At this point maybe a statement from Sonos might be useful.......

  • 16 October 2017
  • 35 replies
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Userlevel 6
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This isn't one of those table thumping demands asking Sonos to stand to attention and fix what I don't like. I know these forums don't work like that.

However it's been nearly 2 weeks since Sonos's rather bullish launch of the V8 app, and I'm sure they weren't expecting the tidal wave of dissent that has followed.

Now, before I go any further, I know there are people out there who jsut love the new app, and there are those who love the new black and white colour scheme. And I totally get that the the people who are unhappy are more likely to post on these forums than those that are happy.

However, regardless of which side of the fence you sit on, this very public display of dissatisfaction is not a very good for the company or its users. So maybe it's about time Sonos now made a statement -- not in reply to this or to me, or even on this forum, but something to say where the company stands which v8. Is it the vision the company sees for the app (and something we'll have to live with bar any minor tweaks) for some time to come, or is the very beginning of a big 'reset', that will see significant development in the short term. At least some pointer might stem the number of messages on here and let us know where things are heading.

Just a thought .... !

Andrew

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35 replies

Any such response from Sonos will be a corporate exception, even if warranted. Except in matters of life and death issues or those of broad public interest, companies don't like to restrict future room to manoeuvre by making more than bland anodyne kind of public statements - that will then have folks complaining about those.

And I said "if warranted" because there is a similar storm every time a major refresh happens. Is this one more, the same, or less in its intensity is hard to say. This time around there is also a lot of talk about the Alexa subject as well to add to the noise levels that makes it difficult to compare these with those in the past and see how they compare for just the UI change.

Personally, I hate all UI changes. Having learnt one, and also learnt to live with any shortcomings, I hate the necessary relearning every time. But the market seems to crave these so if I want the rest of the system benefits, I have learnt to live with each one that comes around with expectations that are set low and thus easily met.
Userlevel 6
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In a way, I kinda understand people's gripe with the voice control, but I think that was at least in part with Sonos giving everyone nearly a year to build unrealistic expectations. After all we have been able to dictate to our mobile phone's and word processors for years, but next to nobody does, because it is unreliable and frustrating. So it would have taken a miracle for Sonos to deliver what everyone seemed to expect. For my part, I am (a lot) over 30yrs old and I still smile in awe when I speak to Alexa and the music flows. I still think it's blood impressive stuff, and voice control continues to slowly progress year on year. It will get better.

And I agree with you Kumar that we are not going to get a road map or detailed plan. But to be landed with V8 (which I personally think is terrible) is one thing , but to know we will have to live with it for a considerable time due to Sonos's glacial development is another. But maybe that is not the case, in which case we can all breath easy.

Andrew
My expectation is some tweaks, not much more. There is so much that needs doing just to keep pace with Amazon on voice control and ironing out wrinkles, while adding Google and the rest - I think that Sonos development resources are going to have their hands full for quite a while. So learning things like the Edit function posted on another concurrently running thread may be a good idea to customise Version 8 to the extent possible and shorten the transition pain.
In my case I also happen to use the desktop controller about half the time - may that one remain unchanged as it has for many years now.
Userlevel 5
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there is a similar storm every time a major refresh happens. Is this one more, the same, or less in its intensity is hard to say. This time around there is also a lot of talk about the Alexa subject as well to add to the noise levels that makes it difficult to compare these with those in the past and see how they compare for just the UI change.


This one is more-way more of an outcry.

I dislike some UI changes, some I don’t mind at all. This one is waaaaayyy worse.

And judging by the amount of threads and responses and outcry vs the last few UI changes this one is on a whole new level.

Let’s not put our heads in the sand and say it’s similar to the backlash to most UI changes-It’s not even close. This software is utterly baffling, confusing and downright terrible.
Userlevel 7
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I rarely have the computer out so the mobile app (android) is my main control.

No want or need for Alexa, but a forced update due to buying a new Play1 (the irony!) has ruined my Sonos experience unfortunately.

The absolute waste of screen utilisation on My Sonos is shocking, just deffinitely Form over Function..

"Legacy" mode would have been nice.
Userlevel 7
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Hi Andrewmk, I hear your frustration and concern, we appreciate that you care about Sonos and the future! There are lots of big plans around the new app, voice control, and the future of Sonos, and it's moving a lot faster than we ever have before. I can't speak to what's coming next, or when, because software development takes time and things come up that change dates all the time.

The team is hard at work looking at feedback and criticism, and they will continue to do so as we develop the software, and hardware too for that matter. Feedback on the community tends to include a lot of criticism because having concerns is far more motivating when it comes to offering suggestions compared with enjoying a new design. We got a lot of feedback and some great constructive suggestions which will be getting fed into future versions of the app. This is just the start of the new design for the controller.

