What you need to know
- Apple is no longer signing iOS 14.6.
- Anyone restoring an iPhone will now be stuck with either iOS 14.7 or iOS 14.7.1.
Apple is no longer signing iOS 14.6, preventing users from installing it. As a result, anyone restoring an iPhone can now only install iOS 14.7 or iOS 14.7.1 on their device.
The timing of Apple's move should be noted, too. Apple released iOS 14.7.1 yesterday, an update that includes a fix for a bug that prevented Touch ID iPhones from unlocking Apple Watches. That bug was introduced in iOS 14.7 and could have seen some people downgrade to iOS 14.6. With the bug fixed, iOS 14.6 is no longer needed.
Apple routinely stops signing older versions of iOS to prevent people from installing them. There could be multiple reasons for that, including ensuring people can't install versions of iOS that have been found to have security flaws. Another reason could be to try and ensure as many people as possible have access to a new feature. Whatever the reason, it's a move that helps Apple keep people on newer versions of iOS than might otherwise be the case.
The recent release of iOS 14.7.1 is likely to be one of the last before iOS 15 arrives this fall. Set to be the best iPhone software yet, the update is in the hands of public and developer beta testers right now. Bar some strange decisions in terms of Safari, the update is looking pretty slick!
Apple is likely to release the iOS 15 update a few days before it also releases its new iPhones. The iPhone 13 lineup is expected to be announced in or around September.