'On This Phone' Feature Being Removed


A few months ago I lost the ability to control my Sonos system with my iPhone 4s because the software updates were no longer supporting the 4s. What a waste of equipment...! That phone became totally redundant and now sits in a draw doing nothing...

Customer services were useless with their hollow apologies

I looked to sell all my Sonos equipment - 2 x Zonebridge 100’s, 3 x Zoneplayer ZP90’s and 4 x Zoneplayer S5’s.
I used to use the Sonos CR 200 but that was crap and after five replacements under warranty I gave it up as a total waste of money, hence using the 4s.
I tried to sell all my Sonos kit and find something else that wouldn't be hindered with this update/redundancy but that wasn't easy. In the end I purchased another iPhone - the 6s, to control my Sonos...
But now - another problem... the 'On This Phone' feature is being removed!!!
So now, my few-months-old iPhone 6s will be useless for playing my music!!!

I am retired, living in Thailand.
I cannot afford to upgrade to Airplay speakers, cannot afford to get involved with subscribing to streaming services. I don't have a NAS, Mac or PC...

Is this the end of my Sonos kit altogether!? What the hell am I supposed to do???

Moderator note: Multiple edits for profanity.

17 replies

Userlevel 5
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Does the Play:5 have a Aux/Line in? Can you use that?

If you don’t want to be hardwired, buy a Bluetooth receiver and plug that into the 5, and Bluetooth from phone to speaker.

Im sure there are other solutions too.

And if the iPhone 4 has Bluetooth you could use That one as well.
Upload the music to the free Google Play cloud server and stream the tracks from there via the plugin service in the Sonos App. Just needs an internet connection, which is a basic requirement for the speakers anyway.
Use a cheaper Android phone or tablet instead and stream the tracks from there, so that’s another way to solve the problem.
Userlevel 5
Badge +12
A few months ago I lost the ability to control my Sonos system with my iPhone 4s because the software updates were no longer supporting the 4s. What a waste of equipment...! That phone became totally redundant and now sits in a draw doing nothing...

Did you also rant at those rotten Apple people too, when they stopped updating the opsys for the iPhone 4?
You would think that, eventually, folks would learn that Apple is the problem here...
Userlevel 6
Badge +14
Do those rotten Apples actually support the latest software and security updates on their devices for a LOT longer than any Android equivalents though?
I know it's always talked about here about the planned obsolescence etc. but what's the actual reality here? Is it just that Android users are happy to use devices that no longer get updates (Inc. security) or is it something else?
Good Morning to you all...

First off - I apologise if I offended anyone with any profanities in my OP! I wasn't a happy bunny yesterday!
Thank you to the moderator who corrected this.

You have all been very helpful with your suggestions and I will look into all of them to find the best way to gain some extra life from my Sonos system.
I particularly like the bluetooth idea using 'line-in'...
I will also look to see how much free space Google Play allows. My music folder is around 140 Gb!

Yes, I did contact Apple CS about my first issue of dropping support for my iPhone 4s but Apple said it was nothing to do with them and that Sonos had decided to drop the older 4s support... Mmm?

I do know of friends back in my home country who have lost features on Android. In fact there are quite a few features across the board available to Apple which are not available to Android.
Apple claim they maintain full functionality on their devices for 5 years before certain things start to get dropped. I cannot speak for Android as I don't have any experience with that OS.

Anyway, Thank You all again for your help.
Regards
Upload the music to the free Google Play cloud server and stream the tracks from there via the plugin service in the Sonos App. Just needs an internet connection, which is a basic requirement for the speakers anyway.

I've just checked this one out and it is not yet available here in Thailand...?
Maybe the Bluetooth route is the way to go...

Thanks again, have a great day!
Back again...

Can I ask a relatively simple question regarding this removal of 'On this iPhone' feature as I've not come across any such discussion on this forum which answers my query...?

Are Sonos removing this feature in their current apps or simply not including it/deleting it in any future updates?

I notice already the feature is not in the Sonos app on IOS 13 but I can still see it in IOS 12.3.

If I don't update my Sonos app will I still be able to use the "from this device' feature in IOS 12.3 or even IOS 13 or are Sonos going to make the feature disappear somehow, as they did with my iPhone 4s?
Sonos hasn’t said specifically, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this feature was set up like all other streams, i.e. requiring a server side check to function. This would be why you see people saying they can’t add a service when the service is actually down.

Considering it’s a source, just like any other source, I would expect that they’re going to flip a switch on a server somewhere, and it will go away. That would make more sense to me from a code side, so as not having to write special case code for one feature, just make it work like all the rest. This means, however, that it won’t end up being a case of “just don’t update your controller”.

I could be wrong, but I would think if I was talking code design, I would have wanted it to function the same way as everything else, with some sort of server touch.

A few months ago I lost the ability to control my Sonos system with my iPhone 4s because the software updates were no longer supporting the 4s. What a waste of equipment...! That phone became totally redundant and now sits in a draw doing nothing...Did you also rant at those rotten Apple people too, when they stopped updating the opsys for the iPhone 4?


Here's the response I got from the Apple forum about this topic!

Thanks for participating in the Apple Support Communities.


We’ve removed your post Sonos Are Removing The 'On This Device' Feature In IOS Because Of Apple...? because it contained either feedback or a feature request that was not constructive.
Userlevel 5
Badge +12
Hi Lampshade

I’m glad you now feel some optimism for the use of your Sonos speakers going forwards. And good for you, for the apology. On a public forum, too!

It’s interesting that Sonos do permit discussion of this nature - there are a number of threads where posts are quite anti-Sonos. Apple simply remove such posts that they consider “not constructive”!

I hope you continue to enjoy your Sonos speakers for many more years.
Hi Airjetlam,

Thank you for your thoughts on this...

Hi nik9669a

Thank You, yes, I don't want to loose my Sonos system. The recent set-backs haven't been good but in my position I don't have much choice.

Apple have always 'spoken softly but carried big stick' and they don't like criticism.
I am an Apple user and have been for many years since my working life in the design/photography industry. On the whole I love it's reliability but everything comes with it's caveats!

Oh well, we soldier on...

Have a great day!
Userlevel 1
Badge +1
Here is the official Sonos statement about this issue:
https://en.community.sonos.com/announcements-228985/upcoming-changes-to-on-this-iphone-or-ipad-playback-6826585
Very disappointing Sonos.

playing music from a local device that does not require an extended wide area network connection is key. When cable or Internet goes down, we can still share Sonos network and play music from a local device, that being a mobile device or anyone in the family. The portable mobility is the magic.

It’s very upsetting you are removing this feature. I am not going to use a centralized laptop or upload personal music from each of the families iPhones to a streaming service. That requires the WAN and some music are recordings we are authors of.

One of the reasons we invested in a Sonos system was to not invest time and energy into an airplay 2 to system and gear.

It feels like you are changing product features after purchase and restricting Sonos access on portable, local devices from any pocket to force us to work with your streaming partners or buy new gear.

At least you are not cancelling the features of Connect to Amp, receiver out. Another source of audio (listening to vinyl and movies).

Please don’t do this.
Userlevel 5
Badge +12
If you load your music onto a computer or a NAS I’m pretty sure this will run on just your local network without the need for a WAN. You can then reference that local storage device as the Music Library and play from it to any of your speakers, controlling it from any of your devices running the Sonos app.
Userlevel 4
Badge +8
Or buy a Symfonisk speaker to introduce Airplay into your Sonos. Maybe it’s possible to connect a USB-device to your router, or play music form a cheap Android tablet? There are possibilities that are not depending on internet access.

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