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Arlo stopped working on LineageOS (Android 7.1)

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arlo_mdfamily
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Arlo this is completely unacceptable business practice.

 

I have been running Samsung SM-T520 for many years with Arlo.  A few months after purchase of my first Arlo product (Arlo Baby Monitor), you removed support for older Android OS; (my device was running Android 4.4 kitkat);  As such, I used APK mirror to run an older version of the app for as long as possible.

 

Earlier this year you completely broke the "legacy services" that served up this older version of the application.  Fine.

 

Admittedly, our Samsung Tablet is very old, but it is completely functional! Running such an old version of Android operating system is (I agree) insecure.  So it was time to wipe it and install Lineage OS. https://wiki.lineageos.org/devices/n2awifi/install.  This works GREAT, gives me a later version of base Android (7.1), AND has some supported security updates (at least for the near future).

 

There is absolutely no reason for you to force your customers to purchase new hardware.

 

TODAY, I logged in and AGAIN Arlo is making my life difficult with this message:

> "The Arlo app cannot be run because we cannot confirm that your device meets Arlo security standards. This may be because your device is rooted, has an unlocked bootloader or is running a custom ROM."

, then the app closes, any attempt so far to retry/re-open/restart is failing.

 

I am no longer able to access Arlo services!  Please STOP THIS PRACTICE.  Remove this check.  It is absolutely unnecessary. _IF_ you want to present a warning to users, as a banner/message, fine/great!  But DO NOT prevent me from using my PURCHASED $300 Arlo product.

 

I have submitted a support request as well.  FYI community, if Arlo doesn't provide a fix within 14 business days I will be contacting the BBB.

Model: ABC1000 | Arlo Baby
arlo_mdfamily
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NOTE: workaround is to remove Arlo, and pull down an older version

 

`Arlo 2.20.2_28190 October 1, 2020 ` https://www.apkmirror.com/apk/arlo-technologies-inc/arlo-2/arlo-2-2-20-2_28190-release/

 

This is NOTE a good workaround - Arlo needs to fix the root cause of this practice.

jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

I don't understand how or why you think every vendor must support every old OS - I don't know of ANY that do. While it's true that old devices can be still very useful, that doesn't mean you can expect software to be able to be compatible with every API change introduced. 

 

As an aside, LineageOS is officially unsupported although I do use v17.1 (Android 10) on my Nexus 6. The Arlo app has an issue of crashing after viewing a few videos in the library. Oh, well, it's not supported so...

nizmoz44
Star
Star

This is why I was glad I finally ripped my Arlos out (I had the original Arlo Pro for the last 4 years), and haven't liked how Arlo decides how they can just change stuff for the worst without notifying their customers.  I've moved on to a competitor and couldn't be happier.

BernardM
Aspirant
Aspirant

After 3 years of use, my Arlo app no ​​longer works. I have the same problems. Netgear is forcing me to buy a new smartphone. How long will the new one work? Unacceptable practice!!!

 

Text on my phone in Dutch (my native language): De Arlo-app kan niet worden uitgevoerd omdat we niet kunnen bevestigen dat je apparaat voldoet aan de Arlo-veiligheidsnormen. Dit kan komen doordat de apparaat is geroot, een niet-vergrendelde  bootloader heeft of een aanpaste ROM uitvoert.

My smartphone: Blackview P2 Android 7.0

Model: VMB3000 | Arlo Base Station
Paolag17
Aspirant
Aspirant
I have the same problem. They should support all iOS versions
jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

Not gonna happen, just like Apple and Microsoft don't support all older devices and OSes.

BernardM
Aspirant
Aspirant

So, my smartfhone was to " old", unsafe or whatever to function with my Arlo Basestation VMB3000. I bought a new smartphone with Android 10: Xiaomi Redmi Note 9: one of the best budget smatphones at this moment.  Guess what: it cannot find  the base station! It seems to me Netgear/Arlo no longer provides any support for Android users. 

Model: VMB3000 | Arlo Base Station
ShayneS
Arlo Moderator
Arlo Moderator

Hi @BernardM

 

  Please contact the Support Team to further investigate this issue with your new phone. You will find several options for contacting support in the provided link. Arlo Tech Support

arlo_mdfamily
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Star

@all, I think some of you have missed the point. Arlo has introduced a technical CHECK without giving its customers the option to disable or bypass it.  This check prevents usage on a non-standard device.  Certainly if Arlo doesn't want to support it, they don't have to; (read: if you call with problems, and you're running on LineageOS, OK I guess Arlo can say sorry we dont' support that) -- BUT -- here they're just explicitly checking and stopping the application from working.  Forcing us into the endless hardware upgrade cycle that Android demands.  Wasteful.

