Apple’s been going through a bumpy couple weeks when it comes to iOS errors, and a couple high-profile ones have brought some unwanted negative attention to the company: the ease at which setting a device’s calendar to the year 1970 can soft-lock things, and the “error 53” message that’s been disabling Apple hardware after going through unauthorized Touch ID repairs. We’re still waiting for Apple’s promised fix for the former, but today we see some real progress made on the latter, as Apple releases some updated software that restores a lot of functionality to error 53 devices.
As you may recall, error 53 popped up when users were attempting to update iOS on their devices and their hardware detected the presence of unauthorized modifications – specifically, in the form of replaced home buttons with their Touch ID sensors that weren’t subsequently re-authorized with Apple-verified signatures. When the iPhone or iPad detected such a modification, it would lock the user out of their device while iTunes displayed this error 53 message.
With today’s update, users will be able to restore their devices to a functional state, after restarting them and attempting a connection to iTunes again.
That said, Apple’s not backing down from its position that a proper chain of trust is necessary for secure Touch ID operation, and even after this update restores general device operation, Touch ID still won’t work. That’s presumably to prevent attacks where Touch ID security could be compromised by malicious hardware. If Touch ID is still important to you, your only option looks to be going to Apple for authorized repair work.
It remains to be seen what if any impact this move has on the pending legal action against Apple for impeding third-party repair work.