New Sonos App and Accessibility


At Sonos, we take accessibility seriously and aim to build listening experiences that everyone can enjoy.

 

The redesigned Sonos app was built from the ground up to support both modern and future Sonos experiences, and as part of that, we’ll be implementing ongoing improvements and enhancements over time. On May 7, the app will have basic support for screen readers, allowing you to swipe through and read through all items on the screen. Following launch, ongoing improvements to the accessibility of the updated mobile app will remain a top priority. A software release available May 21 will improve screen readers so you can select items on screen in any order. Further improvement will be added to the experience regularly until we reach parity with the S2 app by late June. 

 

In the meantime, the Sonos Windows and Mac applications will continue to operate as normal until our new web app has met our accessibility standards.

 

Thank you for your patience as we continuously improve the accessibility of the Sonos app. 

Corry P 1 month ago

Hi All

This thread is related to Accessibility functionality of the new app. Any further off-topic comments will be removed. 

There are plenty of other threads relating to the new app that are not about Accessibility - please feel free to post to them instead.

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Userlevel 2

The post to which I reply begins with the following sentence:

“At Sonos, we take accessibility seriously and aim to build listening experiences that everyone can enjoy.”

While it strikes the right tone and says all the right things I must confess to feeling a bit of incredulity. There was a time when my faith and trust in Sonos’ commitment to #Accessibility was unwavering. For over time, their consistent commitment therein demonstrated year after year and update after update and through advancement after advancement was unmatched in the audio space.

Reading the words a new and improved app often causes a bit of trepidation in the hearts of those of us who are blind and low vision as all too often this means storm clouds of regression in terms of accessibility and a degradation of usability efficiency and enjoyment may be on the horizon.

Nevertheless, based on the equity Sonos had built up in my trust account over the years when people started to express their concerns, I confidently asserted that there was nothing to fear. Sonos had done right by me and others for over 14 years and I’d give them the benefit of the doubt until I had reason not to do so.

Sadly, the news of recent days has caused me to apologize for my earlier assertions and embrace the fact that in part trust has been broken or at the very least eroded.

While it is commendable that Sonos as a company is putting forth statements recognizing the situation; and while there’s hope that going forward these regressions in accessibility and usability for those of us who are blind or low vision may be remedied. The undeniable truth is that this situation could have and should have been prevented and avoided if only inclusive design and accessibility along with the segment of the user base most impacted by them had been factored into the design process at its inception from the ground up.

Neither accessibility nor those who most benefit from it should be viewed as an after thought necessitating a retrofit solution.

Many of us have chosen to support the Sonos brand and its products with the power of our purchasing dollars and many of us can say we’ve done so to the tune of a significant investment. Our support and business should be as valuable as anyone else’s.

Here’s hoping the future of this company, its products and faithful purchasers, supporters and users will be brighter than this current season and that we who have chosen to support the brand with our purchasing dollars and loyalty will be treated more respectfully going forward.

 

Userlevel 2
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" At Sonos, we take accessibility seriously and aim to build listening experiences that everyone can enjoy"

LMFAO.…

Since S2 I can't count the number of times Sonos can't find the Wifi, looses one speaker randomly, the thousands of hours I spent chatting with their support.…

I've been told to either change the WiFi bandwidth, the channel, etc.... if Sonos products are so Wifi sensitive, they should probably invest more in dealing with Wifi signal rather than a new Software.

If it wasn't for the investment I made by buying all my speakers, I would have changed for another technology. I couldn't advise more someone considering buying their products, to think twice.

Badge +1

" At Sonos, we take accessibility seriously and aim to build listening experiences that everyone can enjoy"

LMFAO.…

Since S2 I can't count the number of times Sonos can't find the Wifi, looses one speaker randomly, the thousands of hours I spent chatting with their support.…

I've been told to either change the WiFi bandwidth, the channel, etc.... if Sonos products are so Wifi sensitive, they should probably invest more in dealing with Wifi signal rather than a new Software.

If it wasn't for the investment I made by buying all my speakers, I would have changed for another technology. I couldn't advise more someone considering buying their products, to think twice.

You spend thousands of hours with their support? 

Userlevel 2
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Probably yes....

Userlevel 1

I am a voiceover user on IOS and have just updated the app. Really disappointed that the accessibility has regressed in this way. I am an accessibility consultant as well as being blind myself and have used Sonos for many years. I wish accessibility had been looked into a lot more before this update but what is done is done and I just hope the fixes that are promised come ASAP.

