Sonos Updates Its Controller App, Bringing Whole Home Music Control Into The Jony Ive Age

Sonos has updated their decidedly dated and frustrating app to reflect a more modern, user-forward aesthetic. What’s changed? Pretty much everything.

If you’ve used Sonos in the past few years, you’ll have struggled with their controller app, a service that, thanks to the myriad of potential use cases, suffered from a lot of user experience problems. Creating playlists, for example, forced you to think about whether you were adding your songs to “Favorites” or creating a Sonos playlist or accessing a playlist in a music service. Settings often appeared in the music menu (until they added a separate icon) and adding and removing rooms from your whole home system usually resulted in tapping a few times in vain until you found the right menu. In short, the app marred an otherwise incredible music experience.

The system also supports cross-service search, allowing you to find music in multiple ways.

Quoth Sonos:

Universal search: One of the most acclaimed new features. Discover more ways to enjoy your favorite artists, tracks and genres by searching across music services to find little known covers, remixes and playlists you never knew existed. One search quickly shows all the places where an artist’s work exists on the Sonos system.· A sleek new design: Effortlessly control your world of music with an app designed by music lovers for music lovers.· An easy way to explore music services: From popular favorites to specialized music services, you can now easily browse and discover new ways to explore the world of music.· More room filing sound: Of special note, an interesting feature that we added during the beta process is the ability to have the rear channel speakers in a home theater setup (5.0 and 5.1) play full stereo sound instead of just ambient effects. Turn up the music!

The new app takes full advantage of modern, high-resolution screens and includes more information and images for albums and songs. Multi-paned windows offer music information alongside search and selection systems and the whole thing looks decidedly more modern.

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The last few app updates have addressed a few quirks including interface issues and access to on-device content. Now, it seems, Sonos has finally taken a look at its design and usability and really put a lot of effort behind a new and superior experience.

Updates on Android and iOS should be rolling out now although some of my devices haven’t registered the change yet. The way-ay-ting, as they say, is the hardest part.