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Sonos refreshes app for simplicity on mobile, desktop

A cleaner look with improved ease of use is coming to Sonos owners, and they’ll even be able to use it on computers, too.

If you’re someone using a Sonos and wondering if the app could get any easier, your wish may just about to come true.

Finding music on the multiroom music system that is Sonos has felt a little clunky over the past few years, possibly as the ecosystem grew. There are more services than ever and more things to listen on the speaker system, not to mention a growing number of speakers to add, whether it’s the mobile Move 2 or something that offers spatial sound such as the Era 300.

Somewhere between all of that, there’s the app that controls everything, and it hasn’t felt great. The speakers are excellent, but the app has been progressively getting worse, with regular disconnects, crashes, and just a user experience that hasn’t been amazing.

Fortunately, it seems Sonos is aware and has been working on that.

In May, Sonos users can expect a new version to roll out, made to be easier to use to find and play music from the over 100 music services available, and supporting all current Sonos devices, plus the few existing models that jumped over to S2 back in 2020.

Sonos told Pickr that S1 will live on if you need to use it, but that its development will stop, with S2 simply becoming “Sonos”, and echoing that simpler logic by become easier to use overall.

“We heard this from our listeners loud and clear. They want easy access,” said Jen Iudice, Director of User Research at Sonos, telling Pickr that the app update was about getting access to relevant content in one place.

The experience will provide a cleaner approach for finding music and playing it across the multiple speakers, with much of the research found through testing with less savvy users.

Sonos has seen so many iterations and changes over the years, it can be all too easy to forget where it came from.

The 22 year old company can now legally drink in the country it was born in (America), and produces some seriously well-made technology. Almost every Sonos gadget reviewed at Pickr gets high scores, and that’s a testament to the work the company puts in.

Iudice told Pickr that this has largely been reflected in the app update coming shortly, with research that has seen six methods, over 200 participants, over 2600 beta participants surveyed, and a good 13 months of research and development applied.

That’s just for an app, all to make the experience of using a sound system better.

“Everyone wants their experience to be easier,” she told Pickr.

That experience will be extended to desktops, as well. While the mobiles we rely on day in and day out are the main devices to control a music system, Sonos will support the desktop with a web app in the new version, and that’s interesting for two reasons.

One, it brings back the Sonos desktop app, something that has largely been missing in action for a while now. The other reason a desktop web app is interesting is because being web-based opens up the opportunity for Sonos to implement remote web controls for Sonos speakers when you’re not there.

Much like how Spotify subscribers can control speakers remotely using Spotify Connect, it is entirely possible that Sonos could roll out remote support on its web app at some point in the future.

When asked if remote web app support would be added to the new Sonos app, a representative for Sonos told Pickr that:

We’re continuing to explore additional features and will roll out more updates to the app over time, but we don’t have anything to share on this.

That’s suggestive remote control for when you’re not home won’t be that at launch in May, but could come later on.

For now, the new app experience is set to roll out on May 7, boasting improvements to how you find and play music, control group volumes, and even letting you control and curate your own home screen menu for the app, as well.

The new Sonos app rolling out on May 7, 2024.
The new Sonos app rolling out on May 7, 2024.
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