New interface is terrible

  • 10 October 2018
  • 77 replies
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77 replies

Sonos what the hell are you doing to your loyal customers. Not only is the new interface horrible but you removed the room settings option. I can't turn off the led lights. On top of that, you also removed the room settings on the ios app after updating to version 9.2. I can no longer access room settings on my desktop nor on my iphone. Do you want to lose customers???
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I have spent thousands on your hardware and put up with your unintuitive controller interfaces that seemingly only get worse. You waste an ungodly amount of space causing me to scroll and flip through screens and screw around just to adjust volume or try to get to an album. And now, now you give me a color scheme that made me think the update had just freak'n failed because it looks like a DOS throwback. Who is running the show? I have talked up your system to so many people. You are embarrassing us.
Update 9.2 was ignorant, no pc/mac interface, just ios-android, who brings a playbar to a party? selling my system.
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I like the new interface. I like the contrast and think it's easier to use. Since people don't normally like change think it would be good to have the option to change the color scheme back to the original.
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Another one who intensely dislikes the new black desktop app. On my other computer, I have opted to ignore the 'update' nag, and have noticed that many of my options are now disabled such as Music Library Settings and Update Music Library. How dare you, Sonos? You come into my home and mess with my stuff! I have more Sonos speakers than I can count right now, and have had them for years. When I first started out, Sonos had a little controller that you put on the wall. They then went into phone apps etc. So, when I first started out, I did NOT sign up for being forced into app updates every few months for functionality that I have ZERO interest in. I have reached the absolute end of my tether after this last hideous update and the fact that the software update broke my Sonos integration with the rest of my home automation (because they removed the DEVID data). I have now started researching alternatives to Sonos since it seems that, even though I have spent a lot of ££ on my system, it is not actually *mine* but still belongs to Sonos as they have all the control over it and I have no say about what changes, if any, I want, and how/when I want them.

3: Controller Layout:


- Why is the 'Track info text' placed in a narrow location, with a simple icon for Tune In is placed there?
It Makes No Sense!

With both Heos and Bluesound making moves in the marked, this is a huge step back.. sadly!


I could'nt agree more. I use both the Windows and IOS version, and they both needs a better, more intuitive, user interface. I often feel it is a step backwards, when a new version is released. User friendly interfaces is the main reason for having systems like Sonos.
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I, too, think the new interface is terrible. Too dark. Would appreciate a toggle to go back to "light" background. I realize you can't please everybody. But....
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They took a perfectly suitable button that said "group" and changed it to an icon

That means what exactly?? That doesn't say group to me, maybe it says upload.


The new Group icon looks like the Apple Airplay icon to me. It's definitely not a good choice of icon to denote Grouping zones/rooms.
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Totally agree New 9.2 Update on PC's - Windows in Black & White, no more deep Blue, is horrible. As also noted in another Topic, the Windows based Controller no longer has the Add Player Option. I was told that this capability is now only on Mobile Ap's. I do not like the look o f the New Windows Controller at all, and don't like that I can't use a PC or Laptop to Add a Player. I understand that Sonos wants to be sure to support Mobile, as the way of the future, but why do they need to spend resources to actually Reduce the Quality of the Windows Controller !?
Read a lot of very good posts (and observations) here and seems clear Sonos has done a very poor job on this front.
No wonder their Stock is just above $12 right now.
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my pc interface no longer gives me the option to add speakers. has this happened to anyone else?
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my pc interface no longer gives me the option to add speakers. has this happened to anyone else?

Well yes, everyone who uses the PC or Mac apps. Sonos don't care about us any more.
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my pc interface no longer gives me the option to add speakers. has this happened to anyone else?

Yes, as noted, Sonos intentionally deleted this capability on the PC (or Mac) Controller,
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Yes, as noted, Sonos intentionally deleted this capability on the PC (or Mac) Controller,

I suspect they either finally deprecated the old API / RPC calls the desktop app was using, or refactored the app in such a way that the development effort needed to maintain full functionality on desktop wasn't deemed worth the money, given the data they have on the percentage/trends of Sonos users who have access to a PC/Mac but no recent Android/iOS device.

But you never know, maybe the directive really was to spend development time to ensure that the desktop apps couldn't be used for setup/admin. Sonos have a habbit of making interesting software design decisions...
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I suspect they either finally deprecated the old API / RPC calls the desktop app was using, or refactored the app in such a way that the development effort needed to maintain full functionality on desktop wasn't deemed worth the money

It certainly wasn't the former as the API is still there - exact same API the mobile apps use. There is no *technical* reason for the change, and I can say this having worked in the actual Sonos codebase. It was purely a "we don't want to support non mobile users configuring systems" decision, likely done by disabling menus and buttons. It looks to me like the code is still in the binary, actually. The resources are certainly still there for the deleted functions.
Feels like only yesterday...
https://www.sonos.com/en-us/newsroom/sonos-takes-control-with-new-apps-for-mac-pc
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It certainly wasn't the former as the API is still there - exact same API the mobile apps use. There is no *technical* reason for the change, and I can say this having worked in the actual Sonos codebase. It was purely a "we don't want to support non mobile users configuring systems" decision, likely done by disabling menus and buttons. It looks to me like the code is still in the binary, actually. The resources are certainly still there for the deleted functions.


