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back to article Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5

With the ominous words “We take your investment in Sonos very seriously,” Sonos has killed off support for iOS v4 and 5 devices. Sonos makes software app-controlled Wi-Fi speakers that can play audio streamed from Android, iOS, Windows and Mac OSX devices. The iThings can play local audio files on the speakers or relay music/ …

If only they supported Windows 8 phone/RT I'd not care.

But my poor old ipad is now redundant.

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Re: If only they supported Windows 8 phone/RT I'd not care.

If you have the money to blow on a sonos system then you should have the money to blow on an ipad mini.

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WTF?

WTF...?

IF you have something that can only run iOS 4 or 5 it should have been binned a long time ago - it will be a sack o crap compared to a new device. Time for an upgrade people.

I know I will be down voted for this but ancient tech is rubbish, do you self a favour and lose the many year old stuff.

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WTF?

Re: WTF...?

Get with it guys! Landfill Apple is cool. You're not doing your bit for consumerism if you're not throwing away at least one device every six months.

You may already have upgraded to a shiny new iThing. That doesn't mean an older iThing you've still got has to be thrown away when it could be useful as e.g. as a remote control for everyone in the house.

I WTF you back.

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Re: WTF...?

I have an old G4 mac running OSX 10.3.

It works absolutely fine for streaming my music collection over my home network. I 'd be gutted if a Windows update made that network share inaccessible to the old Mac.

Old tech can always be re-purposed!

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Re: WTF...?

Sir,

you are an idiot.

Kind regards,

j

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Headmaster

Re: WTF...?

IF you have something that can only run iOS 4 or 5 it should have been binned a long time ago - it will be a sack o crap compared to a new device.

But they currently work just fine as Sonos remotes.

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ancient tech is rubbish, do yourself a favour and lose the many year old stuff

Longrod_von_Hugendong, do you practice what you preach by eschewing all ancient tech, like inclined planes, levers, pulleys, screws, wedges, and wheels & axles?

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Re: WTF...?

Even better: I have an old G3 beefed up with a G4 upgrade card and running 9.2.2. It's for running those old games that will never be emulated by Sheepshaver due to lack of MMU support or PearPC due to the requirements of sound.

Old tech will always have a use.

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How about having two versions of the software? One for older iOS devices, with limited functionality, and one for later versions, with all the bells and whistles. The old version can just sit on the App Store without updates and taking no support from Sonos.

Is that so difficult?

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Anonymous Coward

"Is that so difficult?"

Well, yes, it is, because Apple will remove it from the store (if it ever gets on) because it does not support iOS7.

The real question is why Sonos don't simply allow people to use the old sonos software with the old apple software, i.e. why are they forcing an update rather than allowing people with tried and tested software to continue using it?

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jai
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But why should they bother with the effort? There's such a tiny amount of people using the old OS's that they probably don't care.

http://david-smith.org/iosversionstats/

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iShaft

You would think so, but this is the cost of your iLife (apologies if that iWord has already been used for an official app/service).. If you buy into this walled garden garbage, its assumed you must buy a new phone every 6-12 months, if you don't then its clear to Apple and the accessory makers that its your fault your stuff no longer works. The problem is that there are enough idiots who do it and enable Apple and the accessories makers to keep the gravy train rolling... just to get the same thing with a slightly faster chip and one showcase feature that mostly doesnt work properly (maps, siri or whatever). I feel sorry for anybody that has bought into the accessories as well.

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JLV
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WTF?

Re: iShaft

>a new phone every 6-12 months,

Upgrade every 6 months, with new iPhones only coming out every year or so???

Does dislike of Apple preclude common sense & math ability? FUD much?

Typically app updates can be maintained till your hardware loses theoretical/effective iOS refresh ability, about 2-4 years on average. You are at risk of new connectors (Lightning cable) but the flip side is old-style accessory discounts. Ran iOS 7 no prob on 3 yr old 4G.

Signed - for now at least - an Android Nexus5 user.

Siri... seriously? I know I don't wan to use a POS voice agent by any manufacturer, so why would I care? But if I did, standard cost/benef analysis would apply in evaluating purchase.

