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.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.