Sonos App controls no longer appear on your lock screen



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You may have heard this already, but iOS does not natively provide a way to control devices on your home network from the lock screen in iOS, the controls are only available for audio being played on the device itself. Because of this, the Sonos implementation of lock screen controls was built in a way that's no longer viable and with the launch of AirPlay 2 on Sonos.

Well, how do Spotify do it? Using Spotify connect, Spotify plays through Sonos Speakers. And you get the lockscreen controls after the Sonos 9.0 upgrade and with airplay 2 devices, like apple TV gen 4, running. Spotify is NOT playing on the device itself. You can remove spotify from memory, take the iPod to another location, even destroy it if you want, and Spotify continues playing through the Sonos Speakers. So your statement "the controls are only available for audio being played on the device itself" is incorrect. If we can have the lockscreen control when using Spotify connect with airplay enabled devices on the network, then why we have it when using the Sonos app? Perhaps the Sonos developers should ask Spotify how they do it.


I just logged into both of my Apple TVs, disabled Airplay, disabled playback controls and lock screen controls, reset my iPhone Controller, and the opened the app and the controls are back. All good but a bit of a faff.
This is an insane feature to remove. Sonos now not practical to use at all.
Ryan,
I can’t turn off AirPlay on my Pioneer Elite receiver even though I never us AirPlay and would like to. But, can’t Sonos give us the ability to turn off AirPlay?? I don’t use AirPlay and it seems Sonos has committed my 13 zones of Sonos to AirPlay. Only one of of my Sonos devices even supports AirPlay so I can’t even use the workaround to just use the Apple Music app and then use AirPlay to send to zones. Then I guess I can get lock screen controls. But you need to enable AirPlay for all Sonos devices or at least give us the ability to turn AirPlay OFF.
Dave

Thanks for the feedback everyone, I'll get it to the team. You may have heard this already, but iOS does not natively provide a way to control devices on your home network from the lock screen in iOS, the controls are only available for audio being played on the device itself. Because of this, the Sonos implementation of lock screen controls was built in a way that's no longer viable and with the launch of AirPlay 2 on Sonos.

You can bring back the lock screen on Sonos by turning off AirPlay on any devices in your home that aren't Sonos devices, which does work for many households. But if AirPlay is used in your home, this might not be an option.
With version 8 everything was working normally even with airplay2 and airplay devices in the network.

So how about an option switch, to change the behavior to airplay 1 like it was in version 8 for all users with older devices and no need of airplay2.

I can't downgrade to Sonos 8 otherwise I would do that myself.
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We don't want a solution which means we have to start turning things on and off to do this or that. Sonos is meant to be a consumer device, not something techos have to fiddle with to get it to work. What we need is a proper solution which does not require users having to fiddle around. As noted previously Spotify has a solution: if you use Sonos Connect from the Spotify app you get the lock screen control even though Spotify is not playing audio on the device itself. So it is clearly possible possible. Sonos should therefore do what Spotify does.
The decision to do this by Sonos was clearly a huge error and shows that they have lost their way. I would suspect that the ratio of customers hurt to benefitted is huge (like 10:1 or more). Why not just give us an option in the app: A. Use Airplay 2 and lose lock screen or B. Disable the "new" feature of Airplay 2 and all its excitingness and let the user use the lock screen controls (which include using hardware volume adjust). Why not do that, Sonos?
The decision to do this by Sonos was clearly a huge error and shows that they have lost their way. I would suspect that the ratio of customers hurt to benefitted is huge (like 10:1 or more). Why not just give us an option in the app: A. Use Airplay 2 and lose lock screen or B. Disable the "new" feature of Airplay 2 and all its excitingness and let the user use the lock screen controls (which include using hardware volume adjust). Why not do that, Sonos?

You do have that option. As Ryan from Sonos stated above, you can bring back the lock screen on Sonos by turning off AirPlay on any devices in your home that aren't Sonos devices.
The decision to do this by Sonos was clearly a huge error and shows that they have lost their way. I would suspect that the ratio of customers hurt to benefitted is huge (like 10:1 or more). Why not just give us an option in the app: A. Use Airplay 2 and lose lock screen or B. Disable the "new" feature of Airplay 2 and all its excitingness and let the user use the lock screen controls (which include using hardware volume adjust). Why not do that, Sonos?

You do have that option. As Ryan from Sonos stated above, you can bring back the lock screen on Sonos by turning off AirPlay on any devices in your home that aren't Sonos devices.


No need to restate the obvious that is all over this thread. Most of us either can't or don't want to "disable" Airplay (which for certain apple devices means unplugging them). What we want is a switch on the Sonos app that trades off the amazing capability to go around the whole Sonos concept and use Airplay 2 vs being able to control Sonos via the lock screen. That is all.
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This update is terrible. Please reverse this! I have two homes fully equipped with Sonos everywhere. I need lock screen controls! And my Apple Watch controls back!
Here’s a worse fact: I have diligently disabled (by unplugging) my AirPlay devices, re-set the Sonos controller, and I STILL have no lock-screen control of the Sonos app. Would appreciate any thoughts, other than the now-universal disappointment with this update. Running iOS 11.4.1 on an iPhone X (and other devices).
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Here’s a worse fact: I have diligently disabled (by unplugging) my AirPlay devices, re-set the Sonos controller, and I STILL have no lock-screen control of the Sonos app. Would appreciate any thoughts, other than the now-universal disappointment with this update. Running iOS 11.4.1 on an iPhone X (and other devices).