I think you've already shared some great feedback in other threads that has been passed up, but if you have any other suggestions please feel free to share.

Thanks!
Userlevel 6
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Hi Ryan.

Thanks for your reply. I' sure we all appreciate your help on here, and I'm guessing this hasn't been an awful lot of fun for you either, these last two weeks.

I was just hoping for a hint, perhaps, that Sonos will really concentrate on pushing out a 8.1 before the holidays to address some of the more obvious problems. The Ipad usually comes out for guests over the Christmas period and to be honest I don't think I'll be doing that this year in it's current state.

I get it that you can't comment on the state of software development. It would be nice if someone up the chain, just on this occasion, would.

Andrew
Userlevel 7
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I hear you, Andrew, and I totally understand wanting to know more. After all, we're all here for the same reason, we like Sonos and want to see the software and hardware improve. While the app can't be everything for everyone, we're hoping to build it into something that is great for most people.

Over the next few releases, I think you'll be seeing some improvements that you like on the foundation of this app. The team is hard at work revising things, and though we can't share any specifics today, the team is really interested in seeing your feedback.
Userlevel 3
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Does the new app bring back the play queue as it was? To me, Sonos dropped the ball big time when the app went from using the play queue to "play this now and obliterate the queue".
Userlevel 5
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Does the new app bring back the play queue as it was? To me, Sonos dropped the ball big time when the app went from using the play queue to "play this now and obliterate the queue".

I prefer the old queue system. It seemed much more user friendly.

I haven't used the new app much yet to form a fair opinion, but the negatives for me are the same as this forum. It is far too bright. It's uncomfortable at the best of times, but if I am tired or have any kind of headache then bright screens can become very annoying. Ryan - if you guys have a Christmas Party, maybe ask everyone to look at these forums as soon as they wake up the next morning?!

On the whole, I appreciate the development and growth of Sonos. I enjoy Sonos more now than I did a few years ago, and that is due to the addition of services, controller apps etc. which all work with my original purchases.
Userlevel 1
As an early tester of the v8 app, it quickly became apparent that it was a dogs breakfast in terms of usability. Spousal approval was at an all-time low and the responses to the surveys reflected that. Personally, I hardly noticed the colour change which has received lots of attention, but fundamentally changing how the app functions and then persisting with that change to release in the face of overwhelmingly negative feedback does seem to be somewhat foolish.

If you're going to have an open beta program, then please listen to us when that feedback is bad and don't be afraid to revert backwards. Although, I suspect that in order to hit the holiday season release, along with Alexa integration, the non-GUI parts of the app were already so intertwined with the interface that the developer's hands were tied.

Nevertheless, the app has gone from being intuitive and easy to use to neither of those attributes today.
Userlevel 6
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So a few messages back Ryan suggested the next few releases will see some positive changes.

Sonos has now pushed out 8.1 which fixes ....... nothing.

Sure it would have been unreasonable to ask for any big interface changes in a little over 2 weeks. But could you not tone down the colour scheme just a little ?????? Would that really have been a big deal ? Really don’t think Sonos are listening to anyone anymore and it’s not a good sign.

Andrew
Userlevel 7
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"Dark Mode" surely can't be that hard to implement, sort the rest of the dog's dinner out over later releases..
Andrew, I would suggest to you that your expectation for Sonos to suspend their current release strategy which has probably been in place for a year or more in order to squeeze in a UI change, any UI change, in a mere two weeks, is unrealistic at best. The software development and QA cycle just doesn't work that way. You will see these changes, but I would not expect them to start showing up until after the holidays at the very soonest (and even that would mean Sonos is doing some priority shifting).
Userlevel 7
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"Dark Mode" surely can't be that hard to implement, sort the rest of the dog's dinner out over later releases..

it sounds easier than it is. Its not just 'replace white by black and black by white' You also have to think about the other coloured fonts, backgrounds and icons in use and whether they will give problems when the colours are inverted in which case you need new versions of those also. You need to build the interface to make the change itself and then apply it across all necessary screens and test everything. Combine that wit the fact they are sure to be trying to rectify some of the other issues identified in the app and trying to handle those in parallel. Its definitely not a 2 week job !
Userlevel 6
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No, I'm not (of course) asking Sonos to suspend their release strategy. there was no hint that this is what I was asking. Nor am I asking Sonos to dance to my tune. Ryan said himself that there would be positive changes in the next couple of releases. Wouldn't he know better than any of us speculating on here ?