I don't have access to the code, I'm not developing a Sonos app. I'm holding off on the upgrade for now. I don't know for sure what has changed in the new desktop app (eg. fully deprecating old APIs, full rebuild switching between WPF/electron/Xamarin/etc. frameworks, or just a new set of UI assets). I don't know whether it's the ongoing cost of development, support and testing of these admin features that would prompt their removal. I assume that the Sonos user experience across the official controllers continues to be different because of limited development resources.

I also assume that, given they don't actually build their own controllers and require customers to supply the hardware, Sonos would like their speakers to work with as many devices - and therefore potential customers - as possible (assuming the user base is large enough to be worth it). If it is a directive by Sonos that "customers must have an Android/iOS device to use Sonos" then I guess you'd ultimately find that out if your 3rd party app was prevented from implementing selected admin functions.
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If it is a directive by Sonos that "customers must have an Android/iOS device to use Sonos" then I guess you'd ultimately find that out if your 3rd party app was prevented from implementing selected admin functions.

Fortunately that has not happened, yet anyway. Given sufficient time and effort I can add many of the now-deleted admin functions back to my app. However there are some features that are simply not practical to attempt, such as updates. There also appear to be a few new features that do NOT use the long-standing UPnP API, but some new mechanism involving encrypted REST APIs. 3rd party apps can't do those.
The new interface is really dreadful. The lack of colour is awful and the user buttons are unresponsive. Whoever is responsible for this mega mistake needs the boot. Please revert back to the tried and tested format. If it aint broke don't fix it!!
The new color scheme is not terrible, but it's not great. The mix of low contrast (grey on black) with high contrast (white on black) features creates a visually jarring juxtaposition. And the grey-on-black probably doesn't show up well on cheap or poorly calibrated monitors. An option to choose between a black-on-white menu and a white-on-black menu would be nice.
In the interest of succinctness let me just say this new updated look is garbage! I absolutely detest it as it is extremely hard on my eyes and quite difficult to distinguish what is where. The black on white color scheme, in a word, sucks!
Just wanted to add my voice that it does seem harder to read. I can't say if it's only the color scheme, because I can't compare before and after. (OK, a Google image search lets me realize... it's way more than just the colors.)

It also seems blurrier or harder to bring into focus, as if maybe subpixel rendering is interacting poorly with the colors or fonts chosen. This is on MacOS, on a 27" LED Cinema Display.

Also not wild about the icons. They are tiny targets, and when using a mouse, it's not clear what the "zone of click is" because there is no button rendered. There is nothing 3D rendered any more and very little 2D. When something approaching "contrast" is used, it's between shades of grey that really require me to squint and get close.

Strangely, the play button lights up a circle on hover, but not its neighbors.

The lack of an ordinary window MacOS window handle feels weird. It's compounded by the total lack of 3D effects.

The fact that the interface *does* rely on low-contrast shades of dark grey has me squinting all the time in this field of black, looking for boxes, borders, or handles that I think "might be there". But they aren't.

Hope this is all useful to the team.
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Bug Fix update today but STILL CAN'T GET IT TO HOLD ITS SIZE AND POSITION ON THE PC SCREEN! How hard can this be?
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Bug Fix update today but STILL CAN'T GET IT TO HOLD ITS SIZE AND POSITION ON THE PC SCREEN! How hard can this be?
Indeed, I concur.

Per my report on Desktop Controller for Windows v9.2 earlier in the thread, v9.3 persists in huge "placemat" takeover of screen real estate.

What was a bug is now a "feature"? LOL
I've been nagging about the Sonos FIXED interface for years - it can't be changed, resized, or rearranged and yet they say they'll pass the feedback to the design team. Does the design team come in once a decade? And the best they can manage to do with their 1990s interface in all this time - is change the colour and position on screen? Really? Dis I really pay that much money and get this as an interface? (I guess I did.. thinking it was going to be cutting edge and remain so...)

We can send a probe to the outer reaches of our solar system and the best we get from Sonos is a colour change?? I'm no fan of WMP but at least there's a choice, limited maybe, but still more choice than Sonos' NO CHOICE, TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT format.

I also agree with the poster who says it's not as clear - it isn't - I have a high res screen and it's terrible. How about being able to alter the image sizes or the font sizes etc? That's probably about the easiest thing to do in any program, yet sonos are keeping with their rigid controls and NO user CHOICE. Come on people - join us in the 21st century - this is so 1990s
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Releasing software is a judgement call. Sometimes you release when it's "done". Sometimes you release when it's "good enough". Sometimes you release "whatever you have on deadline day". And then you have to prioritise what to fix based on the severity of the issue. Given the Sonos attitude to fixing bugs and UX problems and unfinished features (basically "we don't. ever."), I wouldn't expect anything to happen soon.

One more reason to stick on 9.1 until I'm forced to upgrade.