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Apple halts iOS 14.3 signing following iOS 14.4 release

Apple on Tuesday stopped signing code for iOS 14.3, effectively barring users from downgrading to the older operating system.

The halt comes a week after Apple released iOS 14.4 with a handful of new features and bug fixes.

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.

The latest iOS 14.4 update delivers an improved HomePod mini Handoff experience, QR code reader updates, new Bluetooth device naming options and support for third-party device trackers in Find My. Three zero-day vulnerabilities that may have been exploited in the wild were patched.

Apple on Monday issued the first iOS 14.5 beta release for testing, with the forthcoming update carrying a number of new features including the ability to unlock iPhone with Apple Watch when Face ID detects a mask, Apple Card account sharing, new console controller support, global 5G for dual-SIM iPhones, and next-hour precipitation in Weather for users in the UK and Ireland.