BernardM
Aspirant
Aspirant
It is impossible for me to approach support. 
I mean a person who answers my questions. (The topic I am looking for is not listed.)
I suggest: Arlo / Netgear contact me. You have my email. or better: answer me in this forum of the Arlo community and explain how I can make my smartphone work again like before. (Android 7.0)
Model: VMB3000 | Arlo Base Station
BernardM
Aspirant
Aspirant

Hello, iI am waiting now for a respond for 10 days. To solve my problems I received this message from Netgear: An Arlo Support expert will review your query and respond within 1-2 business days. (frankly, that doesn't mean my problem is going to be solved...)
An additional problem is now that my Arlo base station no longer functions "Off Line" I can view recordings with a pc until a few days ago. Netgear what are you doing ??? Green light stays on for 10 seconds, then a few blinks, them on for 10 sweconds and so on???? 

ShayneS
Arlo Moderator
Arlo Moderator

Hi @BernardM

 

I have escalated your case & someone from support will be reaching out to you as soon as possible. I have provided your escalations number here: 42064288

mamarcac
Apprentice
Apprentice

@jguerdat wrote:

Not gonna happen, just like Apple and Microsoft don't support all older devices and OSes.



Apple supports iPhones for 5 years, they're known worldwide for their support. MS supports OS's for 8-10 years, that's literally their business model.

 

Arlo abandons hardware after 3 years.

 

Get your facts straight.

arlo_mdfamily
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@Arlo -- his this check been removed yet?

BernardM
Aspirant
Aspirant

I have been in contact with Arlo by mail and telephone.

Basestation works again after reset. These were the instructions from Alo:

To reset the base station, first remove it from your account by going to settings, select base station then "Remove device". Then take a pin and hold the reset button on the back of the base station for 30 seconds. When it has booted up and the left and middle LEDs are green, you can re-add it to your account.

Seems to be simple but it toke me hours.

 

BUT

 

The Arlo-app still doesn't function on my smartphone. I can see the camera  captures on my home pc at home but that is quite stupid for a security camera. I want to see them when I am NOT at home: on my smartphone.

 

The Arlo-app on my phone keeps giving the message (Dutch): De Arlo-app kan niet worden uitgevoerd omdat we niet kunnen bevestigen dat je apparaat voldoet aan de Arlo-veiligheidsnormen. Dit kan komen doordat de apparaat is geroot, een niet-vergrendelde  bootloader heeft of een aanpaste ROM uitvoert.

 

Translated this gives something like: The Arlo app cannot be run as we cannot confirm the device meets Arlo safety standards. This could be due to the device being rooted, an immersive boot loader attached to a pasted ROM that is running.

 

I reinstalled the app several times. Message keeps coming.

 

This is after mid october. I had several contacts with Arlo by mail and by phone. Still without result or a solution.

 

I don't know much about computers and smartphonesI. I am not a computer specialist at all. Bootloader, Rom, Rooted: it's all chinese to me!

 

WHAT I DO KNOW is the following: I bought Arlo a few years ago for about 500 €. I tested it and bought Alrlo because it seemed useful to me, and it works!!!

After these changes in mid october from Netgear the system is for the bin, I am afraid.

It keeps making recordings but I can no longer see them on my smarthone.

I feel robbed.

 

I can buy another smartphone, spend a few hundred euros, but who can guarantee that the Arlo app will work. Even netgear cannot guarantee this, unless Netgear publishes a list of compatible smartphones. They had even better published it before I made the purchase.

 

WHAT I DO KNOW is that a new phone is not the solution: The app doesn't work on my wife's phone either.

And what if after a few years the same joke starts to happen again?

 

Come on, Arlo / Netgear: do something about this!

Model: VMB3000 | Arlo Base Station
GeekBear80
Initiate
Initiate

Arlo stopped working here too. It went silent two days ago when the notifications suddenly stopped. I checked the device yesterday and the cute little message cited above appeared. All devices but one (a Nokia 6.1 with Android 10 but without any Arlo app installed) in this household are incompatible - all of a sudden. We are talking three smartphones that just quit working simply because Arlo decided to suddenly change the rule of the game by implementing SafetyNet checks.

 

We bought the first Arlo system (Arlo Pro) before SafetyNet had become a thing (Android 5.1 and 6.0 were the only games in town) and the original app (later named Arlo Legacy and discontinued) worked fine. No issues whatsoever and the decision was made to add more cameras and even a complete system for another location, entirely based on the decent reliability at the time.

 

The new Arlo app worked well until December since it didn't use SafetyNet and the only way out has been to downgrade but the probability is 100% that there will be a date when a message to the effect of "Arlo can't run because it has to be updated. Please update..." followed by "Arlo can't run because of root/unlocked bootloader/custom ROM" thus making two systems completely useless. 

