Sonos iOS update is shockingly bad - first impressions



Show first post
This topic has been closed for further comments. You can use the search bar to find a similar topic, or create a new one by clicking Create Topic at the top of the page.

138 replies

For your reading pleasure . . . Sherman, set the Wayback Machine:

New App = Horrible

See you all in three years when 8.0 is perfection! 😉
Userlevel 7
Badge +17
a few tweaks (major tweaks, but still tweaks) were all it needed. I suggest the same is true today...

I guess therein lies the problem. It really seems that each new UI launch is rushed out of the door in response to who knows what and then the changes only start when the complaints begin. Why not do some proper research upfront and/or in alpha and apply whatever tweaks are needed (within reason) before rolling out to the masses. I recall a prior new UI (dont know which) where the volume slider was missing from the Now Playing window. Thats just madness. You could say the same on this release as to why the toolbar is missing from the 'Now Playing' which I know was highlighted before general release. These are small things which could easily be incorporated into the release when the UI is introduced rather than in reaction to the ensuing uproar that follows delivering something in a seemingly 'unfinished' state. No one ever is shouting for a completely new UI so even a delay of a few months to 'refine' it based on some wider user feedback is surely preferable to the current approach of deliver 75%, face a barrage of criticism, then deliver the rest in 5% increments later on
So nicka99, care to mention what your thoughts of the 5.0 app were when it first came out compared to now? 😉
PS - And you know that no amount of "refinement" would ever stave off the complaints due to unfamiliarity. You only have to look at 5.0 to see that. The reason 5.0 got "better" is not due to "refinement" because quite frankly, the tweaks were about 10% of what people were asking for. It got better because people got used to it.
Userlevel 7
Badge +17
So nicka99, care to mention what your thoughts of the 5.0 app were when it first came out compared to now? ;)

PS - And you know that no amount of "refinement" would ever stave off the complaints due to unfamiliarity. You only have to look at 5.0 to see that. The reason 5.0 got "better" is not due to "refinement" because quite frankly, the tweaks were about 10% of what people were asking for. It got better because people got used to it.

To be honest its so long ago I dont recall my initial thoughts. I do agree regarding unfamiliarity which can take some time to overcome but there are some pretty annoying things about the new version that are even familiarity wont fix:
- the layout of 'my sonos' with different (over)sized icons and number rows per section ('stations' vs the others) where the first items you scroll horizontally then you want more you hit 'show all' then it flips 90 degrees to a vertical list. why so inconsistent ? Better to just allow users to create whatever sections they want, put them as a submenu under 'my sonos' button and go direct to the list view. Even better - put this as a top level menu under 'Browse'
- the colour scheme is awful in low light. light grey on white - ugh !
- the oversized icons on the rooms list meaning extra scrolling
- the loss of the quick access to settings from rooms list
- the loss of showing the next track
- the splitting of Favorites and Playlists from Browse (why?)
- the loss of the hazy background album art (served no purpose but looked nice!)
- no menu bar on 'Now Playing'
...

To be honest its so long ago I dont recall my initial thoughts.
...

I do. You hated it with the fiery heat of 1000 suns. Your 7 year old couldn't figure it out any more and your wife had taken to using the line-in. You repeatedly pleaded with Sonos to let you revert to the previous version. You posted review trends from the App Store and called for campaigns against the new app at Engadget, CNET, The Register, Gizmodo, TechRadar... You were constantly stating you are looking at the competition. Here's just a sample:

- if they want to update the look of the app then indeed Ill get over it. However - hiding things away that I used to have in plain sight (ipad in landscape mode) - I will not get over this. Why should I click more than I used to ? I dont bother listening to music so much lately as I know it used to be good and now its just painful. Thats hardly an improvement is it ?


In other words, the same things people are screaming about here. Honest question: Still feel the same way about the old app? And don't say they fixed the things you hated, because you explicitly listed 8 things which if not fixed you will "never be happy" and they fixed only one (scrubber bar and time elapsed).

Look, I'm not picking on you. You just happen to be one of the most vocal about this stuff so you are a good example of the phenomenon at work here. It IS familiarity and muscle memory. A UI is a UI, sure some are better than others, but the trends nowadays have more to do with fashion and slight usability tweaks than anything else. Some hate change (as you apparently do) and they complain a lot. Some love change, so they complain very little. Some, like me, feel it is all just getting used to it and could give a care because I just want to play music.
PS - And by the way, the thread I took nick's post from was FORTY-FIVE pages long. The ones on 8.0 barely tip 5 pages. You guys are friggin pikers. 😃
Userlevel 7
Badge +17
Wow - jgatie - think I’m gonna have to get some police protection outside my house the way you are going on and clearly a little obsessive spending hours going back over 3 year old posts.

