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Apple ceases iOS 14.5.1 code signing following release of iOS 14.6

Apple on Tuesday stopped signing iOS 14.5.1 code, effectively blocking downgrades to the operating system following the release of iOS 14.6 at the end of May.

The code signing stoppage comes a week after Apple issued iOS 14.6 with new features including the activation of Apple Card Family and support for paid subscriptions in the Podcasts app.

With Apple no longer authenticating iOS 14.5.1 code, users who upgraded to iOS 14.6 can no longer download or install the now out-of-date operating system.

The outgoing operating system version addressed a security issue related to processing and viewing web content.

Apple routinely stops signing legacy code after the release of a new iOS build in part to protect customers from nefarious actors attempting to take advantage of newly discovered vulnerabilities. In addition to security, preventing users from downloading older code allows Apple to keep more iOS devices on the latest, feature-rich software.

While Apple Card Family is now available for all users, the launch of podcast subscriptions was pushed back to June.

Apple in an email to podcast publishers last week said it is working to deliver the “best experience for creators and listeners.” Both subscriptions to individual podcasts and a new “channels” feature were impacted by the delay. It is unclear when, exactly, Apple plans to enable subscriptions.

It should be noted that some users have experienced unexpected battery drain issues with iOS 14.6. The problem has yet to be verified by Apple.

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