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Erm....from that very link:

"NB: On May 27th I dropped support for iOS versions below 6.0, as a result the data for older versions is no as representative of actual usage."

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@JLV

"Does dislike of Apple preclude common sense & math ability? FUD much?"

Er, yes.

It would appear so.

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jai
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On May 27th...

so... you are suggesting that in the last 2 months it is possible that lots of people have gone out and got old devices that run iOS4 and iOS5?

I doubt sufficient numbers of people have started to use the old OS in such a short space of time to have any meaningful impact upon those figures.

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Anonymous Coward

The Apple Store supports having older version of software for older devices, and older devices will be offered the latest version that supports their gear. So, really this is no *new* Sonos software releases will support old gear, but the older ones that did in the past will still be offered in the future per regular Apple store functionality.

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Apologize at least

This may just be something they cannot avoid due to other changes in the ecosystem beyond their control. I will be charitable and assume that is the case. Even so, they should be apologetic for deliberately bricking people's devices.

As for our friend above who thinks that everyone can afford the luxury of tossing things that have not worn out, here's a news flash: everyone can't. Know this: very little prevents you from joining the 'cannot' faction. Pray those with resources exceeding your own don't lift the basic cost of participation above your means by bricking things you can't afford to replace.

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Re: Apologize at least

If your buying Sonos kit you have far too much spare cash anyway to be fair, but it is very annoying.

I just went out and bought a new iPad mini to replace my old ipad that won't work any more. In fairness the ipad kept crashing anyway when used for stuff that wasn't sonos controller, and the new ipad was far from free, but I don't think claiming that its terrible it costs more money is something that should shock sonos users. :(

Still very annoying.

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Anonymous Coward

Sonos don't like supporting old stuff

Like DTS, an audio codec that's been around since the 1990s. Standard on 99% of Blu-ray discs but Sonos won't support it and you just get silence through your Playbar when trying to play surround sound.

Sonos only care about selling new kit these days, if you're already a customer then you're no longer a major source of revenue.

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Perfect use

Use as an exclusive Sonos controller - demoting it to a flashy remote controller - sounds the perfect use for an old iOS device: It doesn't need massive overhead in power or space to run lots of apps.

Apply have a lot of good things going for them, but keeping their kit doing their jobs over the three year mark can be a massive headache: Even though this isn't Apple's decision, it's their culture that helps to promote it - There aren't very many other companies that can keep their users marching to such an aggressive upgrade pace.

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FAIL

Re: Perfect use

>There aren't very many other companies that can keep their users

>marching to such an aggressive upgrade pace

Except maybe a small Korean company you may have heard of.. Oh - and a Seattle-based software and devices company.

And HP/Dell/Lenovo - new models every 3 months.

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Re: Perfect use

Seen how many 14 year old XP installs there are out in the field, even after the April cut off date of security patches? Throw in the still supported Vista and 7 installs, 2 years after Windows 8 hit the ground, and I think you'd have to agree that's not quite in the same league as Apple (Much to Microsoft's annoyance, I'd imagine...)

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Sonos user here.

This is annoying.

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Alarmist nonsense

The only devices that can't be upgraded to at least iOS 6 are the original iPhone and iPhone 3G or the original iPad or 3rd gen iPod touch.

All other iPhones (3GS, 4, 4s, 5, 5c, 5s) and all iPads (2 onwards) and all iPods (4th gen onwards) will work just fine. Who can afford a Sonos system but is still using a 5 year old iPhone?

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jai
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For a specific value of "many"

It means that many older iPads, iPhones

Where by 'many' you mean 'a small number'

A quick google shows third-party analysis that iOS 7 has achieved 90% adoption. So the number of people still using an iOS less than 6 is not a huge amount.

If you're forking out the money for Sonos kit, you can afford to upgrade your iDevice at the same time

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Re: For a specific value of "many"

But what about those who are using their old devices purely as Sonos remotes? Will they appear on your stats? Quite probably not.

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Re: For a specific value of "many"

I have an iPod touch 2nd gen that I use in my car as a music player. That was my last iDevice. The iPod touch Gen3 was released a couple months after I got it and it was not very long before app updates were not available.

