Upcoming changes to ‘On this iPhone or iPad’ Playback

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Userlevel 2
Badge +2
Just to add, tried Airplay which did see the playbase but would not connect, now found the TV will not play through the playbase!! had to switch off and on again to get the playbase recognised and working. It never ends. Do we actually know when when the "on this device" function will be disabled?
Userlevel 4
You might consider it “not acceptable” but tough luck.

You claim a promised feature set: where was it promised?

You chose to buy Sonos, knowing it did not offer Bluetooth.

You mention that this is reluctantly? Perhaps reluctant to make the investment to continue supporting the service they’ve already promised and sold to thousand/millions of users.

The promise was in the marketing materials indicating that you could play directly from iOS devices! How clear do you want it?! The same materials that explain how you can play from a range of sources across multiple Sonos products, INCLUDING your iOS devices!

You’d have to be seriously blinkered, or incredibly accepting of poor quality service to accept this gelding of their services.

They are a hardware AND software supplier, who sell an eco-system of services, which they are now saying they won’t deliver. Fine, if this were a subscription service that people could CHOOSE not to buy into any more, but that isn’t their model - we have already paid for that support in the inflated prices being charged for SONOS products, over the competition, promising that service.

They have tried to fix this for years? IT ALREADY WORKS. It’s maintenance, get over it. The reason they no longer want to support this is that i) they can sell more hardware, ii) they can save more money by not bothering to try and support it. This is a commercial decision that suits Sonos and they are relying upon customers to roll over and accept it on the basis that it’s ‘someone else’s fault’.

I’m afraid I may be not as forgiving of poor quality service as you, but unfortunately ( as I do love the look and sound of the hardware) that is what this represents. Poor quality service to a clientele that are held hostage by the investment that they have already made.

You chose to buy Sonos, knowing it did not offer Bluetooth” - yes, I did - I also bought it knowing that you could play music directly from iOS devices, and look how that worked out.....
This is rubbish and like other state, a misrepresentation from previous sales blogs, which sold the ability to play what’s on your phone.
i want to play podcasts as they go live. Why do I want to download them to a PC? Why do I have to have an ITunes account to listen to a podcast? This is horrendous.
Disappointed in the route being taken by this company. I certainly won’t be purchasing any more products from yourselves.
😡😡😡😡😡 Are you kidding me Sonos? I invested heavily in a lot of Play:1s (and have a Connect and an original Play:5) and use this feature all the time. Airplay 2 is no solution! Even products you are selling today do not even work with Airplay 2 so how is this justifiable?
Can I please get a free trade in for a newer model with Airplay 2 then? 😡😡😡😡😡
Userlevel 2
Badge +1
😡😡 😡 😡 😡 Are you kidding me Sonos? I invested heavily in a lot of Play:1s (and have a Connect and an original Play:5) and use this feature all the time. Airplay 2 is no solution! Even products you are selling today do not even work with Airplay 2 so how is this justifiable?
Can I please get a free trade in for a newer model with Airplay 2 then? 😡 😡 😡 😡 😡

Great hey? Not like these speakers are cheap. You invest in an ecosystem once you’ve done your research and then the conditions change right under you. 🖕🏻
Userlevel 4
Badge +6

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.
Userlevel 1
Killing this feature sucks BIGtime 😡
Forcing customers to buy a new device
Userlevel 1
I'm extremely upset about this. I have too many playlists and the volume of my library (76,000+ Mp3s) has always been too big for the Sonos software to manage. The "On this iPhone" feature has been my only credible workaround. Airplay only recognizes the two Sonos 1 speakers in my bedroom, it does not work with the Sonos Connect in the Kitchen, or the Sonos Connect Amp that I use with my turntable. I can't import playlists, I can't use Airplay across my setup -- once this feature is knocked out, I will have zero recourse to enjoy Sonos in the way its slogan promises: Listen Your Way. A total bummer, especially given the huge amount of money and time I've sunk into my system of (allegedly) 21st-century "smart" speakers. I hope John MacFarlane, Craig Shelburne, Tom Cullen, and Trung Ma all read this post and understand that they've been totally played by Apple and are screwing their most loyal, music-loving customers by not pushing back on this blatant attempt to frustrate users and force them to use Apple Music
Userlevel 5
Badge +6
My apologies for a redundant post, but Google Play Music is the answer that works for me. I do not, by the way, work for either Sonos or Google just because I found it acceptable to try a different solution.

1. Upload up to 50,000 tracks free of charge. Despite what some have asserted, your actual versions of songs do remain intact. I even uploaded songs recorded by my kids using acoustic guitars and cheap microphones.
2. iTunes playlists remain intact.
3. Purchase a song in iTunes and it magically appears in the Google app. No manual maintenance needed.
4. The entire family now has access to full library. No more asking dad to play a song.
5. I have my entire library at my fingertips in the car, and with headphones. Not just limited to what playlists will fit on my phone.
6. Does not drain my phone battery.
7. Music is still available and playing if I leave the house or go out in the yard.
8. Freed up a LOT of storage space on my phone for other stuff.
9. Seems way more stable than streaming directly from my phone.

