Upcoming changes to ‘On this iPhone or iPad’ Playback



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Userlevel 2
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Appreciated thanks
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If you don’t stop killing features which are important for older products, I will stop buying Sonos devices.
If you don’t stop killing features which are important for older products, I will stop buying Sonos devices.
Another pointless threat based on apparent ignorance of the reasons. How many more?
Userlevel 3
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I am sorry to lose the “on this iPhone” functionality. I agree with others who point out how SONOS keeps decreasing functionality.

Airplay is still buggy. If I pause playback, then attempt to restart, Airplay won’t connect. There’s also a thread on this site stating to restart your iPhone if it won’t connect. Furthermore, with on this iPhone, I can create a queue with podcasts and music tracks. Can’t do that with the native iOS apps.
Enough is enough! Goodbye Sonos - Hello Apple HomePod. You have lost a very loyal customer (1 Sub, 4 Play:1).
Are you sure you are not cutting your nose to spite your face? How will this help? - accepting that you have good reason to be annoyed, these questions remain, nonetheless.
Userlevel 4
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If you don’t stop killing features which are important for older products, I will stop buying Sonos devices.Another pointless threat based on apparent ignorance of the reasons. How many more?


Has Sonos given specific reasons for killing this feature? (other than unreliability). Just wondering what the other reasons are.
I’m guessing that they are unwilling to throw a “partner” under the bus. The generally accepted theory, supported by all the evidence, is that Apple made a change in iOS 11 which deprioritized streaming from non-Apple apps, so the stream would stop when the device went to “sleep”. My assumption is that since that point in time, Sonos has been trying to work with Apple in order to come up with an acceptable solution, which has finally failed.

So, rather than continue trying to support a feature which is destined to cause unhappiness and support issues when used, Sonos is biting the short term bullet and removing the feature. Fortunately, there are a multitude of other options to achieve the same goal, such as using AirPlay 2, which being an Apple application, keeps the stream from the iOS device alive.

As as much as I’d like to accuse Apple of malfeasance in this, as an attempt to push people to their own hardware, the HomePod, I’m willing to bet that is not the case. My suspicion is that this was a perceived security issue for Apple, and consequently they shut the “hole” that Sonos had been using.

I have had professional interactions with Apple in my past, they are rigid in their mandates, and really don’t care how it affects your business. In some ways, this is good, but in other ways, it can be harmful, such as this particular situation. But I suspect that Apple was unwilling to provide Sonos special dispensation in this, as once they do it for one group, they have multitudes requesting the same consideration. And if indeed they perceived it as a security issue, with potential exploits from bad actors, using the same process as Sonos was, then they did the right thing, much to the sorrow of Sonos and the user’s thereof.

Now, I am neither a Sonos employee, nor an Apple employee, so you can take this narrative with as much salt as you choose, but it certainly seems to fit all the facts, as I am aware of them.

And since Sonos wants to continue to partner with Apple, as well as sell their speakers in Apple stores, you’re unlikely to ever get an official story out of Sonos. A wise move, IMHO.

Now, I am neither a Sonos employee, nor an Apple employee, so you can take this narrative with as much salt as you choose, but it certainly seems to fit all the facts, as I am aware of them.

And since Sonos wants to continue to partner with Apple, as well as sell their speakers in Apple stores, you’re unlikely to ever get an official story out of Sonos.

As good an explanation as we are ever likely to get, I suggest.
And as to the second bit, let's not forget the use of iPhones for Trueplay:-).


If you don’t stop killing features which are important for older products, I will stop buying Sonos devices.Another pointless threat based on apparent ignorance of the reasons. How many more?
Has Sonos given specific reasons for killing this feature? (other than unreliability). Just wondering what the other reasons are.

First, a great analysis from @Airgetlam.

From the original announcement:

'The way this feature was originally designed has become unreliable with newer versions of iOS'.

Like Bruce, I do not think this is a deliberate attempt at sabotage by Apple, nor do I think they are wrong to do nothing to change it. They made changes to iOS that they wanted / needed to make, and that has inconvenienced another company - or rather a small subset of its customers - in a relatively minor way. They are not going to change the heart of their major products in response to that.