On the other hand my 20 year old speakers (with wires!) still work fine.

Maybe Apple should just buy Sonos, it sounds like they fit well together.

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FAIL

Not so rare.

IOS developers regularly drop support for older versions of IOS without bothering to tell their users. At least Sonos tell you before you upgrade. The cloud idiots at Barracuda/Copy dropped support for anything before IOS 7 with no prior warning at all. The itunes webpage for the app was claiming support for IOS 5 for days after the update was released. It was made into a much larger problem by the fact that the final version which support IOS 5 was so full of bugs and crap code that it simply will not load. When the itunes system offers to install 'the last version your ancient hardware supports' it will install a completely duff version. I asked Copy about this and they just came out with the traditional trite nonsense about not being able to support all OS versions forever. Idiots. They don't need to support all OS versions forever, all they need to do is warn people BEFORE they drop support NOT AFTER.

Postscript: since I can no longer use Copy on ONE of my devices I won't be renewing my contract for ANY of my devices... How much would it have cost Barracuda to add a line to the update page saying "No longer supports anything prior to IOS 7" ????

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not so rare.

Sounds like the problem is not that they dropped support but that their iOS 5 version is bad. You are confusing two different issues. If the last iOS 5 version worked well, you wouldn't be posting anything about this.

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JLV
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Re: Not so rare.

Could be worse. Samsung had a perfectly functional, _bug-free_, full-control iOS remote app for my Samsung smart TV.

One day, upgrade 3.0 came out and... dumbed the iOS app down to pretty much volume & channels only.

Love being a pawn in those 2's lawyer spaffs. This is something I'll remember next Samsung purchase eval time.

Nexus phone's remote app works, at least. Maybe Samsung can get more aggressive and make it exclusive to their app store only next time?

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Re: Not so rare.

No, same problem. The end result of their update & dropping IOS 5+6 was that no device running anything prior to IOS 7 will work. Period.

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iMute

iGuess iPeople will not like this

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There is always...

Solitare. It works just fine on my original iPad. Yes, there are more apps that are functional as well. To be sure the later versions have features like cameras and the like, but why aren't they compatible with "iOS the older"? Seems as though everything has a finite life. Look, even Linux dropped support for 386's a while back. Thankfully if I feel the need, I can go back a kernel rev or two and get someting that works.

Me? I've still got a Quadra 840AV running Mac OS 7.6 (that I don't turn on much, but still...).

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Re: There is always...

Damn, I was using OS 8+9 in high school and that was over fifteen years ago.

That's some old kit you have there, sir.

(LCIIIs, and I can't remember what Quadras, and also two classrooms full of monochrome - yes, monochrome - Mac Classics)

Oof, nostalgia trip there...and looking at release dates of those make me feel old....

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JLV
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Paris Hilton

Confused

What's getting upgraded, the app on the phone or the firmware on speakers as well?

If the app, first you could choose not to upgrade it, so that you don't have this problem.

Second, you _won't_ be able to upgrade if you are on iOS under reqs, update doesn't install. So... you'll have to stick to old app on old device, as per some comments above. I've had that happen, being cut off due to old iOS. Old app stays.

What you won't have is an ongoing set of updates to your old-OS app. And Sonos is being transparent. Is that the storm in this here kettle?

Now, if there's a speaker firmware incompatibility bit to this story, Reg was not being clear about it. and could you... not install it?

All the Apple/Sonos bashing is bit rich from Android users whose vendors are notoriously bad at OS upgrades (one reason my current phone is a Google Nexus cuz at least those get Android updates).

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Re: Confused

Unfortunately it's usually both the app AND the firmware at the same time and it renders older versions of the app unusable once updated.

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TV Remote Analogy

"Imagine if your TV supplier sent you a message saying your remote control would no longer work once the TV software was updated?"

This is a false analogy. The reality is more like your TV manufacturer sends you a message saying your old remote control will no longer work once the TV software is updated but you can pick up a new one from your local electronics store free of charge.

Sonos do not make iThings only the control app that goes with their overpriced audio equipment. You may well find that the reason for this change is that Apple are forcing their hand. Or that they want to use iOS features not available in the old versions in order to give you a better experience.

