S1 App - "The OS on this device is no longer supported"


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This has probably already been asked, but I tried putting "The OS on this device is no longer supported" into the search tool and nothing came back so I’ll ask anyway…

I still have a couple of old devices which I manage using the S1 app on my phone, which is an Android-based Moto G4, running Android 7 (kernel version 3.10.84).

When I start up the Sonos S1 app, I get a banner at the top saying "The OS on this device is no longer supported", and providing a link to a Sonos article that says that the S1 app requires Android 5, 6 or 7.

Any suggestions how to resolve this? I also have the S2 app installed on the phone, but even if I make sure that none of the S2 components are running (by rebooting the phone before running the S1 app) it still gives me the message.

It’s not an entirely trivial error report, because it stops me from doing most of the things that I want to do, such as adding a radio station - that is not allowed by the app if your phone is deemed to be “too old” - even if it isn't!


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There’s not much you can “do” about it. Once the OS stops being supported by the maker of the OS, Sonos is likely to ‘retire” it as well. You could get/borrow another newer device in case of setup needs, but just using the controller as a player, you should be fine for a while. It’s just not going to get security updates (from either the OS maker, or Sonos) in the meantime.

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But it’s an OS that Sonos’ own support article says is supported! The phone is quite happy running Android 7 - it’s just the app that says Android 7 is no longer supported, even though it is supported.

That’s why I would like to “do” something about it!

Your information is stale. Android 8 is now the minimum.

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Your information is stale. Android 8 is now the minimum.

When I first joined this forum a few months ago, I was surprised at how many annoyed and frustrated existing customers Sonos seems to have. But now I’m starting to understand why.

My phone is less than 4 years old and it works absolutely fine. Every app that I have installed on it still works, except the Sonos app, because Sonos have decided that they will cripple it by updating it to remove some of its functions.

The crazy thing about this is that they are annoying users that they don’t need to annoy. My system is just a few months old, controlled via two Android 10 tablets that I bought for the purpose. The only reason that I noticed this is that I wanted to answer a question from another forum member (with an older system) and the easiest way to do that was to use an S1 test system that I’ve had set up for just a few months. I failed because the app won’t let me add a new radio station via my 3 ½ year old phone.

Why does it worry and annoy me? Because it makes me think that in 3 years time, Sonos is going to make me throw away my two purpose-bought Android 10 tablets because Sonos will then cripple the app on those too.

Perhaps you can see my point?

 

When I first joined this forum a few months ago, I was surprised at how many annoyed and frustrated existing customers Sonos seems to have.

As we never tire of pointing out, most customers -- of which there are millions -- don’t post about how happy they are. Those who come here are a tiny fraction of the user base.

It’s like a hospital: the fact that the bulk of its occupants are sick doesn’t provide an accurate picture of society at large.

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Well yes, I understand what forums are like, because I’m on lots of them, but the tone does seem a little different here.

Perhaps you can’t see my point, but it is that we really have got to get away from a situation where we are forced (by app developers) to throw our phones/tablets away every three years.

If there is too much apathy among end-users about the incredible waste of resources that this involves then perhaps legislation will be the only way.

But then again, perhaps companies like Sony, Lenovo, Samsung, etc. have too much political power and that will be used to protect their profits...

It’s tempting to throw brickbats at Sonos, but let’s step back and consider the bigger picture.

These mobile devices have operating systems which are no longer supported. Sonos has in the past been criticised for lax security on its network-intensive products. It’s therefore unsurprising that they remove the more secure bits of the controller -- setup, etc -- from such unsupported platforms, rather than risk an unpatched hole opening up beneath them.

IMO the users’ ire would be better directed at the entities which have left the devices and operating systems unsupported in the first place. In whose commercial interests is such ‘forced obsolescence’? Not Sonos’ certainly. Could it perhaps be the mobile manufacturers who stand to benefit?

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Or we can step back even further, and consider the even bigger picture.

And that is that each mobile phone and tablet that we buy uses a lot of critical resources, and recycling of these devices is not well organised.

