Diminished support for Android 4.x (and prior)

Discussions around the Android version of the Member Tools application
russellhltn
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Diminished support for Android 4.x (and prior)

Postby russellhltn » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:02 pm

I've been given a heads up that LDS Tools on Android 4.x (and before) is likely to end at some point in the future. The issue is getting the security protocol TLS 1.2 to work in Android 4. Things change and there's a need to get off the prior versions of TLS.

The church is aware of the number of people with Android 4 devices, but with the trade-off between them and security, security won.

Currently, 4.4 is stuck on LDS Tools 3.4.1 and can't upgrade to 3.5. But given that this is a security issue, 3.4.1 might be cut off completely at some time in the future.

If you have an older device, it's time to keep an eye on the specials and get a phone with a newer OS that's still receiving patches. Not only for church security, but to have a more secure device - especially if you do any financial transactions on it.
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ulupoi
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Re: Diminished support for Android 4.x (and prior)

Postby ulupoi » Wed Oct 31, 2018 5:33 am

Good post. More information here: https://tech.lds.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=32020

nhbass
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Re: Diminished support for Android 4.x (and prior)

Postby nhbass » Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:52 pm

While in the LDS Tools calendar I Refreshed it and the calendar went blank and would not display again. When I tried to sync I was kicked out. I thought I'd unstall LDS Tools and reinstall it but soon found I cound not install it again. I got a message saying my device was to old. I am shocked the church, of all people would force it's members to spend hundreds of dollars to utilize their tools. I'm on an Android 4.4.4 device, but I would hope the church would have their technical people find a way to update the security for older devices instead forcing us to buy new when everything else on the device works fine. There doesn't seem to even be a way to install the older version of LDS Tools, so I'm just out of luck. Not happy, that's for sure, very disappointed.

davesudweeks
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Re: Diminished support for Android 4.x (and prior)

Postby davesudweeks » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:40 pm

nhbass wrote:While in the LDS Tools calendar I Refreshed it and the calendar went blank and would not display again. When I tried to sync I was kicked out. I thought I'd unstall LDS Tools and reinstall it but soon found I cound not install it again. I got a message saying my device was to old. I am shocked the church, of all people would force it's members to spend hundreds of dollars to utilize their tools. I'm on an Android 4.4.4 device, but I would hope the church would have their technical people find a way to update the security for older devices instead forcing us to buy new when everything else on the device works fine. There doesn't seem to even be a way to install the older version of LDS Tools, so I'm just out of luck. Not happy, that's for sure, very disappointed.


It isn't the church. Android (and Apple) could provide security patches for obsolete versions of their software, but they choose to not do that. However, running LDSTools on an OS with known security issues puts everyone in your ward at risk of a data breach through your device (depending on your calling). I don't have any special insight as I'm just a ward clerk in Oklahoma, but in reading many of the posts in the forums, it is clear that the church has taken the stand that security of private membership data is more important than individual user convenience. And owning a digital device is not required to fulfill any calling in the church (in my opinion).

I own an older tablet that has also lost access to LDSTools, though I still can use LCR via the web browser if I want to. A bit inconvenient? yes. Am I unhappy at the church over it? no. If I feel strongly enough about it, I can purchase a newer device. For now, I'll live with what I have.

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Re: Diminished support for Android 4.x (and prior)

Postby drepouille » Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:14 am

Absolutely correct, Brother Dave. It is the nature of technology and the free market that older devices become unsupported after several years. It is simply not cost effective for any technology company to continue to support legacy software and hardware forever. You really can't use Windows XP or any older version of Windows these days, and even Windows 7 will become unsupported in 2020. If your home router is no longer supported with fresh firmware updates from the OEM, then you should replace it, even if it appears to work normally. The same principle applies to all mobile devices, which should be replaced when they become unsupported by their OEMs.

Computer security is extremely important to the Church. We should not expect the Church to continue to support obsolete and unsecure software and hardware versions. Cyber Monday is coming. New technology is becoming cheaper every year. Write your letter to Santa.

Oh, and when you do recycle your computers and mobile devices, please make sure you properly wipe all data from them.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

russellhltn
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Re: Diminished support for Android 4.x (and prior)

Postby russellhltn » Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:07 am

drepouille wrote:It is the nature of technology and the free market that older devices become unsupported after several years.

The lifespan of PCs is somewhere around 5 years (at least that's how often the church changes them out). But for mobile devices, it appears to be around 3 years. You can hold out for a bit longer, but not by much.
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drepouille
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Re: Diminished support for Android 4.x (and prior)

Postby drepouille » Tue Nov 13, 2018 10:54 am

russellhltn wrote:But for mobile devices, it appears to be around 3 years. You can hold out for a bit longer, but not by much.


Exactly why I refuse to pay "hundreds of dollars" for any mobile device. They are disposable technology. A $1000 phone is insanity.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

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sbradshaw
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Re: Diminished support for Android 4.x (and prior)

Postby sbradshaw » Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:17 am

russellhltn wrote:
drepouille wrote:It is the nature of technology and the free market that older devices become unsupported after several years.

The lifespan of PCs is somewhere around 5 years (at least that's how often the church changes them out). But for mobile devices, it appears to be around 3 years. You can hold out for a bit longer, but not by much.

Android 4.4 was first released 5 years ago (devices that support Android 4.4 or later go back 6 years). Android 5 (which is still supported by all of the Church's apps) came out about 4 years ago (devices that support Android 5 or later go back 5 years).
Last edited by sbradshaw on Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
Samuel Bradshaw • If you desire to serve God, you are called to the work.

ulupoi
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Re: Diminished support for Android 4.x (and prior)

Postby ulupoi » Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:22 am

I feel for the original poster, though. Some warning would have eased the transition a lot. Instead, people found the app to suddenly not work, with no explanation. People have spent many fruitless hours trying to troubleshoot what seemed to them to be a problem with their device, only to find out that the actual problem was that the Church had withdrawn support for their app on their device. All those hours they spent trying to fix the problem were wasted. That can lead to a lot of frustration. Moreover, there are people who use their Kindle Fires primarily for the Church apps, and for some of them, $50 is a lot of money. If they had just bought one of those things, they must have felt burned.

Davesudweeks's suggestion is a good one. Use an Internet browser on the old device to log into lds.org, and get the same information that way. Won't help much when you're not connected to WiFi, but that's life.

drepouille's point is also well-taken. Paying a lot for a device that won't be supported with security updates in just a few years can be a real problem. It's definitely something to keep in mind when shopping for a device.

davesudweeks
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Re: Diminished support for Android 4.x (and prior)

Postby davesudweeks » Tue Nov 13, 2018 11:42 am

ulupoi, I feel for the original poster as well - I am in the same boat as one who lost access on my Android 4.4 device after the fact. However, I have read that the group supporting these apps is very small and I suspect they are likely overwhelmed by the workload and just don't have the ability to provide updates on status.

Often, things like training materials and communication are the last things to be worked on. But, it is what it is and I appreciate their efforts. I hope the Lord will be as patient with me as I am trying to be with the programmers who I am sure are doing their very best given the requirements they are tasked to meet.


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