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Re: TV Remote Analogy

Where exactly do you get your free-of-charge iThings from?

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I keep my iPad 1 around purely for use as a Sonos remote and kitchen plex receiver, so guess what? It won't appear in web browsing stats.

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This is exactly the problem. I doubt very much that more than a handful of Reg readers haven't upgraded their phone or tablet in the last 5 years. But the ones who have may repurpose the outdated devices to functions (like running Sonos exclusively) that are well within the abilities of an old device. And it's perfect - your new iPad is your personal device, while the old iPad is the family/guests coffeetable remote.

I nearly bought some old iPod Touches off of eBay to replace my original Sonos CR100s, whose batteries are nearly dead. Good thing I didn't, or I'd be boohooing right now as well.

I doubt Sonos has any malicious intent, like funneling more of our hard-earned monies into Apple's pockets (Sonos would rather have those dollars). I'd be curious, though, why old Sonos iOS apps won't be able to talk to the updated Sonos device software. If it will make the Sonos app more responsive, I'm all for it! The Sonos app has never impressed with its speed.

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Its not just Sonos

They are all at it.

Spotify doesn't work on my original ipad - well, I can install the app, but it stops playing music after about 30 seconds. Every few months they release a newer version of their app, each new version makes it run even slower on my iphone 4.

I don't know what on earth they are doing that makes it think for 1 minute+ before even showing my playlists.

If I click a button, the whole thing whirs to a stop for multi second pauses before doing anything.

The app has a filter function for filtering a playlist, it doesn't do anything on my phone - apparently, it is too difficult to filter a list of 1000 items on such limited hardware.

If I go to search for a song, going to the search page, typing in ten characters or so, pressing search, and then queueing the track takes literally minutes.

I know from using it on super recent hardware that the app works perfectly on them - but this is a fucking music app. My first MP3 player was an Archos (FM Recorder), which had an 11 MHz CPU and miniscule memory, it is shocking that this insanely powerful computer cannot play some bloody tunes and put a picture on the screen without using every last resource on the damn thing.

And for this I pay £120 a year..

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Apple recently added back support for old apps on App Store...

So that customers with old unsupported devices could continue downloading the latest available version of any app previously compiled for the old iOS versions those devices are stuck at.

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Re: Apple recently added back support for old apps on App Store...

Sometimes the last available version is the bug infested version that won't even load properly.

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If you still use iOS 4 or 5 I doubt you even know or care who or what Sonos is.

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I bought my first SONOS equipment before I bought my first iPhone in 2008.

Interestingly, SONOS haven't upgraded the basic hardware to support higher capacity libraries or better indexing in that period, yet they seem to think that Apple the intervening 5-6 generations of Apple hardware are disposable.

With new media streaming functions coming from all quarters, disposing of SONOS gets easier and easier.

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Less than 2% of Apple iOS devices use iOS5 or less.

Story point: Yawn.

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Sonos legacy support...

This isn't half as annoying as Sonos moving away from supporting the dedicated CR100 and CR200 controllers that they used to sell purely for controlling the system. I own two of each, and it is clear that at some point in the future, Sonos are going to dump those as well.

They worked much better than the old iOS controllers, as they were connected to the system all the time - no lag while the iOS device connected to your wifi and then looked for the Sonos.

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Re: Sonos legacy support...

The CR100 has already been "put to the sword", as Sonos decided about a year ago (IIRC) to kill it off. So, if you did a "Sonos update" to your Zone Players, the CR100 wouldn't work with the same functionality.

https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2302/~/important-information-about-the-sonos-controller-100-(cr100)

But this is of course an "optional" update - I have 3 CR100's and as my Sonos system works fine, there's no need to update....I might be missing out on a few bells and whistles, but I doubt it, as the main limitations that Sonos have, haven't been "improved" over subsequent generations of updates.

(eg: No hardware support for directly connected USB devices (such as external hard drives/memory sticks), limit to number of tracks available in the library, limited number of file types supported).

Can I assume that the Sonos' Apple app is also manually updated...so if you have a iOS4 or 5 device, you don't HAVE to update the app ?

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