It’s rare that Sonos puts out an update that I would classify as having “big” features. The last big app update I can recall was the addition of Trueplay, which is supposed to tune your speakers by using your phone as a microphone as you walk around the room.
Yesterday Sonos rolled out an app and firmware update that allows for better quality of music through Rhapsody (do people still use Rhapsody? It’s like Napster age isn’t it?), iPhone peek and pop, and most importantly, iPhone lock screen controls.
As far as usability is concerned, the ability to control your music from the lock screen is huge. My second biggest gripe with Sonos has always been that in order to do something as simple as skip a song you have to unlock the phone, find the app, open the app, wait for it to load, then skip the song. Reducing this to two taps is a giant improvement and almost as fast as yelling “Alexa skip” across the house.
I continue to root for Sonos to innovate and stay relevant. They make an amazing product that is still a leader in whole house audio, and with the exception of the wildly overpriced Connect, their prices are competitive with others in the market. While the Play:1 will continue to compete with Amazon and Google for market share, the rest of Sonos’ lineup is far too high end to worry about voice assistants. But features like lock screen controls shouldn’t have to be a celebrated update, they should have been in the app 18 months ago.
For more on the update, check out the Sonos page here.