Apple has taken just over ten days, but the Cupertino-based business has officially discontinued the signing of iOS 12.2. The decision to no longer sign iOS 12.2 comes after Apple launched iOS 12.3 to the public domain on May 13 and then iOS 12.3.1 earlier today.
This is typical Apple behavior and usually happens when the company is happy that the previous major releases have been well received and that the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners have managed to install it in their rides and do not have any major problems.
It is probably reasonable to suggest that there is also an element of a jailbreak-based motivation behind the decision, as it means that anyone who has upgraded to iOS 12.3 or later can no longer downgrade to iOS 12.2 before any potential jailbreak is announced / released.
If you were To take the official line from Apple, the reason to stop signing firmware versions is to try and encourage as many device owners as possible to upgrade to the latest firmware. This means that they not only benefit from the latest features, changes and enhancements, but also from any new security updates and bug fixes that may be critical to some users.
But that also means that if a jailbreak for iOS 12.2 is announced and later released, users iOS 12.3 and 12.3.1 would not be able to downgrade back to iOS 12.2 to exploit this release. Unless of course they had preset this, and already the SHSH2 blocks secured the version of the firmware.
From a public perspective, iOS 12.3 and 12.3.1 are now the only versions of iOS that can be installed on compatible iPhones and iPads through official action. Developers and those with access to an official developer account can also download and install a pre-release version of iOS in the form of iOS 12.4. This is Apple's next major version of iOS and will probably still be in beta when we roll into this year's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) where we will finally see the first glimpse of iOS 13 before being released to developers.
So, as it says, iOS 12.3.1 is the latest public version of iOS. IOS 12.4 is currently in beta, and iOS 13 will be unveiled at the beginning of June during WWDC. And unfortunately, for some, iOS 12.2 is no longer digitally signed by Apple Inc.
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