Now… I don’t mind if a company such as Sonos warns me that an older mobile phone or tablet may not have the resources to handle an app quite as quickly, and it may be less secure - but I can be warned about those things and can make a choice.

What I really object to is that Sonos has made an active decision to cripple the app on my 3 ½ year old phone. I no longer have any choice about using that device, even if I accept performance and security limitations. If I bought it for the purpose of controlling Sonos devices, I have no choice but to stop using it.

That is what I am objecting to.

Would you be willing to pay an annual maintenance fee? This would be more palatable for developers than a buy once, free support forever business model. Also, think of the poor developer who is stuck maintaining Windows XP product -- at no cost to the customer. If this developer must change companies, (possibly due to running out of cash) there is relatively low demand for XP developers and a career is on the line.

I agree that the overall situation wastes a lot of resources.

Another detail is that fancy products require a huge scale. Developing a product can cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Unless the product will sell hundreds of millions, cost to the consumer would be out of reach.

What I really object to is that Sonos has made an active decision to cripple the app on my 3 ½ year old phone. I no longer have any choice about using that device, even if I accept performance and security limitations. If I bought it for the purpose of controlling Sonos devices, I have no choice but to stop using it.

And I have an Amazon Fire device bought a mere 21 months ago mainly for Sonos use, which Amazon in their wisdom have seen fit not to advance beyond Fire OS 5.6.8.0, based on the ancient Android 5.1.1. I know who to blame there, and it’s not Sonos.

 

By the way “cripple” is rather hyperbolic, if you’re speaking of S1 on Android 5/6/7 (and Fire OS 5/6 for that matter). The controller app would be just as useful for everyday music play. It’s the configuration options which have been removed. Another, more up to date, device could be used for those occasional tasks -- even if it was temporarily borrowed.

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I understand and accept that - at some point - all software and hardware will become obsolete.

The problem I have with Sonos’ approach to this is:

  1. That they have set the limit for obsolescence at such a recent date - Android 7 devices were still being widely sold less than 3 years ago.
  2. Unlike almost every other app developer, they are using the software update mechanism against me, their customer. They are forcing me to accept an update that stops the app from working properly.

This is a radical change (in my experience) because normally an app will just continue to work. I have an Android 5 tablet in my van running Torque, which shows data about the performance of the vehicle. The app is over 6 years old, and it still functions correctly. The developers assume that I, as the owner of the device, should be the one to worry about whether the hardware has enough grunt and the underlying kernel is secure enough.

I can’t see anything wrong with that model - because it means that the tablet is likely to be able to function as I intended for the life of the vehicle. It certainly didn’t have to be thrown away when Android 8 came out!

And I should add that the word “cripple” is not particularly inappropriate. If it is the only device that I use to control my Sonos units, then it is severely restricted in what I can do. Not being able to add any new sources is pretty crippling for a streaming device.

I have to say I’m a bit surprised that a phone sold 3.5 years ago is unable to update from Android 7 to at least Android 8.1, if not 9.0. I still use a Nexus 5X as a (fully functional) Sonos controller, which was discontinued in October 2016 yet runs 8.1.

Android distribution is of course in the hands of the device manufacturer, which brings us back to my earlier point about commercial motivation.

 

I dare say that if the Sonos app was a standalone piece of software it could well be possible to freeze a version that would continue to work on older platforms. It isn’t. It’s part of a comprehensive system that all has to work together. And, security-wise, is as strong as its weakest link.

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My Android 5 tablet continues to function as a tablet, even though it is 5 years old.

The Sonos app on that tablet cannot function as was originally intended, because Sonos has forced me to accept an update that stops it working properly.

There is a significant difference between the two approaches.

I know I won’t get any sympathy here. Perhaps I need to give the subject more publicity elsewhere...

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So your anoyed that you Android device manufacturer has abandoned it?  By lets kick any app that happens to reside on that abandoned device?

 

Yes it’s very annoying.  I have a drawer of Amazon Fire and Huweli and other Android Tablets.  The later of which never got a single OS update and were essentially useless within 2 years.  I hated moving to Apple but decided if I was going to buy a tablet it should at least be supported for 5 or more years, I certainly wasn’t going to buy another Android device.  And yes there are some manufacturers who support for longer but not the sad bunch i had chosen.  No doubt those devices were cheap for that very reason.

