Apple ceases iOS 10.3.3 and iOS 11 code signing following iOS 11.0.2 update

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 2017
Apple on Wednesday stopped signing code for iOS 10.3.3 and the first version of iOS 11, preventing users from installing potentially vulnerable legacy operating systems in favor of the latest iOS 11.0.2 update.




The move comes just two weeks after Apple released iOS 11 to the public with major revisions and new features including a revamped user interface, ARKit, an enhanced Siri backend, support for the H.265 codec and much more. Apple's new operating system is specially tuned for iPad, with a number of new functions like drag-and-drop multitasking designed to deliver a user experience more akin to a desktop than a tablet.

Unlike past release schedules, today's code signing stoppage allowed iOS 11 to live for only two weeks, a result of bugs and other issues discovered in the firmware shortly after launch. Apple patched those holes in a quick update just one week following iOS 11's debut.

Most recently, the company on Tuesday issued iOS 11.0.2, which contained a fix for an issue that caused some iPhone 8 and 8 Plus owners to hear a crackling sound during phone calls. The update also rectified issues relating to photo viewing and opening encrypted email messages.

Apple regularly ceases code signing to prevent users from installing old iOS versions. The strategy is employed as a security measure to ensure users have the most up-to-date, bug-free software running on their iPhone, iPad and iPod. Forcing users to download and install the latest iOS versions also helps ease compatibility issues with cross-platform fucntionality and other software driven features.

With Apple no longer signing code for iOS 10.3.3 and iOS 11, users can only install iOS 11.0.1 from the company's servers.

Looking ahead, Apple is already working on the first major update to iOS 11. The company last week seeded the operating system's first point update, iOS 11.1, to developers and members of its public beta program.

Initially thought to be a minor update, iOS 11.1 could surprise and deliver Apple Pay Cash peer-to-peer payments to iPhone and iPad users. Reports this week note Apple is currently testing the payments system internally on devices running the point update, suggesting public release is not far off.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    TWO vital errors in this article. 1) Apple issued 11.0.2 on Tuesday, NOT 10.0.2 as the article says. 2) "With Apple no longer signing code for iOS 10.3.3 and iOS 11, users can only install iOS 11.0.1 from the company's servers." This should say 11.0.2, not 11.0.1.
  • Reply 2 of 23
    AI_liasAI_lias Posts: 278member
    Does this affect 10.x images already downloaded to local computer? Can those still be used to restore an iPhone to iOS 10.x?
    space2001GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 3 of 23
    I should have went back to 10.x when I had the chance. Hope they fix this battery thing soon. Its getting old. 
  • Reply 4 of 23
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    AI_lias said:
    Does this affect 10.x images already downloaded to local computer? Can those still be used to restore an iPhone to iOS 10.x?
    No, I believe you can, to be installed on the phone, Apple has to authorize it.
    You can put it back on a device that's limited to 10 though, say like the Iphone 5 or 5c.

  • Reply 5 of 23
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    jeff_cook said:
    I should have went back to 10.x when I had the chance. Hope they fix this battery thing soon. Its getting old. 
    You had 3 weeks to do it. Not sure why you would not have waited to get the new version or at least reverted back if getting good battery life is critical. It is not like this is a surprise. Stopping the signing occurs every year.
    I got the 6s and it is fine.
    Check your app and system settings to see if some have not reverted.
    Sometimes there are new settings in the OS and those default settings use more juice than before (especially those linked to email and GPS), verify that too.
    watto_cobraargonaut
  • Reply 6 of 23
    Farewell stability, at least until March 2018, ish? The annual iOS quality yo-yo cycle begins.
    shapetablesdysamoria
  • Reply 7 of 23
    bwikbwik Posts: 562member

    Potentially vulnerable "legacy OS?"  10.3.3?  It's been one week since OS 11 came out.  One.  Week.

    That's like looking at a fit 40 year old and saying "pull the plug doctor, he's practically dead anyway."

