Apple Halts Signing of iOS 17.3, Encouraging Users to Stay Updated

February 16, 2024 – Apple has ceased signing iOS 17.3 today, effectively preventing users who have already upgraded from downgrading to this version.

Following the release of iOS 17.3.1 on February 8th, which included fixes for text-related bugs, the company has halted the signing process for iOS 17.3. This move is part of Apple’s typical strategy to encourage customers to maintain the latest state of their operating systems and prevent downgrading to older, less secure versions of the iPhone OS.

Currently, iOS 17.3.1 stands as the only publicly available iOS version. However, Apple is also beta testing iOS 17.4, which is scheduled for an official release in March of this year. This upcoming version promises to introduce features such as app sideloading (limited to the EU region), podcast improvements, and new Emoji characters.

One of the most significant changes in iOS 17.4 is the ability for iPhone and iPad users to download and install apps from alternative app markets outside of the App Store. While this enhancement offers increased flexibility for users, Apple has cautioned that it may also introduce new risks to their devices. The company has stated that it cannot eliminate these risks but will work to mitigate them within its capabilities.

In a candid remark, Apple CEO Tim Cook went as far as to suggest that customers who wish to sideload apps should consider purchasing an Android device instead.

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