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Apple ceases code signing for older iOS versions following iOS 11.2.5 release


Apple on Wednesday stopped signing iOS 11.2,11.2.1 and 11.2.2 following last week's release of iOS 11.2.5, ensuring iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch owners are running the latest version of the mobile operating system.

Apple issued iOS 11.2.5 on Jan. 23 to deal with bugs and patch remaining Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities.

Apple regularly stops signing code in an effort to prevent users from installing old iOS versions. The strategy is employed as a security measure to ensure users have the most up-to-date, bug-free software running on their iPhone, iPad and iPod. Forcing users to download and install the latest iOS versions also helps ease compatibility issues with cross-platform functionality and other software driven features.

The measure can create problems for users who encounter newly-introduced bugs. For example, iOS 11.2 was released ahead of schedule after a particularly nasty date-related bug was discovered in iOS 11.1.2.

So far, however, iOS 11.2.5 appears to be a stable release.

Looking ahead, Apple this month announced the upcoming iOS 11.3 update will bring promised battery and performance settings, ARKit 1.5, Health Records support, new Animoji characters and more.

Beta versions of the forthcoming iOS update went live last week ahead of an expected launch this spring.