Easier said than done -- ? Yes, of course it is --- isn't everything? But possible ? Yes of course -- and probably very doable. I'm sure that Sonos use high level cross platform development tools and are not sitting there coding in binary. I don't really buy that this was not do-able -- even if it wasn't in the original road map. Thing's change. I think as a 'nod' to acknowledge they are listening, it would have been a positive move. The bigger changes could have come later.

Andrew
Nor am I asking Sonos to dance to my tune.

I think as a 'nod' to acknowledge they are listening, it would have been a positive move.

No, just "nod" to your tune. 😃
Userlevel 7
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No, I'm not (of course) asking Sonos to suspend their release strategy. there was no hint that this is what I was asking. Nor am I asking Sonos to dance to my tune. Ryan said himself that there would be positive changes in the next couple of releases. Wouldn't he know better than any of us speculating on here ?

Easier said than done -- ? Yes, of course it is --- isn't everything? But possible ? Yes of course -- and probably very doable. I'm sure that Sonos use high level cross platform development tools and are not sitting there coding in binary. I don't really buy that this was not do-able -- even if it wasn't in the original road map. Thing's change. I think as a 'nod' to acknowledge they are listening, it would have been a positive move. The bigger changes could have come later.

Andrew


maybe I phrased it incorrectly. Of course its possible and its also not that difficult. Its just difficult to do all of that in 2 weeks given other priorities and developments they have in the pipeline. Like any company, they have finite resources and have to dedicate those to where they believe it brings the biggest benefit. At this time of year it will be about maximising sales in the holiday period so appeasing existing users at the expense of new ones is probably not top of the list compared to, for example, Getting Spotify on Sonos via Alexa up and running.
Userlevel 6
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Well, all that may be. I paid my money, bought the kit, and in that respect our contract is done.

I just remember very clearly being shown the CR200 in the shop (back in 2009), being blown away by it and buying it on the spot.

Truly, if I was shown the V8 running on an Ipad in a shop today, I would think the company was having a laugh at my expense. I really wouldn't buy it. It is indeed coming up to the holiday season, and in that respect, the app is a terrible terrible shop front.

I've said my bit, and I am signing off on this topic now. I await v8.2 -- and hope that Ryan is true to his word.

Kindest regards
Andrew
Userlevel 7
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The 8.1 release is mostly the software for the Sonos One, it also has a few bug fixes, but largely that's all that's in it. It's also been mostly completed for some time now and couldn't be delayed to add more things to it since some Sonos Ones are already in people's homes.

There are some changes coming to the app, but they need to go through a full release process; design, development, review, and testing. There's a lot of feedback that's come in, and the team is working with it. You might see some changes in the next few releases that you like, and we will be continuing to improve the app going forward.
I dont know your user demographics, but I would guess a major portion of your users have 0 interest in a microphone in their homes. I think this is a huge miscalculation replacing a terrific 8 years in the making application, for something a smaller % of your users will make use of.

Im astounded at the adoption of home microphone devices and disgusted that my Sonos speakers are playing along with it and sacrificing my user experience to boot . I cant be the only one. I hope the masses vote with their wallets.
I dont know your user demographics, but I would guess a major portion of your users have 0 interest in a microphone in their homes.

You would be wrong. I've been here for almost 10 years, and the Sonos Alexa announcement and subsequent private beta speculation was the one event that had people volunteering to participate in a beta before it was even announced. Hundreds, many of them first purchasers, were requesting entry into a beta that was not even officially happening. That shows the exact opposite from a major portion of users having no interest in a microphone in their homes.
Userlevel 1
Forcing users to go experiment with a 3rd party UI - and I have released a shitload of software over the past 12 years - much of my product development was based on users and superusers and beta user feedback in our forums to control versions - BACK UP versions in a Version 2.x update etc. SONOSPAD and the guy's SonosPhone app are where I'm headed to experiment now, while everyone in our 12 room house struggle to remember DO NOT UPGRDE THE SOFTWARE on their phones... Silly things really - remind you that its not the lions in the jungle that kill you, its the ants and mosquitos...
Lets say 30% of current sonos speaker owners don't want a microphone in their house. That's a major portion to me, notice I did not say MAJORITY.
You broke the system for these customers, to create a new market. Not cool.
Why is it not possible to make a 2nd app to accommodate the people who have no value in their privacy?

If I could sell all my speakers and cash out of the mess you have created, I would.
Userlevel 7
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The new app design has nothing to do with Alexa - one does not interact at all with the other. Only the firmware on the devices themselves required the necessary update to present themselves as discoverable and allow Alexa to push music to them. If you shut down all the devices running the sonos app in your home then Alexa would continue to work with Sonos. The design change just happened to co-incide with the Alexa update but one does not depend on the other