I don’t hate change at all or I’d never do, buy, see or experience anything new in my life. I do however hate changes that are not improvements. Did you even read my earlier comments above with my view about the app ?

You also seem to suggest I do nothing but trawl these forums complaining but you obviously omitted to mention all the posts where I am trying to help others out in addition to spending a considerable amount of time testing for Sonos and providing what I hope is valuable feedback in alpha and beta phases to improve the product for everyone’s benefit
Userlevel 6
Badge +1
It IS familiarity and muscle memory.

Not it's not, it's about a redesign that significantly less efficient and user friendly than the previous one, which - let's be clear about it - wasn't all that great either. Don't think a single controller in the history of sonos every was. But at least they were relatively reasonable to use.

People that use now playing as their default screen for example - and their appear to be quite some of us - need to click a lot more than before, while often jumping from top of the screen to the bottom and vice versa.

Take the case of switching to another room. In the past that ment clicking on the little dropdown of the current source and selecting another source. Eh voila, you are good to go. Want to change the configuration while you're at it. you can do that too.

In the new model I suddenly have to click the little arrow at the top, then select 'rooms' at the bottom, and from there start scrolling to the speakers of interest, to achieve the exact same thing. That's not an improvement.

Regardless of people knowing how to do it or even getting used to it, it's stil a lot less efficient than simply using that dropdown on the now playing screen. And turn and twist it like you want, that sucks.

And in regards to that scrolling. How is fitting only 2,5 instead of 5 speakers in a single screen an improvement? We don't need to see what's playing first before we can select the right speakers. That can done afterwards. Instead we now need to scroll to do sowhere previously we didn't.

The white design sits in the same boat. Not only does it pose issues in with dimmed lighting, it's also less clear which items are most important or belong together. On that same speakers screen for example. I currently have a bigger block at the top telling me 'no music'. Underneath it, it says kitchen, but that those 2 things go together is hardly visible.

Again, that sucks and it a typical example of form over function. And that for a rather questionable form at best.

That you fail to acknowledge all this as well as several other elements, and instead constantly blame people for pointing this out, is pretty sad.
Wow - jgatie - think I’m gonna have to get some police protection outside my house the way you are going on and clearly a little obsessive spending hours going back over 3 year old posts.

I don’t hate change at all or I’d never do, buy, see or experience anything new in my life. I do however hate changes that are not improvements. Did you even read my earlier comments above with my view about the app ?

You also seem to suggest I do nothing but trawl these forums complaining but you obviously omitted to mention all the posts where I am trying to help others out in addition to spending a considerable amount of time testing for Sonos and providing what I hope is valuable feedback in alpha and beta phases to improve the product for everyone’s benefit


I never said you didn't help people. That is not the point. And don't try to deflect your own blatant hypocrises by accusing me of stalking you, you posted it, so own it. Besides, it didn't take me hours, it took me minutes, this is the age of Google, if not the age of decent InSided search. So why don't you stop attacking the messenger because I was able to bring up your old posts that you had conveniently forgotten, and how about you state why the 5.0 release that your wife refused to use and you launched a campaign against is now so great, despite Sonos fixing only 1 of 8 items you found completely unacceptable? If those 7 changes were not improvements on the app before 5.0, and Sonos never fixed them, why is 5.0 now so intuitive and easy?
Userlevel 6
Badge +6
There are are lot of people — some first time posters — saying they don’t like the app.

There are about 3 posters trying to persuade them they are all wrong. Why is this?

Andrew
There are are lot of people — some first time posters — saying they don’t like the app.

There are about 3 posters trying to persuade them they are all wrong. Why is this?

Andrew


Same as 5.0, the app you now love. Besides, I'm not telling you you are wrong and on many points I agree the new UI needs tweaks. I'm just saying the vitriolic, overarching, hyperbolic hatred you and others are experiencing just may be partially due to unfamiliarity and muscle memory. Unless 5.0 has undergone drastic changes since it was released (it hasn't), that was most certainly the case before, for I highly doubt the thousands of posters who wrote reams of rants against that release actually made good on their threats to abandon the platform. After all, nicka99 is still here. Myself, I learned from experience that with anything new it pays to give it time to sink in before breaking out the torches and pitchforks, it often saves one some embarrassment later.
Userlevel 6
Badge +6
Well I can see Jgatie that you are very active on here and your help and support is very appreciated by the community as a whole.