1 you must sign up for a Google account (not a con for me, but I know some are opposed).
2 you must provide a credit card. You are not charged for anything unless you purchase a song. (I really don’t see that this is any different than setting up an Apple ID, but realize some will not like this.)
3. Upload time seem to take FOREVER, but it is a once and done. Then new music and playlist just transfer from iTunes.
4. Must have either a cell or internet connection to stream, however you can still download songs/playlists on your phone for offline use.

Hope this helps some of you. I may have missed a few pros or cons, and feel free to add. BTW, I use Google photos for all of the same reasons.
Userlevel 2
Very disappointed by this decision. I have turned off auto update features while I research Sonos alternatives. For as much as I have always been a Sonos advocate, I find the removal of functionally inexcusable.
Userlevel 4
Badge +6
As these changes only affect iOS devices and the simple fact Android mobile controller libraries are continuing to be streamed as normal to Sonos devices. It seems (entirely) logical to me that the real issue here is squarely at Apples door. I personally hold Apple accountable for the demise of this “On this iThingy” service ...and before anyone 'argues the toss', let me just say I’m an actual Apple fan too.

Apple needs to address the problem and if anyone thinks otherwise here, my guess is they are 'most probably' mistaken.

Thanks for explaining that for us chief.

By your logic apple would be responsible for issues with the billion odd apps in their store every time they make a change in iOS.

Sonos is responsible for their own s#$%. They can't or won't fix it.
Holy Jeebus, is this thing still going?

If you think the "On this iPhone" feature was the best part of Sonos, you should've never have bought Sonos, but a Bluetooth speaker.
Userlevel 1
No matter how many people complain, Sonos won't change this decision. They never do.

It’s about time that they will!!
Userlevel 2
Well, finally some good news!

Sonos has compensated at least one customer who complained about the loss of the “on this iPhone” feature.

As a result of his complaints, @ jpk156 received a free Sonos One.

@ jpk156, I had a look at your website and what a great lesson in how to effectively complain! (although personally, I would have toned it down a bit!)

I loved your response to their initial “30% off” offer. Impressively handled on your part, and it got results.

I was also impressed by your ethics. You refused to accept the unconditional offer of a free Sonos One. Instead, you insisted that they take back your Play:1 in exchange.

And I thought your increasingly aggressive responses to the persistent e-mails from Sonos (sometimes two in a day!) telling you that your problem was resolved were hilarious!

Also, thank you for asking for compensation for all of us who have been negatively affected by Sonos’ decision to drop this feature. It was a quixotic gesture, but appreciated none the less.

I was sorry to see that all of your posts - even simple ones commenting on a workaround - have been taken down. Luckily, I found out about this by seeing you quoted here by others.
Userlevel 7
Badge +26
Please remain friendly with other users in the discussion. @Ppod, as stated a couple times above, Sonos employees, like myself, are marked clearly as either Community Manager, Sonos Staff, or Sonos Employee.

There are some great options to get your music playing on Sonos while using your iOS devices as controllers still. They're listed in the first post of this thread, along with on the article ‘Play music stored on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch’ on our support page. Along with some other clever options listed in this thread and others.

Some of these options take very minimal steps to set up, and most have more features than the old play from iOS device had. Such as making Sonos playlists or using Alarms with Sonos to play music at set times.
Userlevel 2
Badge +2
We first launched the ‘On this iPhone or iPad’ feature in 2012 before AirPlay was available on Sonos. The way this feature was originally designed has become unreliable with newer versions of iOS, and in the coming months, this feature will no longer be available in the Sonos app.

Here are a few options to play tracks that were locally stored on your phone to Sonos:
  1. Streaming the catalogue from a music service. There are more than 100 music services available on Sonos, many with several millions of songs.
  2. Uploading your tracks to a music service with a storage feature, like Apple Music, that will store your library and stream it. This is a great option if you have songs that aren’t available on a streaming service.
  3. Setting up a Music Library share on a Computer or Network Attached Storage drive. This means setting up a hard drive on your local network and streaming the library off of there.
With option 3, you can share that library to Sonos using the steps here. This makes it so your phone doesn’t need to be turned on to listen, and the music will keep on playing as long as that storage location is available.

This is in essence forced redundancy that pushes people to subscribe to services where additional revenue is made. Line in now doesn't work properly on stereo pairs and now you impose this change the only option will involve subscriptions as controlling the media held on PC has also become problematical. Technology has evolved to where the manufacture can force if they choose to and justify my speakers no longer working as they did. They can even control it working properly if they choose to. We are forced to have data sharing accounts and are relying on the absolute integrity of a company owned by Private Equity. If we couldn't trust VW can we trust SONOS? Even it's forums appear awash with partial participants. Did I pay for some speakers to own them of for the manufacturer to own me?! I think a class action is valid here. Anyone want to join me? Refunds for all Gen 1.
I have to agree with the sentiment that there's no real benefit, for me, to continue posting here as it seems unlikely that I'll have anything new to contribute. And my views on the subject will remain until, possibly, cleaned up by moderators. Though, to be honest, I do not beileve the moderators are trying to cleanse the thread of anti-Sonos views, at all.

