Too much control in Cupertino?

Hope you like iOS 8.1.1, because there’s no going back

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Apple has made it technically impossible for most people to install an older version of iOS on iPhones, iPads and iPod touch devices, so you can now use any version of iOS as long as it’s version 8.1.1. 9to5 Mac reports that Apple has closed the signing for iOS 8.1, which was publicly released on October 20 and included Apple Pay. That means unless your phone or tablet is jailbroken, you can’t revert to older iOS software.


This isn’t uncommon in practice but [company]Apple[/company] seems to have closed the software restoration window fairly quickly, in just six weeks or so. With security updates in the latest version, that’s not necessarily a bad thing but it’s a curious situation for a couple of reasons.

First, Apple typically enjoys strong adoption rates with new iOS versions. This time around the numbers weren’t quite as good, partially due to limited storage space on existing devices, although there are ways around that — installing the update via iTunes and a connected computer, for example.



Second, Apple is surely trying to boost Apple Pay usage. Even though only the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have the required NFC hardware for in-store Apple Pay transactions, all compatible iOS devices can use Apple Pay for online purchases with participating retail partners. If consumers revert back to version of iOS before 8.1, they simply can’t use Apple Pay.

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces Apple Pay.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Since Apple controls the hardware and the software for iOS devices, it’s certainly the company’s prerogative to take this step. Some folks aren’t happy about it, however, as any bugs or issues introduced by the software can’t be temporarily addressed through a software downgrade.

22 Responses to “Hope you like iOS 8.1.1, because there’s no going back”

  1. Tom Donahue

    Don’t upgrade to 8.11 if you want to use iTunes on an iPhone. No matter where you attempt to go in iTunes, the Apple Store appears on your screen instead. I can’t even play tunes I previously played on my IPhone4S. It’s another example of Apple trying to force its products on customers.I have an iPhone5, but I had so many dropped calls and such difficulty hearing I went back to the iPhone4S. Before upgrading I listened to a lot of music on my iPhone4S. Now it’s impossible. I was going to upgrade to OX Yosemite to see if that might help, but over 1000 reviewers gave it two and a half stars. It seems that Apple has been going downhill ever since Steve Jobs died.

    Steve used a pull marketing strategy: Look at this cool new product! People bought it. Apple now uses a push marketing strategy. If you don’t use their product they hurt you. With Mavericks, if you didn’t use the iCloud, you couldn’t sync your devices. With 8.11 you can’t go back if you don’t like it (unless you have a PhD is software). If you upgrade to 8.1.1 you end up with the Apple Store being pushed down your throat. The VP of Marketing and maybe the CEO should be fired.

    I’m thinking of going back to the PC. Ugh!

  2. I have a iPod touch 5G and updating to iOS 8 was awful as it lagged my iPod badly. That same day I updated I had to revert back to iOS 7. Plus the useless bloateware that was added in iOS 8 which ate up storage.

    • you can buy some tiny little slivers of flash memory, about the size of your little fingernail and well under a mm thick. These come in sizes up to 128GB.

      Unfortunately, Apple didn’t put in a slot on the iPad/phone/pod for you to be able to use them.

      • Cassius TechDigital White

        There are 2 easy ways to remedy lack of storage and sd card slot,
        1 monster digital offers a otg cloud storage unit that lets you use sd cards and has a app in the App Store called sky.

        2 get a apple camera adapter a unpowered usb hub and a flash drive to go in the hub and it works…. I even ran a 500 gb portable hard drive using this method.

  3. hundoman

    Everything Apple makes is propriety and designed to live in only a walled garden of only Apple products.

    Apple has the US cellular companies alone locked into yearly quotas of $52 billion dollars a year of fixed contract sales or they owe Apple the money.

    The US media is paid off to All Things Apple via the massive amounts of advertising dollars from Apple and the US cellular firms that are forced to sell Apple product above all others (but at least they can use crappy Beats headphones sales now to count towards this quota).

    ABC/Walt Disney and Hearst Media properties are all but shills to Apple via agreements. If you put up civil anti Apple articles on the WSJ you get our posts removed from the comments sections.

    Apple Pay is a completely propriety version of NFC payment that only works on Apple products as Apple has locked NFC down to only its wares but still the press forces us to believe that only Apple knows how to do NFC payments property.

    Enough is enough with this Apple garbage but …. guess I am one of the few that has chosen to “Think Different” as Apple used to say as everyone else is surely drinking the required Apple Kool-Aid.

  4. Mark Lough

    A person buys an item from Apple. (or just about any large company.) They “own” their purchase for a year or two. Then Apple makes some changes that make their purchase unusable. Remotely. Through software changes. The person’s purchase has changed, and no longer works as it did.
    In simpler times, this would be called THEFT.
    Now, its just smart business.
    It is still THEFT.

  5. Michael W. Perry

    Ah yes, this brings to mind those chilling words from the borgs in the later Star Trek, “You will be assimilated.”
    –Michael W. Perry, Across Asia on a Bicycle (editor)