But if somebody dislikes something no logical argument is going to convince them they are wrong. They don’t like it - end of. Of course, same goes if they do like it. No one is right or wrong in their opinions.

I think the argument about getting used to something is right but only to a degree. I’m sure absolutely everyone who has complained on here still managed to figure the app on their own. It’s not really convincing to say that if only they had a helping hand they would have loved it like their own grandmother. Everyone here has now been living with v8 for two weeks and everyone now knows how it works. But if they STILL don’t like it, what then?

Andrew
The rants about 5.0 went on for months. 45 pages worth in one thread. Phase 1 was what you see here, hundreds of people screaming at Sonos as if the app were the multi-room streamer version of Greedo shooting first, as if Sonos stole their childhood. Of course by the time it got to phase 2, as the muscle memory was reprogramming and familiarity increased, it was down to 1 or 2 diehards still carrying the torch and others working with Sonos to tweak the new app in a few helpful ways. All I suggest is much more can be gained by skipping the hyperbole and drama of phase 1 and try rushing the pace to phase two.

As a point, I know one poster who was the single most vocal detractor of 5.0, who wailed like a banshee for post after post after post, and later came to love it after calming down and taking it all in. He even took part in the phase 2 suggestions I spoke of above. I notice he is curiously missing from these threads. Perhaps he, like me, learned that first impressions are not always the most reliable when it comes to subjective analysis.
Userlevel 2
There are are lot of people — some first time posters — saying they don’t like the app.

There are about 3 posters trying to persuade them they are all wrong. Why is this?

Andrew


Same as 5.0, the app you now love. Besides, I'm not telling you you are wrong and on many points I agree the new UI needs tweaks. I'm just saying the vitriolic, overarching, hyperbolic hatred you and others are experiencing just may be partially due to unfamiliarity and muscle memory. Unless 5.0 has undergone drastic changes since it was released (it hasn't), that was most certainly the case before, for I highly doubt the thousands of posters who wrote reams of rants against that release actually made good on their threats to abandon the platform. After all, nicka99 is still here. Myself, I learned from experience that with anything new it pays to give it time to sink in before breaking out the torches and pitchforks, it often saves one some embarrassment later.


The old "blue" UI (whatever version it was), was far more efficient than either of the ones that came after. The just superseded version was more efficient than this new one. I don't understand who thought that taking more steps to achieve a goal was a good idea.

ot put in simple terms, I taught 60+ year olds how to use the old blue app in about 20 minutes - one single session. The last one required usually two 20 minute sessions. The latest one... I am still counting.

In terms of a clean slate, the "teaching an old old person" timer is about as good a metric as I can come up with. Glue that menu bar across the bottom, and it'll help significantly, as apposed to hiding everything in favour of a HUGE area of white empty space.

Z...
Userlevel 3
Badge
It’s aweful , can we have the old version back.
My misses will never work this out if I struggle with it.


I had a perfect system. A perfectly understood and functioning system and then I was "forced" to update to 8.1 and now I barely recognize what is going on with my controller.

This whole white background thing is awful ..... AWFUL. I had a much better look to this before and now I dont know how to get it back. This is breaking Sonos for me and I'm looking for alternatives. This is depressing.

And now, after having to recreate several dozen playlists, I find that several of my playlists have double entries in them. I've only added the song once, but it's in there twice. I have NEVER had this problem before in five years of using Sonos.


I just don't have the time for this nonsense. Rebuilding playlists only because I was forced to upgrade to an unnecessary version of the controller because basic functions were crippled until I upgraded? What kind of nonsense is that? And then I find that, for the first time ever, I'm suddenly finding duplicate songs in the playlist?

I DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR THIS CRAP.
Userlevel 5
Badge +10

In terms of a clean slate, the "teaching an old old person" timer is about as good a metric as I can come up with. Glue that menu bar across the bottom, and it'll help significantly, as apposed to hiding everything in favour of a HUGE area of white empty space.


