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New sonos app 2024 and improvements for voiceover screen reader users in IOS

  • 30 June 2024
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Hi Re the new sonos app released May 2024 and the voiceover screen reader for IOS. I’m aware that since it’s launch in May 2024 the user experience for blind people using the app with the voiceover screen reader in IOS has been less than fantastic! as a blind person and voiceover user myself, I’m also well aware that sonos have done a lot of work to address problems for voiceover users following the initial release of the new version of the app. my question is are all of the improvments for use of the app with voiceover now included in the app as of the end of June 2024? or, are there more improvements scheduled for voiceover users during july? I’m currently running the last version of the system software and app prior to 7th may, but would like to update not least to take advantage of support for Apple Music Lossless.  I would appreciate any advice from Sonos Staff, or others who have a greater knowledge of the forthcoming software releases. Thanks for your help, Angus. 


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Hi @Geordieshorts74 

Thanks for your post! And, apologies for the delay.

We invested our user experience and engineering energy on supporting VoiceOver throughout the new app project. Unfortunately near the end, we took our eye off the ball and missed a couple of key bugs. Those bug fixes shipped in a release one week after the app went live.

Improvements to voiceover will continue - possibly without end, as we will endeavour to keep making things better. We onboarded 30 visually impaired customers to our beta program within days of our updated app launch to ensure we have their input on the next versions of the app, which already have several improvements beyond the bug fixes we’ve already shipped. If interested, you can sign up to join here.

So, improvements to voiceover have already been made since the initial release of the new app, and more are yet to come. I haven’t seen any additional complaints here regarding voiceover since the initial release, so I presume the changes that have already been made were significant.

If you have more than one device you can have the Sonos app installed on, I would for now only recommend installing the new app on one of them, just in case any issues arise - while voiceover has improved, there are some other issues still present that are negatively affecting some users.

I hope this answers your question - if you have any more, please don’t hesitate.

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Hi and thank you for your reply.

 

Hi and thank you for your reply. Unfortunately I’ve accidentally updated the Sonos app whilst trying to update others (something I prayed wouldn’t happen But sadly it has.

 

Even worsebut sadly it has. Even worse this is actually on my iPhone, not on my iPad. Essentially therefore I have two choices either update the Sonos software and the app on my iPad and learn to live with both, or simply use my Sonos system through myiPad.

 

 iPad. Neither of these options are ideal, and it simply highlights why you shouldn’t have released the new app into the wild with all of these known bugs. I know you’ve heard this 1 million times, but you really really should consider rolling back to the old app until you get all of these problems fixed. Needless to say, I very much doubt that this will happen.

 

I know you’ve heard this 1 million times, but you really really should consider rolling back to the old app until you get all of these problems fixed. Needless to say, I very much doubt that this will happen. If the new app is as awful as I’m led to believe both in terms of usability with VoiceOver, and general reliability issues (that is possibly a bigger concern)I’ll be considering selling my Sonos system on and moving to a competitors product.

 

 I’ll seriously be considering selling my Sonos system on and moving to a competitors product. I can’t stress enough what a mess you’ve made of the whole app role out. I fully also appreciate that this is not your own personal fault, but I’m afraid Sonos has really taken their eye off the ball with this one and lost a lot of  Users trust in the process. Thanks again.  

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Hi @Geordieshorts74 

I know you’ve heard this 1 million times, but you really really should consider rolling back to the old app until you get all of these problems fixed. Needless to say, I very much doubt that this will happen. If the new app is as awful as I’m led to believe both in terms of usability with VoiceOver, and general reliability issues (that is possibly a bigger concern)I’ll be considering selling my Sonos system on and moving to a competitors product.

If? Now that you have the new version of the app, are you actually having problems with it? I know that there is a lot of talk here on the community about it going wrong, but few people ever bother to report back when things are going swimmingly. You may as well judge the health of an entire population by the state of people in hospitals. The majority of our users are not having issues.

If you did update, and haven't tried the app yet, please try it out. We have been updating the app for better VoiceOver usability.

And, if you do have issues with the new app, please let me know, and I will be happy to help or pass feedback along.

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Hi Corry, thanks for your message and taking the time to reply. Firstly I apologise for my rather abrupt message yesterday. Having returned home this evening, I’ve had a chance to update my sonos system and have a brief look at the new app. The main headline is exactly as you say, I.e. much work has clearly been done since the launch on 7th May and the app is for the most part perfectly useable with voiceover. Of course there are improvements whihc could be made to make the experience better with voiceover, but then this applies to many apps, and I’m sure in the case of sonos they are probably on your radar, and I now have much more confidence in the product than I did, even at the beginning of this week! 

As to the update process, this actually went really smoothly, arguably better than doing system updates using the old app and also it was more user friendly to voiceover users which did surprise me. 

As background my system is connected to the router using a sonos boost then I have a Connect Gen 2 hooked up to the Hifi, a Beam Gen 1 sub mini and 2X 1SL doing home theatre duties, 2X sonos 1 operating as a stereo pare upstairs in the office and 2x Play 1’s operating the same way in the bedroom, I also have a sonos rome. all products updated smoothly and so far I’m not noticing many if any operational issues. 

Regarding the app itself, there are some minor bugs I’ve noticed which I’d be happy to pass on to either you or the most appropriate person. 

Thanks also for the invite Re the Beta Programme, I’d be delighted to take that up as hopefully I can provide some useful feedback. 

To close, thanks again, and credit where it’s due, the App, whilst it’s a completely different experience in terms of the user interface, is actually much more useable with voiceover than it was when I looked at it at the beginning of June at a local Sonos retailer, so thanks to the person or people who have made this happen. 

Best wishes. 

 

Angus. 

 

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Hello again, also I forgot to say another pluss point of the new app is the support for Apple music lossless. This does move the game on regarding sound quality, especially on the connect box hooked up to my hifi. The only comment I have here is it was a bit difficult to make it work in the first place esentially I had to restart the app a couple of times and then play a few tracks before it decided to work, however it’s up and running with no major problems to report so far. 

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Hi @Geordieshorts74 

I’m very glad to hear that your experience with the new app has been largely positive! I am sure it will only get better with time.

Thanks for updating the thread!

 

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