I can snag 7.1.2 from hers and reinstall in mine.
  • Reply 16 of 37
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ToyGuy View Post

    Good thing I didn't upgrade my wife's phone. Maybe I can snag 7.1.2 from hers and reinstall in mine.

    You can’t.

  • Reply 17 of 37
    froodfrood Posts: 771member

    It would make Apple look bad if the iOS % adoption rate actually went backwards.  Much better for Apple if users are stuck with it once they have it even if its not working so well for them to the point that they'd rather have the old software.

  • Reply 18 of 37
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Haggar View Post

     

     

    Maybe Apple doesn't want downgraders messing with their iOS adoption rate numbers that they publish after every major release.


    I seriously doubt that.  Only a tiny fraction of users even know that there is/was an option to revert to an earlier version.  

  • Reply 19 of 37
    I'm definitely not happy. I just got the upgrade message on Friday. I decided to download it without looking at the reviews. My phone is glitchy as hell, I'm not happy...As well, I have the Iphone 5c. Typing is glitchy, facebook glitches out.. It's shit.
  • Reply 20 of 37
    droidftw wrote: »
    Speculation?  I can handle this one.

    1) I speculate that they are more confident with iOS8 and therefore didn't need to restrict people from downgrading.  Who would want to downgrade when iOS8 is so much better?

    2) I speculate that they are less confident with iOS8 and therefore wanted to leave everyone a Plan B in case it's needed.

    1) +1

    2) +1

    And I'll throw in a LOL for 'handling this one'.
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