Sonos App for Apple TV 4

  • 31 October 2015
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I'd also love to have a controller app on the Apple TV 4. I get that there could be concern about such an app having a "cannibalizing" effect, discouraging people from buying additional Sonos equipment, but I think there are ways around this. The iOS app, for example, searches the local network for Sonos devices before you can even begin to select your music. The Apple TV app could do the same. If you don't have any Sonos devices on the network, the app won't let you select music to stream.
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I don't get this thread!? A Sonos App for Apple TV 4 imho is not really smart and not at all a "no brainer"!

This thread is really proposing an app for the AppleTV, so that a user can control Sonos equipment by controlling the AppleTV with the new Apple Remote? And how is that ANY better than controlling Sonos with fingers on a touch screen while something else is running on the AppleTV (there is no multitasking, you would need to jump out of an app to control Sonos and back again).

Sonos speakers do make sense when attached to the Apple TV (or an optical switch, or the TV) and when Sonos "Autoplay" is set, the system should switch to the optical input and play the ATV sound (for a tv series / film). You should be able to control the volume of the ATV (or TV) sound with the Apple TV remote while doing something in an app. I don't see any need for something else really.
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And how is that ANY better than controlling Sonos with fingers on a touch screen while something else is running on the AppleTV

Two words: for parties.
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Two words: for parties.


4 words: give them a tablet.
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Two words: for parties.


4 words: give them a tablet.

Two words: terrible idea.

I don't want to give them a tablet, nor do I want them controlling the music. They're my party guests, not a crowd of DJ's. I want a big display (on the TV) that's showing what's playing. So for now I AirPlay the iOS display to an AppleTV. It seems like a natural extension to desire an AppleTV app that could handle this natively and independently.
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Hm, so you just want a display app for parties. Sorry. That certainly is a way too narrow use case for any app creator to consider.
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Huh? With the Siri Remote, the party host could control the music playback too. Just like the existing iOS app. Only on the bigscreen TV.

Sometimes you've gotta think outside the box.
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And sometimes people need to stay realistic. Whatever, Sonos probably won't do it anyway, so much ado about nothing.
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Well, tvOS is based on iOS, and porting apps is quite easy. Sonos should realize that music enjoyment is often a communal experience, sharing with others the artists and albums we appreciate. And that album artwork is something to be enjoyed too. Putting that content on the bigscreen while Sonos handles the music playback is another way to embrace the entirety of the experience.

I, for one, would enjoy that, rather than passing around a smartphone. And I know very many others, with Sonos equipment and AppleTV 4's, who would feel the same.

Who knows what the future holds? Feature requests from customers who use and love these products should be encouraged.
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Indeed who knows. Yeah, maybe porting is easy, it is however a totally different UI (must be optimized for a remote). Yeah, an ATV4 app could be nice (I have one myself).

One more thing to consider though: the installed base of ATV4s is still very very small, compared to iOS and Android phones. Heck, even there might be even more Windows phones. Sonos seems to strictly follow market share.
There is no reason not to do this other than internal politics (i.e. They don't want to risk loosing Play Bar sales by allowing the speakers connected to the AppleTv to be a output destination)

That's not "internal politics", it is simple economics. Unless Sonos management has some sort of internal struggle between the "make money" and "go out of business" factions?


I disagree here. While initially they might see a lot of increased Apple TV output usage, long term it will simply grow their consumer base. Those of us with the whole home speaker setup realize that their strengths are the independent functioning hardware itself, the speakers! Not the software controller. The software controller UI leaves a lot to be desired, and simplifies the interface from the many audio inputs.

What I mean here is, it would not cannibalize their profits... free users will convert to paid hardware customers as they realize that the ecosystem is fantastic, and add audio to additional rooms, surrounds, etc.

I think it is important for SONOS to maintain an open garden and allow us to have the most flexibility and compatibility. Locking customers out of using the Apple TV as an output is simply shortsighted.
Indeed who knows. Yeah, maybe porting is easy, it is however a totally different UI (must be optimized for a remote). Yeah, an ATV4 app could be nice (I have one myself).

One more thing to consider though: the installed base of ATV4s is still very very small, compared to iOS and Android phones. Heck, even there might be even more Windows phones. Sonos seems to strictly follow market share.


True, but it's one of the stronger television platforms out there. It's more thought out, it's more dynamic, and it offers a compelling experience. Wouldn't SONOS want to be a part of that? After all, SONOS is a piece of the home theater equation (especially with the playbar and sub), so why would it not integrate to the television?
Well, tvOS is based on iOS, and porting apps is quite easy. Sonos should realize that music enjoyment is often a communal experience, sharing with others the artists and albums we appreciate. And that album artwork is something to be enjoyed too. Putting that content on the bigscreen while Sonos handles the music playback is another way to embrace the entirety of the experience.

I, for one, would enjoy that, rather than passing around a smartphone. And I know very many others, with Sonos equipment and AppleTV 4's, who would feel the same.

Who knows what the future holds? Feature requests from customers who use and love these products should be encouraged.


I agree wholeheartedly. A beautiful display of the currently SONOS album art, the upcoming queue, the ability to control the zone, and ability to switch into other zones to manage -- this would be fantastic. Perhaps even more simplistic than the iOS UI.

And indeed, a lot of code can be reused. I'm an iOS/tvOS/watchOS developer, and Apple has done a fantastic job of providing similar APIs for code reuse.

