Apple's iOS 17.3.1 is now the only software your iPhone can install until 17.4 arrives

Apple has topped signing iOS 13.3 which means it's iOS 17.3.1 or nothing if you want to restore your iPhone before iOS 17.4's debut.

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If you own an iPhone and want to install the iOS 17.3 update, you're now unfortunately out of luck. Apple is no longer allowing people to do that which means that iPhone owners have just a single release to choose from - it's iOS 17.3.1 or nothing, at least for now.

The change comes a week or so after Apple released iOS 17.3.1 to the public, an update that didn't bring any new features to the mix but did add a bug fix. That fix was related to a situation that could reportedly cause unexpected duplication or overlapping of text when typing, an issue that could be particularly irritating for those who suffered from it.

Apple's iOS 17.3.1 is now the only software your iPhone can install until 17.4 arrives 02

However, those who would prefer to install iOS 17.3 are now unable to do so after Apple stopped signing the update. Installing a version of iOS requires that it be authenticated by Apple and if that isn't the case, it can't be installed. Apple regularly stops signing older versions of iOS to ensure that people cannot install older, less secure versions of the iPhone's software. That can be vital to stopping people from jailbreaking or simply exploiting an old bug to gain access to an iPhone and its data.

As for the iOS 17.3 update, that was a bigger release that brought with it the vital Stolen Device Protection feature. When enabled, the feature adds an additional layer of security whenever an iPhone is away from a trusted location such as at home or at work. Designed to protect personal information should an iPhone be stolen, the new feature is one that could be vital for users in the future.

As for what comes next, Apple is already testing the iOS 17.4 software update that is now in the hands of beta testers with a release window expected within the next couple of weeks. An important update, the iOS 17.4 release will add support for third-party web browsers in the European Union as well as third-party web browser engines and more. Support for allowing game streaming apps in the App Store is also coming to iPhones all around the world, too.

Downloading to iOS 17.3 could have been an option for people suffering form new bugs added to iOS 17.3.1 but now the only option appears to be to wait for Apple top release iOS 17.4 and hope that the issue has been fixed in that particular software update. Apple will need to have the software available by March 7, the date that the EU's Digital MArkets Act will require third-party app store support.

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NEWS SOURCES:9to5mac.com, apple.com

Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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