Sonos Unveils New App and Web Controls; Desktop Apps Sunsetting

Sonos App Redesign Era 300

Sonos has announced a major overhaul of its mobile app, introducing a modernized platform that combines services, content, and system controls into one customizable home screen. Yes, the previous rumours have come true.

This significant update aims to streamline the user experience by providing quick and easy access to over 100 streaming services, playlists, stations, and albums. This all-new Sonos will be available for download globally on May 7, and supports all S2 products.

“We introduced the world to multi-room music over 20 years ago, and are proudly playing in over 15 million homes today. As we are always pushing ourselves to innovate, and listening to feedback from our passionate customers, we felt now was the time to reimagine our app experience,” said Patrick Spence, CEO of Sonos, in a statement to iPhone in Canada.

“After thorough development and testing, we are confident this redesigned app is easier, faster and better. It once again raises the bar for the home music listening experience, and sets up our ability to expand into new categories and experiences,” added Spence.

The revamped Sonos app brings a host of new user-centric features, including a streamlined home screen that says good-bye to the previous tab navigation, customizable content rows, a universal search function across all streaming libraries, and enhanced system control with a simple and intuitive swipe-up gesture.

Additionally, the introduction of a web app offers flexibility for users to manage their Sonos system from any modern web browser.

Sonos Web App

As for existing desktop apps, such as the Sonos app on Mac? Sonos told us they will be sunsetting later this year, “giving Sonos customers ample time to migrate to the web controller.” Sad news if you were a fan of a native Sonos app.

Here are screenshots of the new Sonos app shared with us. You can see it’s a much cleaner look with faster access to speaker controls and search, located near the bottom of the app, for easy reach by your thumbs, explained Tucker Severson, Director, Product Management, to iPhone in Canada during a one-on-one walkthrough of the new app last week.

You can see tabs are gone and it’s a much cleaner look, both in light and dark mode. Now playing offers easy to read controls and you can swipe up from anywhere in the app to get to your speaker controls. Very slick stuff indeed.

sonos app 2024

Search has been redesigned and you can set your preferred music provider of choice. You can also see redesigned System Settings for quick access to your speaker controls:

sonos app 2024 b

Severson said this new Sonos app was rebuilt from the ground up, focused on allowing customers to quickly find content and personalizing their set up. This allows the company to “evolve at a more rapid pace than in the past,” he said to iPhone in Canada. Sonos wants customers to be able to control their system with confidence and quickly see what’s playing, and at what volume.

We asked Sonos about bringing support for Dynamic Island on the iPhone and also Live Activities for controls. We were told the new app does not support Live Activities, but this is something Sonos is “certainly interested in.” Take that for what it’s worth.

As for a native Sonos Apple Watch app? We asked if that was in the works. Sonos said that’s another area they have yet to support, but pointed at some third-party apps that are using the company’s APIs.

Sonos App Redesign Roam

As for the new Sonos web app? It will be replacing all Sonos desktop apps later this year. Severson told us the web app is “pretty lightweight” and also pretty modest when it comes to memory and CPU usage. That’s because most of the heavy lifting is on the Sonos system itself. The web app just sends commands to the home system.

“Today’s streaming experience has become fragmented across multiple platforms due to varied content offerings, algorithmic curation, or simply the desire to not recreate playlists in multiple locations,” said Maxime Bouvat-Merlin, Chief Product Officer of Sonos, in a statement.  “As the only audio brand with an open platform offering extensive choice, Sonos makes it easy to control your system and curate your favorite sounds all in one place. Our reimagined app delivers the industry’s most streamlined streaming experience by bringing a world of content and intuitive control to the Home screen.”

Sonos customers have been asking for a revamped S2 app and this all-new app will be available on May 7 for download. According to the Sonos app demo we’ve seen, it’s a super slick app and we can’t wait to try it.

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