And I do appreciate and thank the few non-Sonos employee forum users who have posted suggestions and answered questions on how to implement those alternatives. And, at least financially, I would be able to implement some of those alternatives, I just choose not to throw good money after bad, but that's my personal choice. It's also obvious from other peoples' posts that some people are willing to spend additional money to get their investment in Sonos technology to work so, again, the helpful thread contributors should be thanked.

For my part, I've started posting my opinions on sites where people are likely to look for pre-purchase information. I don't believe people will look for or find this community site, and related threads, until it's too late for them to make an informed purchase. The first of my non-en.community.sonos.com posts went live last night, and I will continue creating similar reviews on related review sites until I get bored. And, instead of spending my money to implement what is for my purposes a workaround (and I also agree that what is a workaround for me is simply how others intended to use the technology to begin with), I've decided to start a hobby website where I will document my experiences, as well as the experiences that others have add with the Play:1 and other Sonos equipment where Sonos has made similar "hard" decisions, but only after verifying that they actually occurred. At least that's my intent, I may get bored with it quickly. But until I do get bored, the purchase of sonos-sucks.com was a rather low cost investment for my new hobby.

I like that people can overreact to something like this when none of it is Sonos' fault. It's common sense to get rid of the feature in the first place. It's been continuing to have issues since. Since Sonos is partnered with Apple most likely they tried to solve the issue with them. BUT HEY its Apple, they like to stick with their own products. Why try to fix something on their own end when it doesn't benefit them at all? And Sonos cant blame them. They're partners. In the end, Sonos takes the blame for it when it is really Apples.

There are so many other ways to get your own music running. I have my own music on google play. because 1. its free. 2 allllll this free space on my phone!! crazy i know! but people just hate change

its a shame that a little feature can cause such an up-stir

first world problems am I right? LOL
Userlevel 2
Badge +2

I think a class action is valid here. Anyone want to join me?
You know when all balance and reason has left the building when the 'class action' threat appears. Nobody died.

So just because nobody dies you think dishonesty is acceptable? Or do you work for Sonos?
It's Groundhog Day. The same discussion with a series of forum members who are not really interested in reasons or solutions. I suggest everyone just leaves it as 'please read the first post in this thread'.
Userlevel 5
Badge +6
@bobsonos this is incorrect. ALL of my songs uploaded to Google Play Music. Even the ones recorded very unprofessionally with a computer microphone by my kids.

Also, the songs are no longer available just “on my iphone”, but now to the entire family. My wife loves that we both finally have access to our entire music library even though I have an iPhone and she has a Samsung galaxy.
Userlevel 2

Yes. And the world is flat and the moon landings were faked. What all of these statements have in common is a lack of proof, which, with regard to yours, has been clearly pointed out to you several times before by others.

To reiterate again what also has been pointed out to you by others, operating systems evolve. It is the responsibility of those who develop applications on those OS platforms to adapt to those changes, not the reverse. The fact that, with regard to the “on this iPhone” feature, in the face of the same iOS changes Denon has been able to successfully adapt and maintain this feature whereas Sonos has not would indicate that perhaps the more appropriate word to use here would be “failure” rather than “fault”.


Well stated!
We should'nt have to jump thru hoops just to play from the iPhone/IPad. I dumped my Klipsh 5.1 for a Playbar and 2- Play 1's for the surround sound. Sounds great considering the size but the Playbar does not support Airplay. (Not really happy here after spending about a grand, and turned my auto upgrades off in efforts to keep what I have.)
In the last year I’ve purchased play bar, sub and 3 play ones all to find out that my most used feature will be no more and my purchases will be not be as worthwhile as I originally thought.

I didn’t purchase Sonos to have to play from a computer or sign up to a music service (which I’ll have to pay for and don’t necessarily agree with).

Surely someone could have worked on the problems to give us a better listening experience. Not just give up on the problem.

Surely our purchases are covered by a guarantee. It will soon no longer do what it was bought to do at time of purchase.

I expect a better solution from a company like Sonos
Userlevel 7
Badge +20
If anyone is interested in adding AirPlay capability to all of their older Sonos speakers and players, I'm looking for a handful of additional UK-based beta testers to help with a product idea I'm experimenting with. You'll find information at the link below, including how to get in touch if you're interested. If selected for the beta trial, participation is free.


Enabling AirPlay in this way overcomes the upcoming removal of 'On this iPhone or iPad' playback, as well as allowing playback from any iOS/macOS audio source. It has the nice side effect that the lock-screen and hardware volume controls on iOS devices work properly again to control Sonos playback. AirPlay also works with much older versions of iOS and OS X / macOS than the current Sonos apps.

(Since I'm seeking assistance here, not selling anything, I trust that this post doesn't contravene forum rules.)