Sonos iOS update is shockingly bad - first impressions


Userlevel 5
Badge +6
The whole My Sonos feature is confusing. The playlists are confusing, and huge graphics which means hardly any playlists can be shown. Was SO hoping the Mac app would get an update, but no such luck. Wait for more reviews before upgrading..... or am I missing something?

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

Jeremy Allison wrote:
"If I do this now it does not change the room, but reverts to the wrong (original) room. Now I have to tap 'Rooms', add the room I want to listen to - ensuring that it *AND* the previous room are selected, then touch "Done". Then I have to click 'Rooms' again, de-select the previous room - leaving the new room selected, then click 'Done'."
Same problems with Sonos 8.2/Android 7.0 controller. Disappointing.
Amazingly bad App across all devises. Had local audio store bring out a sub to add to system, but when required creating an account, I had them take unit back and forced a credit for their time they tried to invoice. Negative downstream impact is significant. Manager in charge of rollout missed the mark badly. Window to correct situation is closing rapidly and harm inflicted is considerable. Customers and dealers are in open revolt.
Userlevel 5
Badge +10
Quick observation: since latest update, the "now playing" screen has changed slightly, so instead of a back button to get to browse etc. menus, you have to instead slide something up or down (or more likely, pull up iPad notifications). I assume they looked at the iOS music player and thought "yeah, it's poor UX but it's what users expect"...
Userlevel 5
Badge +10

See All shows a list


Just remember that the desktop app's "Favourites" screen (list of all favourites) is different from the mobile app's "My Sonos->See All" screen, which shows a list of all favourites (or whatever they're called these days) for a specific category only (or not-marked-as-favourite playlists). Because "consistency".
Userlevel 5
Badge +11


2. MySonos needs an list view.
.

Thanks,
Brian


See All shows a list
Userlevel 5
Badge +10
Every modern navigation system seems to offer choices between large icons, small icons, and various list views. At a minimum, offer the option to show MySonos entries as a list instead of GIANT icons.

A defining feature of Sonos design is the absolute lack of user choice and customisation. You want more info / detail (eg. access to tagging info, album / track times)? You're out of luck because Sonos want a clean minimalist interface. You want consistent, persistent-by-default / ephemeral-by-default queue behaviour? Well you're stuck with getting whatever mode the play button you clicked on defaults to. You want to decide what gets displayed on your "My Sonos" screen? Well add/delete favourites and watch Sonos pick the first up-to-8 alphabetically in each category, filling the screen with whitespace and forcing yet-another-click to that "fast access". You want a list of all your favourites in one screen? Use the desktop app instead of the mobile one...

Limiting user choice and keeping things simple is good UI/UX design. Unfortunately, good UI/UX design is rarely found in official Sonos controller apps these days...
Userlevel 1
It has been over a month now, and I'm still not comfortable with the new interface. My wife outright hates it. My neighbors have Sonos, too, and they don't like it either. But I'm not here to complain, I'm here to offer two actionable suggestions to make things better.

1. Never hide the toolbar at the bottom of the screen. (Or at least provide an option to always show it.)

It consumes very little real estate, and always having it there would make usage more intuitive, and often saves a click.

2. MySonos needs an list view.

Every modern navigation system seems to offer choices between large icons, small icons, and various list views. At a minimum, offer the option to show MySonos entries as a list instead of GIANT icons.

If I were king I would roll back this terrible update, but I'm not and you won't, so please consider these simple improvements to address some of the usability issues you have introduced.

Thanks,
Brian
Userlevel 5
Badge +10
I mostly agree too, although puzzled by the comment about inconsistency in My Sonos. Playlists (which is really Favourite Playlists) seems to me to be just like other Favourites categories.

Personally I would move Sonos Playlists to the Browse screen, leaving (favourite) Playlists in My Sonos.

Then I would rename My Sonos as Favourites :)


Important to note the distinction between "favourites" (anything the user has explicitly specified as a favourite thing) and "playlists" (playlists the user has created for whatever reason). Maybe they should be on "My Sonos", maybe they should be accessed by browsing. Should definitely be the same name and location on desktop and mobile.

I'd rather worry about getting fixes for the "only first 8 alphabetically in any category on main dashboard", "large tiles screen 1 then list on screen 2 inconsistencies", "My Sonos->edit option renames/deletes favourites, doesn't edit My Sonos screen", "poor use of screen space on both phone and tablet", and "Artists now called Others" issues currently affecting the bungled (and no doubt final) "My Sonos" implementation.
I mostly agree too, although puzzled by the comment about inconsistency in My Sonos. Playlists (which is really Favourite Playlists) seems to me to be just like other Favourites categories.

Personally I would move Sonos Playlists to the Browse screen, leaving (favourite) Playlists in My Sonos.

Then I would rename My Sonos as Favourites 🙂
Can't say I disagree on anything there BoB. The new UI needs tweaking. It stumbles in some areas, is better in others. Good constructive criticism is what is needed. Hopefully after the initial temper tantrums have died down, posts like yours are the norm.
Userlevel 5
Badge +11
Took me about 5 minutes of looking through the whole app and at each screen properly and tapping on everything to see what it did. I am somewhat dumbfounded why some find it so difficult. I doubt a new user would find it so as it is quite logically arranged with the choice tabs across the bottom.

It has its faults.
Choice...scream blue murder about something that has changed (you’ll never be able to operate a new TV, hate Windows with a vengence, really hate the latest Apple software updates, really hate all the changes on other music apps that do not have to manage multiple speakers...and the list goes on)
OR
Say what you don’t like and why.

My Sonos
Icons far too large. Favourites show a list for See All while Playlist just shows BIG icons. Consistency needed.

Browse
Just fine. Does what it says.

Rooms
Icons far too big

Search
Even better than before. Again final view is BIG icons. Should be a list, or small icons for consistency across views.

More - a welcome consolidation of “other”

The main gripes are about big icons. Consistency needs to be established so as to provide icons or a list (personal favourite) across screens and results.

I rather like the small red room indicator at the bottom.

White screen. So what, my opinion. I listen to music, not look at the app, and know how to adjust the brightness on my iPad (for example) as this needs to be adjusted when reading in dimmer surroundings. Does nobody else adjust the brightness of their screen? Why not? If the screen brightness is OK for other things then it is perfectly OK for the app. Would I prefer the app to have a darker background...honestly...don’t care.

The queue behaviour still needs work for consistency.
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.
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 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
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!
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 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.
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...
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 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...
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 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...
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 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
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.