    GeorgeBMacdysamoria
  • Reply 8 of 23
    foggyhill said:
    jeff_cook said:
    I should have went back to 10.x when I had the chance. Hope they fix this battery thing soon. Its getting old. 
    You had 3 weeks to do it. Not sure why you would not have waited to get the new version or at least reverted back
    There are hacks out there to restore an old copy of the iOS operating system before Apple stops signing the older release, but those procedures might not revert the baseband firmware to the version matching that old operating system. The resulting device becomes a so-called "edge case" as far as testing goes. That means your apps may malfunction, even if they're correctly developed, or you may get a huge bill from your cellular carrier, or the device may overheat (or worse), or even cause problems for other wireless devices (including cellular devices). If Apple wanted to provide a safe way to rollback to a prior release without risk of damage/injury, they certainly could do it.
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 9 of 23
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    foggyhill said:
    jeff_cook said:
    I should have went back to 10.x when I had the chance. Hope they fix this battery thing soon. Its getting old. 
    You had 3 weeks to do it. Not sure why you would not have waited to get the new version or at least reverted back
    There are hacks out there to restore an old copy of the iOS operating system before Apple stops signing the older release, but those procedures might not revert the baseband firmware to the version matching that old operating system. The resulting device becomes a so-called "edge case" as far as testing goes. That means your apps may malfunction, even if they're correctly developed, or you may get a huge bill from your cellular carrier, or the device may overheat (or worse), or even cause problems for other wireless devices (including cellular devices). If Apple wanted to provide a safe way to rollback to a prior release without risk of damage/injury, they certainly could do it.
    You can always do an install as new, that is sure to work doesn't it? Before they stop signing of course.
    You have to back your stuff off the phone obviously if your doing that.
  • Reply 10 of 23
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    bwik said:

    Potentially vulnerable "legacy OS?"  10.3.3?  It's been one week since OS 11 came out.  One.  Week.

    That's like looking at a fit 40 year old and saying "pull the plug doctor, he's practically dead anyway."

    If you allow downgrading to a version that has open bugs, you are less secure. Not only that, Apple would then have to hear the whining of people with countless more configurations at the same time. Allowing till 11.2 for example would explode the number of concurrent versions that they'd have to test for when updating to a new versions, reducing testing thoroughness and for sure letting more bugs pass. 

    Even with Windows, it's possible to go back... but they make it harder and harder to so without messing something up.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 23
    TWO vital errors in this article. 1) Apple issued 11.0.2 on Tuesday, NOT 10.0.2 as the article says. 2) "With Apple no longer signing code for iOS 10.3.3 and iOS 11, users can only install iOS 11.0.1 from the company's servers." This should say 11.0.2, not 11.0.1.
    There is an error in your comment.  Apple is still signing iOS 11.0.1, and stopped signing 11.0.  iOS 11.0.2 just got released, so they have not stopped signing iOS 11.0.1 yet.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 23
    ajlajl Posts: 98member
    TWO vital errors in this article. 1) Apple issued 11.0.2 on Tuesday, NOT 10.0.2 as the article says. 2) "With Apple no longer signing code for iOS 10.3.3 and iOS 11, users can only install iOS 11.0.1 from the company's servers." This should say 11.0.2, not 11.0.1.
    For the point 1, you are right, but not for the point 2, because 11.0.1 hast not been ceased yet. In fact, one could download iOS 11.0.1 from Apple servers and install it as well despite 11.0.2 is actually available. My Two Cents
  • Reply 13 of 23
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,105member
    That’s a shame was hoping I’d still be able to go back tomorrow. My holiday ends then and I don’t have my Mac with me.

    Still, as the battery drain issue only seems to affect my phone when using gps and I’ll only be using it within the car from next week I suppose it’s not an issue.
  • Reply 14 of 23
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,789member
    saarek said:
    That’s a shame was hoping I’d still be able to go back tomorrow. My holiday ends then and I don’t have my Mac with me.

    Still, as the battery drain issue only seems to affect my phone when using gps and I’ll only be using it within the car from next week I suppose it’s not an issue.
    You can't plug the phone in while driving and using GPS? 
  • Reply 15 of 23
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,789member
    I am completely onboard with Apple ceasing the signing of previous releases. If people need to be forced into updating then so be it, it’s in their best interest. The ones screaming about choice are the outliers, not the mainstream. With every release comes bug and security fixes, something Android users will never see for months, maybe never. If you don’t like Apple preventing you from downgrading you have choices, all of which diminish your security and performance, including abandoning the platform for Android.
  • Reply 16 of 23
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,154member
    lkrupp said:
    I am completely onboard with Apple ceasing the signing of previous releases. If people need to be forced into updating then so be it, it’s in their best interest. The ones screaming about choice are the outliers, not the mainstream. With every release comes bug and security fixes, something Android users will never see for months, maybe never. If you don’t like Apple preventing you from downgrading you have choices, all of which diminish your security and performance, including abandoning the platform for Android.
    Most of the comments seem to be more concerned with: 
    -- Why after only a week?   That's really, really quick.
    -- What about devices that cannot run OS 11.x?