Userlevel 1

As a loyal Sonos customer of over 10 years, it is extremely sad to see Sonos has turned into a company that will happily publish a statement emphasizing commitment to accessibility, only to then release an app which, at least on iOS, is not at all accessible using the VoiceOver screenreader.

 

If your company’s development workflow does not include both automated and manual accessibility testing, then truthfully there is no honest commitment to accessibility there, I say this as someone who has been working in both software development and QA engineering for the past several years.

 

I am a European Sonos customer, and this latest update has turned my Sonos products (some of which are still under warranty) into essentially unusable paperweights. This clearly violates consumer protection laws within the European Union, and I’m currently figuring out how to best exercise my consumer rights given this situation.

Regardless of how long it will take to release a new version of the app containing accessibility fixes, whether this will be in a week or even in a day, there should not be any doubt about the fact that this should never have happened in the first place. Testing for accessibility during the development process is an industry standard these days, and for a well-established company like Sonos there is simply no excuse for failing to adopt such best practices.

 

For me it’s clear that the time to switch over to a different audio system has come, thankfully Sonos isn’t the only company out there making these.

Userlevel 1

Where are the widgets?

This update worse than useless.

Userlevel 2
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I update to the new app.
The app crashed all the time.
when I uninstall the app, the first time opening is ok, After that the app crashed again.

Please fix

 
Userlevel 1

Hi. There is no update on the Apple App Store. I do not understand.

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +15

Hi. There is no update on the Apple App Store. I do not understand.

Don't do it!!!!!!

Userlevel 1

Hi. There is no update on the Apple App Store. I do not understand.

 

Ok, I managed to manually upgrade.

 

Userlevel 1

Hi. There is no update on the Apple App Store. I do not understand.

Don't do it!!!!!!

🤔 Why?

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +15

Hi. There is no update on the Apple App Store. I do not understand.

 

Ok, I managed to manually upgrade.

 

Let us know what you think of it.

Userlevel 7
Badge +15

Hi. There is no update on the Apple App Store. I do not understand.

Don't do it!!!!!!

🤔 Why?

 

Read pretty much every post since release.

Accessibility options worse and a hell of a lot of core functionality removed.

Userlevel 1
Badge +2

So many bad review, I wonder affect the sound quality this time. ? Really want to avoid those days 

Userlevel 6
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It is a pity that some have hijacked this thread with general discussions about the new app when this thread is about accessibility, but I’d like to bring it back on topic.

 

I wrote a blog post a few days ago based on good information, warning blind people that they may wish not to update because the state of the new app was a significant regression for those of us who use VoiceOver on iPhone or Talkback on Android.

Elsewhere in this community, the only response we got from a Sonos staff member was what I can only describe as petulant obfuscation. He said that people could not talk about beta software because those who were testing were subject to NDA, and that it was unfair to use the quality of a beta build to judge the final release. Yet as it turns out, the first release is every bit as bad as my source told me it was.

Like many blind customers, I am not just disappointed, but angry. The announcement at the top of this thread translated into plain speaking, is “yeah we know it’s rough, but we’re getting there. Be patient, hurry up and wait.” To describe the new app as having “basic accessibility” is a serious overstatement, and that’s me trying to be polite. Another word beginning with l is more like it. I don’t believe that any blind person with a modicum of accessibility competency would describe the app as having “basic accessibility”. They would describe it as having significant accessibility issues and would urge people to avoid it, as I have done in my blog post.

So, who determined that the term “basic accessibility” was the correct one? Are a bunch of uninformed sighted people now claiming to know what is best for blind people? Do they actually understand how a VoiceOver or Talkback user interacts with a mobile app and what is necessary to create an acceptable experience? Because acceptable this most certainly is not. Was it a PR decision in the hope that most people would consider blind people whose systems are now barely useable as whiners because Sonos says it’s OK?

There are laws around accessibility in many countries where Sonos sells products, and there is a very strong case that with this release, Sonos just broke a lot of them. This despite my writing to the CEO and warning him that this seemed to be about to happen.

I have been a huge Sonos fan, and I have the credit card statements and robust debates with my wife to prove it. I am also a very minor stockholder. I am so upset by this disreputable, dishonest, discriminatory conduct that I am looking into other options despite my long-term use and considerable investment.

The opening sentence in the post that started this thread is absolutely laughable. No company that cared about accessibility would release a product so broken and so contemptuous.

I want to see the CEO of Sonos apologising with genuine humility to the blind community. Otherwise, we have options, some legal, some involving alternatives.

This is a very sad day.

Userlevel 2
Badge +6

The Sonos Mac app has never been accessible despite various posts on these forums. And I've never managed to get an answer from the accessibility email address. So I'm not sure I agree with the statement that Sonos takes accessibility so seriously.