Being able to discuss feature requests is a great thing. It allows us as a community to identify good ideas, and further encourage SONOS to work on it.
Indeed who knows. Yeah, maybe porting is easy, it is however a totally different UI (must be optimized for a remote). Yeah, an ATV4 app could be nice (I have one myself).

One more thing to consider though: the installed base of ATV4s is still very very small, compared to iOS and Android phones. Heck, even there might be even more Windows phones. Sonos seems to strictly follow market share.


As an iOS and tvOS developer, let me say that making a tvOS UI is about 1000 times more easy. Apple has done most of the hard work by providing templates and other common UI elements that are much easier to implement on the Apple TV than the complex UIs on the iPhone/iPad.

I would be surprised if SONOS' iOS development team couldn't put together a first version in a weekend. It's really not that difficult. Following Apple's existing UI patterns are a must on tvOS, and then it feels like a natural extension of the platform and becomes a real joy for people to use.
And sometimes people need to stay realistic. Whatever, Sonos probably won't do it anyway, so much ado about nothing.

I think they will do it. It's a natural extension to move to tvOS and potentially even watchOS. So many companies with iOS apps have already done it.

The reason I think they will do it, is think back a decade ago when they had the hardware wireless controller. Then the iPhone comes along. They could have avoided making the iPhone app because of fear it would bring them less money because people stop buying the hardware wireless controller. And it did. But by staying relevant to the customer, by creating the app, they not only stayed relevant and in business, but started to thrive.

I think they are already working on this.

Two words: for parties.


4 words: give them a tablet.

Two words: terrible idea.

I don't want to give them a tablet, nor do I want them controlling the music. They're my party guests, not a crowd of DJ's. I want a big display (on the TV) that's showing what's playing. So for now I AirPlay the iOS display to an AppleTV. It seems like a natural extension to desire an AppleTV app that could handle this natively and independently.


Using the TV as a sort of heads up display is fantastic. It summarizes what is playing and what is coming up. A person with the Siri Remote can control it and make changes perhaps. But the rest of the visitors can't touch it. Marvelous.
I don't get this thread!? A Sonos App for Apple TV 4 imho is not really smart and not at all a "no brainer"!

This thread is really proposing an app for the AppleTV, so that a user can control Sonos equipment by controlling the AppleTV with the new Apple Remote? And how is that ANY better than controlling Sonos with fingers on a touch screen while something else is running on the AppleTV (there is no multitasking, you would need to jump out of an app to control Sonos and back again).

Sonos speakers do make sense when attached to the Apple TV (or an optical switch, or the TV) and when Sonos "Autoplay" is set, the system should switch to the optical input and play the ATV sound (for a tv series / film). You should be able to control the volume of the ATV (or TV) sound with the Apple TV remote while doing something in an app. I don't see any need for something else really.


You are obviously not an Apple TV 4 user. If you were, you'd understand. Your disagreement here is understandable though, because you don't personally have the need for this.

But some of us do. You will see this come to fruition.
I'd also love to have a controller app on the Apple TV 4. I get that there could be concern about such an app having a "cannibalizing" effect, discouraging people from buying additional Sonos equipment, but I think there are ways around this. The iOS app, for example, searches the local network for Sonos devices before you can even begin to select your music. The Apple TV app could do the same. If you don't have any Sonos devices on the network, the app won't let you select music to stream.

I don't even understand why anyone thinks this would cannibalize SONOS equipment sales. You think people would want the SONOS app so badly that they don't buy SONOS gear? No way. There are countless other music player apps that people can use for that already. Apple makes this one called "Music" even ;)

The point is, if SONOS supports the needs of customers (even at risk of letting their customers connect to something else), it keeps the customer in their ecosystem long term. Users will continue to expand into other rooms, buying additional SONOS speakers.

The minute you start to isolate your customers and make them feel like their needs aren't met, they'll shop for other solutions.
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[quote=AudiKev]
You are obviously not an Apple TV 4 user. If you were, you'd understand. Your disagreement here is understandable though, because you don't personally have the need for this.

But some of us do. You will see this come to fruition.


Why would you wildly guess I don't have an Apple TV 4? In fact I have one! And that is why I don't think that I would ever like to use an Apple TV Sonos App (instead of my iPad or iPhone).
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+1 This would be great. 4 of my 5 rooms with Sonos have an Apple TV. The ability to skip songs and manage content with the remote I currently use for volume control would definitely be a better user experience.
Has anyone had any updates on this front? A 'heads up' appletv4 version of the iOS controller app makes so much sense, and how cool would it be if you could voice control sonos via Siri with the remote?!

Cmon sonos - lets get cracking with it!
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I really don't see it being developed by Sonos, as much as I would love to see it. Hopefully some other app developer will try.
Sonos Controller app would be great.

A Sonos 'speaker' app turning the Apple TV into another Sonos device would be even better!
I understand and agree with frustrations. Anytime hardware companies get into software/ content ecosystem issues, things get problematic. Not promoting third party services to avoid conflict of interest. No amazon prime streaming app on apple tv for example, having to run that service through airplay comes to mind.

With that said, I just downloaded the pandora app on apple tv, and it imported all my playlists from sonos. Not a solution, but it did at least bring some of my music to the big screen. My first post in this community, Happy to be here. I miss the days when i had 1000 CDs on my wall, and could listen to a full albums in high quality with no ads or distractions. I guess we call this 'progress.'