Go and rant elsewhere then, if that will help.  Besides we didn’t think you were here for sympathy but for help, which has been given by fellow Sonos users.  

 

How can Sonos other App developers support Os version they can’t even download anymore?  Are they supposed to maintain a cupboard of redundant devices on redundant OS versions and build an test against them?  It’s just not feasible or possible.

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It’s just not feasible or possible.

Other developers “somehow” manage to do it.

Thanks - I really don’t need your sympathy.

By the way - I recognise the air of polite (or in your case not so polite) condescension from some forum regulars. I see it in myself when I post on other forums, but I do try my best to control it.

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I was just saying I had been in the same situation, if my post came across as condescending then i apologise, that was not my intention.

Me, I’m still mildly narked that some of Windows desktop app was removed, and that was ages ago.

Trouble is the bigger the company the less they will be able to support older out of support versions.  In the company I work for we remove support for operating systems no longer under support as soon as feasible, mainly for fear of security breaches and the financial penalties that can result.

 

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One of the problems here is that Sonos want it both ways. They won’t support anything more recent than SMB1 for Windows Shares because (apparently) the Linux kernel on their devices is so old, but they won’t allow their customers any version of Android older than the one before last.

Double standards, perhaps?

You’re conflating the software kernel that runs on the limited memory available on the players, and the controller software that runs on the mobile OS. 

‘Polite condescension’? I was just trying to point out the realities of the situation…

 

they won’t allow their customers any version of Android older than the one before last.

Two before last actually. The current Android is 11. Android 8.1 remains fully supported.

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You’re conflating the software kernel that runs on the limited memory available on the players, and the controller software that runs on the mobile OS. 

I’m not conflating anything at all. I’m pointing out that they are happy to run very old software on their own boxes, but won’t allow their customers to use older software on the devices that they own.

Obviously you don’t see any double standards there?

The difference is that Sonos control the ‘very old software’ on their own boxes, and have undertaken to fix security issues as best they can. The mobile operating systems in question are unsupported by their suppliers; in the case of Android 7 the last release was 18 months back.

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And why are they stuck with very old software on their boxes? Is that my fault, as a customer? I guess if I’m paying £399 for a Port, I should be very grateful that they will fix problems that they have total control over “as best they can”?

So, they won’t upgrade Windows Sharing from a decade-old version of SMB, but they want to make my 3 ½ year old phone useless in terms of controlling their product.

No double standards there, I guess.

Windows Sharing utilizes an HTTP Server which comes with the PC or Mac controller. SMBv1 is still required for NAS Linux systems,though.

The discussions about the memory limitations of the older devices -- and their implications for kernel/SMB support -- were had, over and over again, at the time of the S1-to-S2 transition announcement. I’m not going to revisit that subject.

 

Which make of 3.5 yr old phone is it, where the manufacturer didn’t even offer an upgrade to Android 8? That OS was released around the time of the phone’s sale.

While I recently researched the purchase of my current Android phone I noticed that there were numerous less expensive models that were shipped with Android 5-7 and I was not confident that they could be updated. My previous phone was locked to a carrier and the carrier stopped updating years ago and I was trapped at Android 5. The carrier was also reluctant to issue updates while the old phone was still supported. Now I have a factory unlocked phone and I can update directly from the manufacturer. At least I’m now receiving regular phone updates, but I don’t how long this will continue.

The final blow to the old phone was the carrier’s notice that it will drop my phone from the cell network because of its soon to be obsolete wireless technology.

In the case of Apple, unless the developer updates their App to the latest Apple standards, the App will be dropped form the App store. In many cases the latest App version will not run on older iOS devices that are no longer supported by Apple.

As we type I’m migrating from an old W7 machine to a newly built W10 machine. I expect to donate the phone and PC to charity. While the old desktop would not be so great for video editing and I would not want to update to W10, it’s more than adequate for web, email, and conferencing. The phone might be viable in a 3rd world area.

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