    All legitimate concerns.   Yes, Apple and Apple users benefit greatly by keeping things up to speed.  But there will always be trade-offs in doing that and especially in how it is done.

    That being said:   Apple turning off OS10.x seems to mostly demonstrate their confidence in 11.0.3.   And that is a good thing!
  • Reply 17 of 23
    emoelleremoeller Posts: 431member
    I have three iOS devices, and I have hundreds of 32b apps (several of which have key information that I use for work). I updated two of the devices but kept the Air2 at 10.3.3 until I could mitigate getting the data out.

    On Monday, while traveling, I plugged this Air2 in at the hotel and up pops the iOS update screen (note that I do not have auto update turned on and didn't initiate the update).  It was a 16 hour day for me and i stupidly hit "install".  When I realized what I had done I immediately turned off the iPad (only way to do that by the way during install is Home and Power), and called Apple.  They said no worries, simply plug the Air2 into iTunes (on my iMac at my office) and restore from backup (either iCloud or iTunes (I use both)).  Since iOS11 had not completely installed the backup would revert to the restored iOS version (10.3.3 in my case).  All of that changed with signing authority withdrawal this morning.

    I arrived home at 1 AM this morning but didn't  plugged in my Air2 until 7 am, hit the volume down and power (to restore from backup) and iTunes recognizes the device but gives an error message that Check autoupdate is turned off, and gives me two options:  Cancel or Check.   Check bumps up to iOS11, which I don't want.

    Another call to Apple and senior tech Chris advises that because Apple has canceled signing authority (I missed the window by a few hours) for 10.3.3 and earlier there is no way to NOT update to IOS11.  While my 32b apps and data will be restored, iOS11 will not recognize them and there is no way to ever access any of that data.  He also noted that while Apple has not yet started removing 32b apps from the store (unless the developer removed them), it was only a matter of time before those would be removed.  

    Chris did note that "if" I could find another device the same iOS 10.x version or later (but NOT iOS11) I could restore the data to that device....

    This was stupid for Apple to remove signing authority this quickly for this version, because this version bricks legacy apps and data...  I haven't been this upset with Apple in a long time, it will take me a long time to get over it.  So much for upgrading my iMac this fall....
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 18 of 23
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,789member
    lkrupp said:
    I am completely onboard with Apple ceasing the signing of previous releases. If people need to be forced into updating then so be it, it’s in their best interest. The ones screaming about choice are the outliers, not the mainstream. With every release comes bug and security fixes, something Android users will never see for months, maybe never. If you don’t like Apple preventing you from downgrading you have choices, all of which diminish your security and performance, including abandoning the platform for Android.
    Most of the comments seem to be more concerned with: 
    -- Why after only a week?   That's really, really quick.
    -- What about devices that cannot run OS 11.x?

    All legitimate concerns.   Yes, Apple and Apple users benefit greatly by keeping things up to speed.  But there will always be trade-offs in doing that and especially in how it is done.

    That being said:   Apple turning off OS10.x seems to mostly demonstrate their confidence in 11.0.3.   And that is a good thing!
    In my experience devices that cannot “run” iOS 11 also cannot be updated to iOS 11.
  • Reply 19 of 23
    Only Apple could do this. I'd say that consumer right precludes the perpetual use of the product as-is (i.e. with whatever iOS revision it was bought with, whatever its imperfect/obsolete status) as THAT's part of the purchase. Why are millions of people sheeply following these borderliners that think they rule the world. Their base guarantee terms demonstrated they even didn't understand the law in the EU. Sue them.
    edited October 2017
  • Reply 20 of 23
    foggyhill said:
    jeff_cook said:
    I should have went back to 10.x when I had the chance. Hope they fix this battery thing soon. Its getting old. 
    You had 3 weeks to do it. 
    I guess I should go to my room without TV or dinner. 
    GeorgeBMac
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