By Mikey Campbell
Monday, January 30, 2017, 05:21 pm PT (08:21 pm ET)
After the successful release of iOS 10.2.1 last week, Apple on Monday stopped signing code for iOS 10.2, prohibiting users from downgrading to the older operating system.
Apple commonly stops signing for old iOS and macOS versions when a new iteration is released, a practice designed to shield users from bugs or security vulnerabilities that were patched in more recent software revisions. Beyond consumer protection, invalidating old code helps the company maintain a consistent user experience across its device ecosystem.
Apple released iOS 10.2.1 last week with a handful of minor bug fixes and performance improvements.
The last major point update, iOS 10.2, introduced users to redesigned emoji characters and Apple’s new “TV” app in December. TV, which is available on iOS and tvOS, serves as a smart repository for over-the-top video content by aggregating TV shows, movies and other media originating from select standalone streaming apps.
Though users are unable to downgrade to iOS 10.2, developers and public beta testers now have access to the first evaluation version of iOS 10.3. The forthcoming point update delivers a new “Find My AirPods” feature and implementation of Apple’s new AFPS file system, among other improvements.