New app update horrible, giving a leg up to the competitors


Userlevel 4
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I can only speak for myself, but the SONOS app before 8.0 was near perfect. It was ultra fast, selecting room and what music to play was super intuitive. Everything important was on the same page screen. I've had lots of friends ask me about why get SONOS instead of competitors like HEOS and such. Even though HEOS and others can offer a wider variety of physical connections, sound formats DTS etc...there was before 8.0 an extremely easy answer to this: The APP. It is super fast, never buggy. You come home from work, go into the sonos app and within 2 presses there is music in the living room. It doesn't matter how great the hardware is if the software doesn't work, but with the SONOS app, it just works, always, and so EASY.

But now that argument is gone. The new sonos app, with all the stuff on the home screen, and now you have to go into seperate tabs to select room and search for music......you RUINED it. You downgraded the app to something similiar to HEOS' already awful app. What were you thinking?

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43 replies

Userlevel 2
I feel your pain! I downloaded SonosPad and it's miles head of th new Sonos app....
Userlevel 2
Yes the new app is really terrible - I wish there was a way to go back to version 7.4.
Userlevel 4
Badge +2
Yeah it's frustrating how fiddly it is now. I finally got my significant other to love and use it on a daily basis. I just have to make sure she doesn't upgrade the app on her phone.
I am not here to defend the changes, but to pick up the OP's point about selecting a room and playing music....

Swipe down the Now Playing screen, tap rooms button if necessary, double tap required room, hit play. Takes me about a second. Is that really so demanding and difficult? Is that really ruined? I cannot put it anything like as strongly.
Userlevel 4
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I am not here to defend the changes, but to pick up the OP's point about selecting a room and playing music....

Swipe down the Now Playing screen, tap rooms button if necessary, double tap required room, hit play. Takes me about a second. Is that really so demanding and difficult? Is that really ruined? I cannot put it anything like as strongly.


I'm happy that you can easily navigate it, but I don't think you caught my point. If you have the muscle memory to work the new app then great. What I'm saying is I had a hard time figuring out the new UI, and after using it for most of today I still couldn't get used it. I still think the app is counter intuitive. Now you have to go into seperate menus to find favorites etc.

MY POINT is that the Sonos app was the best app out there in form of responsiveness and ease of use, with everything on the same page and an easy search box. You want to put on music and you want it to be an effortless FAST task. Having 4 BIG icons with a random playlist or album on my home screen (like some Spotify for people with visual impairment), which i will never use, doesn't do me any good. Now the app is almost as bad as the Heos app which is primarily the reason why we went with Sonos in our house. We used to have Heos, but the Heos app was so poor in speed, buggy, and too clumsy to find stuff, so the speakers were almost never used by anyone. So I figured I don't care if the Sonos speakers sound less good, or don't have this or that format, as long as the Sonos app is so fast and so easy to use that my whole family wants to use it everyday. And that is exactly what happened after we made the switch to Sonos, everyone is using it several times a day...until they met the new app update today.

So.... We found the 7.4 apk Sonos app mirror and reverted the app back to the previous version, and won't be updating : )
So, problem kinda solved...for now.

This won't be a crisis for Sonos, there are still some features that Sonos is best at, but in a tougher multi room speaker market with lots of competition, the app is now for a lot of people not the best thing about it anymore.
Userlevel 3
Badge +6
Personally I like the new design and feel of the updated app. I've had no issues as of yet. They will most likely introduce another update to remove bugs and make it super fast
Userlevel 4
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Hopefully : ) And maybe introduce a "classical UI" mode if possible.
Some people loved the previous app version. But not the users who have come on here and said it was rubbish and a disaster and should be rolled back to the previous version....

I shall reserve full judgement until I have used it for a while
However. My initial impression is that the new app is more logical, which I personally prefer to 'intuitive', which I think usually translates as 'what I'm used to'.

'Browse' lists all my sources, and nothing else.
'My Sonos' lists the things that are personal to me - playlists, favourite radio stations etc. I would like more flexibility in how this is arranged, but I seem to have a bit more choice than under the old Favourites
'Rooms' and 'Search' are what they are
'More' is a collection of stuff I need relatively rarely, such as Settings and setup stuff.
Logical and straightforward
The 'quick grouping' facility seems to produce some odd results if you try to use it to transfer music between rooms. Perhaps I'll get the hang of that.... it isn't what I'm used to

If you have the muscle memory to work the new app then great.

That's my complaint too every time Sonos does a UI refresh for what are - IMO - little reasons to dump the existing built memory to relearn the new UI. Most complaints today stem from this source - nothing radically good or bad in the new UI except that it is different so the new UI seems clumsy till the learning happens.
But the market seems to crave such cosmetic refreshes while I am from a minority that has happily lived with the same remote for years when using my legacy kit. And in some cases, lived without a remote.
I use the Mac controller just as much and thankfully that one is a lot more stable. I hope Sonos NEVER changes it!
I used to tap a room, scroll down and hit “tv” and my tv sound would work. Now I can’t even find an option for anything except music.
I used to tap a room, scroll down and hit “tv” and my tv sound would work. Now I can’t even find an option for anything except music.So all your rooms are Playbars or Playbases? Because the TV source has never appeared for other rooms.
Thanks so much for pointing out the older app mirror! Hated the new one, not the least of which is the glaring white background instead of the older black. In a dark room it blinds you.
I remember complaining loudly when Microsoft changed from the very familiar XP interface to whatever came next, then complaining again when the 2012 server UI was completely different from the then-familiar 2008 server UI. I still have a legacy 2008 server which I have to log into occasionally; it now seems utterly clunky and outdated, lol. Simply a matter of getting used to the changes, which are based on considerable UI research (yes, lots of very smart people work on nothing but UI standards; search for Material Design).
Userlevel 2
As an AV integrator and very early adopter of Sonos I have years of experience with all things Sonos, including training hundreds of people on how to use the system (many of whom are older and/or luddites).