This is not the first time this has happened, but clearly there is something so fundamental in the incompatibility here that Sonos cannot get around it. And if they did, who is to say there won't be another iOS change just around the corner?

It is also worth noting the words from Sonos quoted above..'the way this feature was originally designed'. It is an absolutely fundamental part of Sonos' design that the app is just a controller. It is not a music player. It instructs the speakers to fetch the music from the specified source - and that applies to music stored on the same device as the app - the app is still not 'playing' the music. I strongly suspect that it is something in this process which is clashing with the latest iOS.

So as Bruce said, Sonos had the choice of persisting with a feature that was never likely to work reliably again, or dropping it and encouraging users to use one of the many alternative ways to listen to local content reliably.

I think they took the right decision. There was no 'good' outcome here.
Userlevel 4
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I’m guessing that they are unwilling to throw a “partner” under the bus. The generally accepted theory, supported by all the evidence, is that Apple made a change in iOS 11 which deprioritized streaming from non-Apple apps, so the stream would stop when the device went to “sleep”. My assumption is that since that point in time, Sonos has been trying to work with Apple in order to come up with an acceptable solution, which has finally failed.

Yeah I see the narrative being pushed by a few posters. I disagree that it is generally accepted but don't disagree that it could be accurate.

That said have you considered that Sonos may be the villain. Killed the feature because they don't want to spend time$$$$ developing a fix? I get the effort to cast Apple as the villain because they make it difficult, but this is a cost of business.

Does it really matter? Only speaking for myself it does because Sonos is removing features on a regular basis which I personally find alarming, not to mention sometimes inconvenient and expensive.
@peagle. You are right that nobody can be sure of the truth here. I am not trying to cast Apple as the villain, it is just colateral damage in my view.

There possibly is an amount of $ and time Sonos could throw at this issue to avoid dropping the feature. That doesn't make it a good business decision to do so. Not least because the next change to iOS may wreck the thing again.
Userlevel 5
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The workarounds proposed are just that: workarounds. But... usage stats versus effort to fix...

For most users, they will have one or more main music sources (eg. local library on NAS, streaming music subscription) that are not "downloads on their iOS device". And I'm sure that many Sonos users don't have any need for offline downloaded music on a portable device (even I'll probably switch from my iPod to Spotify when I sort out the wifi issues in my car).

If you invested heavily in your music hardware and software, then you likely have multiple Sonos units, a NAS if you buy or own music, and pay monthly for a subscription service. Losing a feature like this is an annoyance, but you bought into an ecosystem of controllers, speakers and sources as separate entities. If all you have is a single Sonos speaker and an iPhone full of downloads, I can see this being more of a pain.

It is annoying that the obvious "really cool" use-case (of continuing your commuting soundtrack when you get home without having to jump into your local NAS version of that album/playlist) is disappearing. But this is yet another lesson to us all that software constantly changes, you can't rely on compatibility with other platforms, and the user experience of any given application can degrade as well as improve.

It is annoying that the obvious "really cool" use-case (of continuing your commuting soundtrack when you get home without having to jump into your local NAS version of that album/playlist) is disappearing.

Actually this cool use never existed for the more common such use case of music from a streaming service stored on the phone for offline listening; this anyway never played via the "On this Phone" route which only accessed such music that had been purchased and stored on the phone. But with a streaming service subscription, there isn't the need to buy music for in-car use when the music can be downloaded for such use without being bought.
Userlevel 3
I have spent thousands of dollar on your equipment with the promise that it would work with my iPad and iPhone and now your telling me I can’t. You have a very unhappy customer.
Userlevel 7
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And it still does, so what is your issue? Just don't update and that feature will remain.
Userlevel 3
Just because they don’t want to play with the big boys doesn’t mean we as their customers should be screwed. If I knew that they couldn’t keep up with whatever licensing requirements Apple wanted I would have gone with the big boys like Bose. As you can I’m very upset with this and would like to figure out how to prosecute for false advertising.
Good luck with all of that. Unless you chill in time and realise you are cutting your nose to spite your face.
Just because they don’t want to play with the big boys doesn’t mean we as their customers should be screwed. If I knew that they couldn’t keep up with whatever licensing requirements Apple wanted I would have gone with the big boys like Bose. As you can I’m very upset with this and would like to figure out how to prosecute for false advertising.
Firat, show us the advertising. I don't think you mean 'prosecute'. I think you need to file a class action lawsuit. You know, the sort of thing people do when their health has been irreparably damaged by an inadequately tested drug.
Userlevel 2
> If all you have is a single Sonos speaker and an iPhone full of downloads, I can see this being more of a pain