 

Those users that defend Arlo by arguing about "old devices" and whatever the excuse may be miss the point. It would be one thing if a NEW Arlo system would require a new app that only runs on Android [insert whatever new version] and that could be understandable but we are not talking about such a case here. We are talking about existing Arlo systems that stop working for artificial reasons. Suddenly implementing SafetyNet is an artificial restriction, which literally means that Arlo is opinionated about the system configuration of a client device (it is similar to an application that would stop running on a computer because of an Administrator account being present). 

 

The same applies to a future scenario when Arlo disable apps and thus effectively bricking systems that have been working for years by attempting to force the user to install an update, which in turn require a new device. I.e. "You need to buy a new smartphone/tablet in order to continue to use the Arlo system you bought five years ago".

 

It is also interesting that Arlo require the use of an ad infested version of Android and also one with carrier installed "value added applications" (also called bloatware) by attempting to block the app from running on devices with custom ROMs (such as LineageOS), unlocked bootloader and/or root. The thought hit me that Arlo want to sell user data as an extra revenue source, which is a practice that PrivacyGuard in LineageOS prevent (a major reason to block LineageOS from using the app since the ROM in question is a lethal threat to that particular revenue stream). The so called "secure" Android (i.e. locked bootloader, stock ROM and no root) that Arlo is talking about is way less secure and a serious privacy intrusion due to data mining and forced ads not to mention aforementioned bloatware (installed by the manufacturer and/or carrier depending on device and source).

 

The current condition where Arlo put up artificial restrictions is a major reason to stay clear of the system. It is completely unacceptable to have a "security" system that stop working all of a sudden or one that require constant hardware upgrades or the purchase of dedicated devices just because of artificial "checks" that break the app just because some arbitrary conditions "aren't met" - conditions and requirements that didn't exist when the system was bought in the first place.

 

What Arlo must do is the following:

1. Remove SafetyNet from the app - there is no valid excuse or reason for an app to use this feature (SafetyNet is a serious violation of user rights and can be considered an anti-user feature).

2. Don't implement artificial blocks on "old" Arlo app versions. Arlo apps "from the system release" should be allowed to work (i.e. no forced updates just to keep using the system). I.e. an Arlo Pro bought in 2016 should be able to function with a smartphone from the same time (there are no reason why an Arlo system purchased when Marshmallow were the latest would stop working under that Android version). If new Arlo systems require a new app with new version requirements - fine and OK but artificially "bricking" older systems is not.

3. Never express opinions with artificial blocks about "bootloaders", "root" or "custom ROM" - it is not the business of Arlo to have an opinion about whether I did unlock my BL, installed Magisk (root) or flashed the device. It is as unacceptable as if Arlo would have opinions about my computer (such as running Insider builds of Windows, using an Administrator account, disable disk encryption on the C: drive and so on). Arlo should provide a simple app without any other "checks" than those related to minimum and targeted versions of Android (such as minimum 5.0 Lollipop, targeted version 10 Q). 

4. If an "old" Arlo app is depreciated and a "new" app is replacing it - allow the "old" app to work "as is" with old systems and roll out the new app for new systems only. It is unacceptable that an Arlo system that did work fine for the last five years with a specific smartphone suddenly turn into a paper weight because of "legacy" app being disabled.

 

Demanding "unrooted stock ROM with locked bootloader" for the Arlo app is just unacceptable. It literally means that Arlo put up serious restrictions on what the user is "allowed" to do and not do with their device. 

 

If this SafetyNet issue isn't fixed, two Arlo systems with five cameras each will be bricked and replaced with IP cameras that can run with open source apps (preferrably from F-Droid). I am not going to start buying "Arlo compatible" smartphones with ads and data mining just in order to use the app. Buying an iPhone is not an alternative either just for the Arlo app. Even if Apple is more privacy focused in stock iOS, the key issue here is that Arlo put up artificial restrictions and the basic issue remain (i.e. that if I buy an iPhone 12 with a new Arlo system, I can be sure that it will be "artificially restricted" later down the road, i.e. I need to buy an iPhone 14 because my 12 is no longer "compatible"). 

 

It is time for Arlo to change. Killing the "legacy" app was bad, having opinions about system configurations is worse.

 

 

jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

My Nexus 6 with Lineage 15.1 works fine. At some point it won't - oh, well, it's like every other software thing out there where support is dropped due to age, not to mention changes in APIs that preclude supporting every damn device ever made. This has been true since the beginning of software.  Model T parts can be hard to find, too.

 

We all understand the issue of old devices no longer working as they had been and the cost associated with having to upgrade yet again. It's not a plot designed to keep you up at night.

arlo_mdfamily
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 @Arlo - what is the status?