This update is a huge step backwards, especially in terms of ease of use. Some points:
- Icons are needlessly huge, necessitating constant scrolling. I used to be able to quickly select a favorite playlist etc. from among many on the same screen. Now it's a vertical, then horizontal scroll. Clunky.
- White on white GUI, particularly in the Rooms screen is not intuitive. Highlighted room should appear as others but highlighted, not look like a completely different, separate item. My older clients are going to have problems understanding this screen.
- White GUI is painfully bright, especially at night. I much prefer the dark previous look.
- Choosing a different room to control is not obvious at all from the home/currently playing screen. Selecting the relocated room indicator (now on the bottom of the screen) now only shows grouping options, not room selection. You need to back out of the home screen to choose another room. No logic in that whatsoever, and again, this is going to be a training nightmare for me.
- Buggy operation. Turning on the TV while listening to music results in silence from the Playbar for many seconds, followed by an unpredictable result as the user mashes various remote buttons trying to solve the issue. The Android app is now laggy and buggy, a complete 180° to the stable and fast previous software.
- Bottom bar vs hamburger button: I think this is heading in an ok direction, despite general current GUI thinking, as the hamburger button isn't obvious to people that don't regularly use smartphone apps (many of my clients), but why not include it on every screen? It should be on the home/current playing screen as well.
- Generally ugly and clunky design. This app just ain't pretty, and is a very poor complement to the great hardware.

I'm shocked at how poorly thought out the latest update is. I've been a long time Sonos supporter, I've drank the Sonos Kool-Aid, I love the hardware, and enthusiastically recommended it (even when I didn't make a dime on it), but I'm disappointed enough to start investigating the many other options out there...
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I am not here to defend the changes, but to pick up the OP's point about selecting a room and playing music....

Swipe down the Now Playing screen, tap rooms button if necessary, double tap required room, hit play. Takes me about a second. Is that really so demanding and difficult? Is that really ruined? I cannot put it anything like as strongly.


Takes a couple of seconds to do it, but how long did it take you to find out how? Be honest! Like others, I am a long time serious user of the hardware, but hate the iOS app and cannot understand this continual upgrading for no real purpose.
The obvious answer is to make the controller as customizable as possible by the user; I wouldn't think it would be that hard, especially if the mobile screen could be configured through the desktop. I thought the previous changes on how song selections were made and queue'd was a big step backward from earlier; I presume others liked it. I want a dark interface, others not. etc.
The obvious answer is to make the controller as customizable as possible by the user; I wouldn't think it would be that hard, especially if the mobile screen could be configured through the desktop.

99% of users don’t want customization; they want a product that “just works”, which Sonos does better than just about everyone. Too much customization was one of the things that killed the Squeezebox. It was simply far more complex than the 99% wanted.
Nope, can't agree with 99%. Maybe half; who knows? But there's no reason that Sonos can't give it their best UI and your users can leave it just the way it comes; I think of MediaMonkey with massive options. Totally agree with Sonos ease of 1-2-3-4 you're up and running design.
Userlevel 4
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The obvious answer is to make the controller as customizable as possible by the user; I wouldn't think it would be that hard, especially if the mobile screen could be configured through the desktop.

99% of users don’t want customization; they want a product that “just works”, which Sonos does better than just about everyone. Too much customization was one of the things that killed the Squeezebox. It was simply far more complex than the 99% wanted.


This would be a good point, If 8.0 worked better than previous builds; the reality is that it doesn't.
At the very least it requires customisation options for colour and icon size.
A better option would be to have a choice skins back to the wonderful 5.0 through to 8.0. Everyone would be a winner and this can not be rocket science surely ... except with an arrogant company that refuses to believe that it could ever be wrong.
#Sonos$uck$
Sigh.
Long time user....definitely a step back..icons need to be much smaller, colors are stark and distracting and the selection methodology is not intuitive. Allow selection of playlist and then room and vise versa..My family is turning music on/off in all the wrong rooms now. With a family of 5 and 9 zones with dozens of playlists there is way too much scrolling and switching back and forth between menus that we weren't doing before. I agree with simonlesley, after recommending this to all my friends who are now Sonos users this update takes one of those reasons to recommend Sonos off the table.
I am not here to defend the changes, but to pick up the OP's point about selecting a room and playing music....

Swipe down the Now Playing screen, tap rooms button if necessary, double tap required room, hit play. Takes me about a second. Is that really so demanding and difficult? Is that really ruined? I cannot put it anything like as strongly.


Takes a couple of seconds to do it, but how long did it take you to find out how? Be honest! Like others, I am a long time serious user of the hardware, but hate the iOS app and cannot understand this continual upgrading for no real purpose.
Honestly, a couple of minutes. I used to swipe down the screen a lot in the old app so it is a natural thing for me to try. It would have made life easier if the bar had been on the Now Playing screen.
By the way, have you read the release notes?
How about devoting more space to the room on the playing now menu, my kids are now turning music on and off in all the wrong rooms. The problem arises because when you re-enter the app it defaults to where you left off. I'd like to see this changed to always default to the room view or user selectable.
Oh god, not another one 'sighing' all the time