Priya Abani, director of Alexa Voice Service, announced in April 2018 that third-party Alexa-enabled devices will get calling and messaging abilities. In fact, since August 2018, these key Alexa features have been available on Eufy Genie - a third party Alexa-enabled gadget. Sonos, however, remains tight lipped about its plan.
I received my Beam earlier this week and was really excited. I was planning on purchasing two more for the whole family.
I'm so disappointed to find out that key features such as calling, messaging, and drop-in are not supported on Sonos Beam or One. It appears that Sonos has no plans to support these features at all.
At first, I thought Amazon refuses to allow third-party gadgets to have these features. But, Eufy Genie, a 3rd-party device with an RRP of only $35 (and on sale for $15 on Amazon at time of this post), supports all these features.
I would like to ask a couple of questions:
- Are these key Alexa features on the roadmap of Sonos Beam and Sonos One? Sonos should be transparent so consumers can make informed decisions for this holiday season.
- If these features will never be introduced to Sonos Beam and Sonos One (but only to a new product), what's Sono's plan on allowing users to use Sonos Beam next to an Echo device? To use voice calling, I keep my Echo in the same room, but Beam and Echo would respond at the same time. I understand it's possible to change the wake word, but it's really dumb that I have to remember Alexa is Beam and Computer is Echo (and they have the same voice!).
I appreciate that Sonos is working hard to support more Alexa skills, but those essential communication skills of "Alexa" are equally important. They should not be missing on a $399 device (considering a $15 Eufy Genie has these features). Ryan, I understand Sonos is very careful about announcing new product features under development (especially after the delays of Google Assistant support). But your loyal Sonos customers deserve to know better - at least whether the features are in the product roadmap/backlog. Please convince the management to share more information.
I really don't want to return my Beam and I'm willing to wait, but I need to know the features will eventually be available on the current generation of the device - not a Sonos Beam 2.