This plus obviously deciding that blind people are second class citizens and it's OK for the app to be broken for them for a while.

However, I appreciate that you have at least acknowledged it and are committing to fixing the issues. I will not be intentionally upgrading the app until this is done.
 

Userlevel 1

Using Radio Paradise there are no longer album covers 😫

 

Userlevel 2
Badge +2

My first impressions off the App are positive. Yes, there are capabilities I’d like to see added , but the overall usabilty is an improvement. 

I hope we’ll see

  1.  Return of ‘play next’, so I can queue up tracks
  2. I like ‘Your Services’, but would like to be able to chose the sequence. I can set the first, but the others are alphabetical
  3. I do tend to refer to ‘Sonos System Info’ frequently ,to ensure I have Atmos, or other surround playing. It’s more hidden now, that it used to be

 

But overall, it's an improvement

 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +18

Hi All

This thread is related to Accessibility functionality of the new app. Any further off-topic comments will be removed. 

There are plenty of other threads relating to the new app that are not about Accessibility - please feel free to post to them instead.

It's disheartening to hear that the latest update to the Sonos app has resulted in decreased accessibility. Updates should aim to enhance user experience, not hinder it, especially for those who rely on accessible features. I hope Sonos takes this feedback seriously and works promptly to address these issues in upcoming versions. It's essential for all users to have equitable access to technology, and I encourage Sonos to prioritize restoring and improving the accessibility features in their app.

Userlevel 6
Badge +1

Hi all, we have a real situation here I’m afraid.

There is obviously a lot going on server-side. I am running the inaccessible Sonos app on a test device but keeping the accessible one on my primary device.

Apple Music is my streaming service of choice. This morning on the accessible Sonos app I had to Reauthorise Sonos for Apple Music. After doing so, Apple Music via Sonos is now completely inaccessible, even on the old app.

What I don’t know is whether only those of us who have the inaccessible and accessible apps on two different devices are experiencing this, or whether even those who stick to the old app exclusively have now lost access to Apple Music and possibly other services.

Hi all, we have a real situation here I’m afraid.

There is obviously a lot going on server-side. I am running the inaccessible Sonos app on a test device but keeping the accessible one on my primary device.

Apple Music is my streaming service of choice. This morning on the accessible Sonos app I had to Reauthorise Sonos for Apple Music. After doing so, Apple Music via Sonos is now completely inaccessible, even on the old app.

What I don’t know is whether only those of us who have the inaccessible and accessible apps on two different devices are experiencing this, or whether even those who stick to the old app exclusively have now lost access to Apple Music and possibly other services.

Do you have more than one Apple music account set up in Sonos?

Userlevel 6
Badge +1

Hi all, we have a real situation here I’m afraid.

There is obviously a lot going on server-side. I am running the inaccessible Sonos app on a test device but keeping the accessible one on my primary device.

Apple Music is my streaming service of choice. This morning on the accessible Sonos app I had to Reauthorise Sonos for Apple Music. After doing so, Apple Music via Sonos is now completely inaccessible, even on the old app.

What I don’t know is whether only those of us who have the inaccessible and accessible apps on two different devices are experiencing this, or whether even those who stick to the old app exclusively have now lost access to Apple Music and possibly other services.

Do you have more than one Apple music account set up in Sonos?

I do, yes, as family members use our Sonos system.

Hi all, we have a real situation here I’m afraid.

There is obviously a lot going on server-side. I am running the inaccessible Sonos app on a test device but keeping the accessible one on my primary device.

Apple Music is my streaming service of choice. This morning on the accessible Sonos app I had to Reauthorise Sonos for Apple Music. After doing so, Apple Music via Sonos is now completely inaccessible, even on the old app.

What I don’t know is whether only those of us who have the inaccessible and accessible apps on two different devices are experiencing this, or whether even those who stick to the old app exclusively have now lost access to Apple Music and possibly other services.

Do you have more than one Apple music account set up in Sonos?

I do, yes, as family members use our Sonos system.

If a family member’s account is somehow active in your app, you won’t be able to reauthorize Apple music on your device. In the new app, it actually picked my kid’s account as the primary account with apple music and I needed to get in to the apple music settings and choose my account as the primary account.

It will take a lot of swipes, but I was able to change this with voiceover. Start from the  main app page, swipe until you hear manage, then swipe down to Connected Services, then Apple Music, then connected accounts. Double tap on your account, then swipe down to set as primary account.

This may be the issue with the S2 app not authorizing as well.

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