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Apple stops signing iOS 16.5.1 after iOS 16.6 rollout, but users still expect a crucial bug fix

Published Aug 1st, 2023 8:57AM EDT
iOS 16.3
Image: Apple Inc.

With iOS 16.6 now available, Apple stopped signing iOS 16.5.1. With that, you can no longer downgrade to older iOS 16 build versions. But if you are experiencing any bugs or unreliability, iOS 15.7.8 is still available for devices that are compatible with iOS 15.

While it’s typical for Apple to stop signing older iOS builds around a week after releasing a new software update, this time, iPhone users who updated their devices to iOS 16.6 discovered a Screen Time issue.

According to The Wall Street Journal, after updating to iOS 16.6, parents couldn’t set restrictions on their kids’ devices. That said, imagine if you added a one-hour period of social media usage. After that period, a message wouldn’t appear locking all those social media apps on your kids’ devices, meaning they could keep using Instagram, for example.

Here’s what the company told WSJ: “We are aware that some users may be experiencing an issue where Screen Time settings are unexpectedly reset,” an Apple spokeswoman said. “We take these reports very seriously, and we have been, and will continue, making updates to improve the situation.” That said, if you are experiencing this issue with iOS 16.6, you can’t downgrade to a previous iOS version.

iOS 16.5.1, on its way, fixed an issue that prevented charging with the Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter. In addition, the company added a security patch that prevents users from possibly being hacked by malware Russia’s Federal Security Service said the US was using to spy on them.

One of the reasons why Apple stops signing older versions of iOS, such as iOS 16.5, is to prevent people from jailbreaking their iPhones and iPads. Although there’s no sign of any jailbreak tools for iOS 16 being developed for the new iPhones, it’s also a way to push users to stay up-to-date with Apple’s operating systems. That said, you can still downgrade to iOS 15 if you want.

Here’s how to downgrade from iOS 16.5.1 to iOS 15

Since Apple is not offering iOS 16 – nor iOS 16.5 – to several iPhone models, such as the iPhone 7, the company is still releasing minor software updates to these older smartphones. Currently, iPhones that can run iOS 15 can support up to version 15.7.8, which you can use to downgrade from a device running iOS 16.

To do that, you must use a Mac or PC. It’s important to note that this isn’t the first time Apple has offered an older version for users to downgrade. Last year when the company released iOS 15, users could stay a little longer in iOS 14 by getting bug fixes and security patches.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.

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