Apple on Wednesday stopped signing iOS 12.3, iOS 12.3.1, and iOS 12.3.2 following last week’s release of iOS 12.4. The move prevents users from downgrading from iOS 12.4 to previous versions of the mobile operating system.
Apple is known to stop signing older versions of operating systems after it releases a public update, as part of an effort to encourage users to keep their devices’ operating systems up to date.
Last week’s iOS 12.4 update offered little in front-facing features, but includes the framework required for the upcoming release of the Apple Card. Company CEO Tim Cook confirmed earlier this week that the Apple Card will be released to the public in August. The credit card is currently being beta tested by Apple employees.
Apple stops signing and iOS version to prevent users from downgrading to that version via iTunes. Downgrading is a popular method for users that jailbreak their devices. However, downgrading is also useful for iPhone and iPad users that experience significant issues after upgrading to the latest version of iOS.
iOS 12.4 is currently the most recent publicly-available version of iOS available for iPad and iPhones. A beta of iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 is currently in beta testing by developers and public beta testers. The new mobile operating systems will be released to the public in September.