I have a classical music library that I’ve cultivated for years, most downloaded from CDs I spent a lot of time chasing down from my previous cassette collection, some of those previously from records. These are “my” versions of the songs, and what is provided by streaming services are not the same, not acceptable. Every morning I listen to Brahms 4th with the sunrise and my coffee, streaming off my iPad to three Sonos speakers. Come evening comes the only acceptable version of Brahms 1st Symphony. In more pensive moods I’ll put on the best Rach 3 version ever.

I see this as a huge betrayal by Sonos and know not to invest any more money in them. I have a system that worked and I liked, and now some marketing manager who decided I’m not worth the investment tells me I have to spend hours setting something else up to get my system to work just like it does now, and/or paying a service to stream my own music I bought over a decade ago?

I work in tech. I know this was fixable - this was a spending decision, plain and simple. Sonos was supposed to be a premium product for audiophiles but now they decided they are a mass market speaker for streaming mass produced crap.

Guess what - millennials in the basement listening to rap aren’t buying $1k speakers, they’ll buy cheap knock offs. Sonos was marketing to audiophiles with private collections, the ones who previously had records. The ones whose music is not on the streaming services.

I’m stopping upgrades of my Sonos app and iPad OS, and once my set-up stops working I’ll eBay my three Sonos speakers and set up a new system. I am not going to invest more time and money in a company that can’t be relied on.
Sonos was marketing to audiophiles with private collections, the ones who previously had records. The ones whose music is not on the streaming services.

I agree with your definition of the Sonos history, except that these customers used Sonos via ripped music that resided on either computers or servers. Because at the time you speak of, the feature being deleted did not exist.

Sonos was marketing to audiophiles with private collections, the ones who previously had records. The ones whose music is not on the streaming services.
I agree with your definition of the Sonos history, except that these customers used Sonos via ripped music that resided on either computers or servers. Because at the time you speak of, the feature being deleted did not exist.

This goes to the heart of it. Sonos was designed as a networked, domestic, multiroom, multi-controller hifi system. That is what it remains. Someone who wants to play their portable music collection to a single speaker should not have made Sonos their choice in the first place.
And @calmi. Sonos still sounds to me like it is fine for you. You just need to hold that music in the sort of place Sonos was designed for. I think it would be a shame if you threw hte baby out with the bathwater.

And have you actually read the reasons for this change? It has nothing to do with marketing.
Small correction, John - added the word "only":
"Someone who only wants to play their portable music collection to a single speaker should not have made Sonos their choice in the first place."
Small correction, John - added the word "only":
"Someone who only wants to play their portable music collection to a single speaker should not have made Sonos their choice in the first place."

Yes thanks Kumar that is indeed what I intended and should have said.
A further thought for @calmi. Like you, I have a stored music collection that is important to me. I first bought Sonos in 2011. I stored my music on my PC then on a NAS drive. Sonos has since embraced streaming (it would have gone bust long ago if it had not done so) and so have I as part of my Sonos experience. But I play my stored collection frequently.

When 'playing from the device' was added I tried it, but it was less robust and had no advantages for me over playing from the NAS. As I am on Android, I will continue to have the option of playing from my phone. I still won't be using it.

You are the perfect, music-loving customer for Sonos. Still. You just need to adjust the way you store your collection. It is of course entirely your business whether you choose to do so.

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