Yes! Good UI/UX design matters. I'm also a big fan of the "hallway testing" idea of just handing the app to some random first-time user and seeing whether they can understand it without a manual. I suspect that the Sonos v7/8 user testing sessions would have been "interesting", watching users guess what a play button might do to the queue on any given navigation screen, or wondering where their favourites went and why the "My Sonos" screen only shows a subset, or jumping between mobile and desktop... Apart from the costs of software development, Sonos do have some constraints in terms of how quickly they can change the app (not "freaking out" existing users, their self-imposed infrequent "waterfall" release schedule), but given the complete lack of attention paid to the outstanding navigation issues in version 7, I don't expect any of the new version 8 UI problems to be addressed. Oh well, at least the app can be learned, and there's a blog post out there where Sonos describe the ideal app they really wanted to ship...
I absolutely HATE the new app version. It's ugly, cluttered and downright confusing! The old app was a joy to use. The new one is painfully bad. Sonos, please swallow your pride and bring back the previous version.

I was just about to buy two new Sonos speakers (already got three), but with the current app, it will not happen. Sonos, you ruined a beautiful thing!
Userlevel 2
Badge
I am using DAILY the new app since it has been released and EACH time I struggle to find my way to group speakers or switch room...
This is clearly not intuitive and the UEX/design is AWFUL.

You need to reduce using a small chevron to access the menu
The bright light colour
No quick link to settings
The bookmarks aka My Sonos where you spent your time scrolling left right to find something
The flow to group
The flow to switch room...

I installed the "heavy" client on my laptop to be able to stop using the app!
This is a joke...
Userlevel 1
Badge
Another unhappy SONOS Android app user. The most recent updated Android app is very unfriendly to use. Too many clicks and ease of use has been erased. Fortunately, I was able to revert back to the previous version.
I'm a first time poster, so it's got to be bad. The interface for iPhone iOS is horrible. Please give me back the old interface. I like to see "ALL" my favorites not just some and hate clicking on see all, and is so confusing from switch music from room to room. The white interface is no good either. I have been a long time Sonos owner and it's never been this bad. Trust me I've tried to get use to it, so has my wife...but it's not intuitive. I give up!!
Userlevel 2
Badge +2
Totally agree, this is the worst update ever, I can't figure out how to get 2 stations playing in different rooms. every time i try to switch room it wants to move the station with it.

Is there any way we can back out of this update until they get it working?

Also I'm not sight impaired, so drop the MASSIVE graphics and let me see more on the screen.

Did SONOS even approach any users to test this release, sorry but this is horrible!
Userlevel 2
Badge +2
I agree with most of these posts. The new App is awful and I object to having to update all the time. I bought a lot of Sonos kit in 2009 and some since but it's all going on e-bay now. Every time I go to use it there is an update, interruptions, problems, having to sign in to a user account often, passwords uppercase with at least one number digit and 8 characters! These are speakers not online banking! They used to work but rarely now due to the horrible software. I imagine it tracks what you play and will advertise products soon! Why do we need an account with a username and complex password to update with software that is not properly tested and prevents us from using the system until completed. The latest changes are the final straw. I can't find most of my music. There is no keyword search so most classical music is unsearchable. The software has bugs, the update is far less usable than before and some functions have gone. What has happened to what used to be great products? I am migrating to Bluetooth and hardwired. I hate the new Sonos.I used to love it. The developers and team have wrecked it.
Userlevel 2
Badge +2
I'm a first time poster, so it's got to be bad. The interface for iPhone iOS is horrible. Please give me back the old interface. I like to see "ALL" my favorites not just some and hate clicking on see all, and is so confusing from switch music from room to room. The white interface is no good either. I have been a long time Sonos owner and it's never been this bad. Trust me I've tried to get use to it, so has my wife...but it's not intuitive. I give up!! I agree! why do I have to always press show more!! That is just one of many horrible features. It must have been designed by someone trying to make it as annoying and unusable as possible. I sadly cant restore the previous software. Maddening.
Userlevel 5
Badge +11
I'm a first time poster, so it's got to be bad. The interface for iPhone iOS is horrible. Please give me back the old interface. I like to see "ALL" my favorites not just some and hate clicking on see all, and is so confusing from switch music from room to room. The white interface is no good either. I have been a long time Sonos owner and it's never been this bad. Trust me I've tried to get use to it, so has my wife...but it's not intuitive. I give up!!

You must still be spitting feathers about iOS 10 and especially so with iOS 11.