After resetting the controller, did you toggle the lockscreen controls to "ON" in settings?
Yes, and toggled off and back on for good measure, relaunched the app, etc.
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You should be able to see the lock screen controls if there are no non-sonos airplay devices on your network. I would double check to make sure there are no airplay speakers on your network. If that's clear, the next option I'd try would be to reinstall the Sonos app.
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Yes, and toggled off and back on for good measure, relaunched the app, etc. What a mess! SONOS, you have to fix this. You knew this was going to be a big problem and even devoted an entire blog entry to explain the issue to your users. Your "fix" is not acceptable. You need to pull back on this update and rethink the user interface in light of what you are hearing. I suspect that the majority of your user base use either the lockscreen or an Apple Watch to control their music while it is playing. Nobody wants to waste time unlocking the phone, launching the app and then proceeding to control the music. Too many steps in the process. Disabling AirPlay on my AppleTV seems to have worked for me but as KMcWalter and others on this thread have indicated, the solution is not universal. And even if it were, the solution is a band-aid solution for the the time being only. We should not have to lose out in this manner, especially if we have no intention of ever using AirPlay2.

I need one clarification here: Do the older versions of the Sonos controller still work with the lockscreen? Or are those broken due to the iPhone's update to 11.4.1? This is a critical piece of the puzzle. If Apple broke the functionality via the 11.4.1 update then Sonos needs time to find a workaround. If, however, Sonos broke the functionality via their update to 9.0 which hit simultaneously, I think?, with the Apple update, then Sonos should be in a position to release a software fix ASAP with an update to the controller on iOS.

As an aside, for those of you wishing to use your Apple Watch, you could always use the "Sonobit" widget (download from teh AppStore) which works in both iOS and WatchOS. Just a recommendation as a temporary workaround until these issues get resolved.
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Yes, and toggled off and back on for good measure, relaunched the app, etc. What a mess! SONOS, you have to fix this. You knew this was going to be a big problem and even devoted an entire blog entry to explain the issue to your users. Your "fix" is not acceptable. You need to pull back on this update and rethink how the user interface in light of what you are hearing.


That's not going to happen. Sonos isn't going to pull airplay 2 from customers, so that customers effected by the lock screen control are happy. And since they were aware of the issue, as you pointed out, what makes you think a better solution is possible?


I suspect that the majority of your user base use either the lockscreen or an Apple Watch to control their music while it is playing.


Well, probably 50% use android or iPhone, but of the Apple users who use their iphones for control, probably right.


Nobody wants to waste time unlocking the phone, launching the app and then proceeding to control the music. Too many steps in the process. Disabling AirPlay on my AppleTV seems to have worked for me but as KMcWalter and others on this thread have indicated, the solution is not universal.


I believe it is universal. There are some cases that are having problems still, but that doesn't mean that airplay should be taken away from all so the exception get the lock screen back...if that even resolves their issue at all.


And even if it were, the solution is a band-aid solution for the the time being only. We should not have to lose out in this manner, especially if we have no intention of ever using AirPlay2.


I wouldn't look at this as a Band-Aid. From what I understand, Apple doesn't even really support the lockscreen controls for home audio products the way android does. Sonos implementation of it was really the Band-Aid that eventually had to be removed for some scenarios.


I need one clarification here: Do the older versions of the Sonos controller still work with the lockscreen? Or are those broken due to the iPhone's update to 11.4.1? This is a critical piece of the puzzle. If Apple broke the functionality via the 11.4.1 update then Sonos needs time to find a workaround. If, however, Sonos broke the functionality via their update to 9.0 which hit simultaneously, I think?, with the Apple update, then Sonos should be in a position to release a software fix ASAP with an update to the controller on iOS.


As I understand it, it's the Sonos update, not iPhone update that broke the functionality. Again, it was done in order to accommodate airplay intentionally, so don't expect a fix. It's not a matter of meeting customer expectations, it's a matter of what is technically possible for Sonos to do.
Reinstalled the app, same result. I've disabled all the obvious Airplay devices in my household, as well as the Airplay embedded in non-Apple devices like the TV and media amp, but I suppose some could be lurking somewhere (how silly is this?). Is there a way to detect Airplay devices on a network? My net analyzer app doesn't flag them.
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@KMcWalter, I believe you should see everything that's compatible when you attempt to use airplay from your phone. So for example, go to an app that uses airplay, like iTunes, play a tune, and then hit the airplay button (I forget what it looks like exactly, but I believe it's on the bottom center). Apple will pop up a list of airplay compatible speakers you could stream to. If you disable airplay on all the nonsonos devices on the list, you should get your lock screen back.

The way I understand it, each airplay compatible device is supposed to send out a beacon that your phone picks up on. That's what it uses to generate the list.
@melvimbe, thanks. I so rarely use Airplay that I hadn't thought of it as way to detect Airplay devices (duh). There was indeed a second amp lurking on my system with active Airplay. With that disabled, the lock screen controls are back, thank you!

But seriously, what a chore. I'm quite sure you're correct and that our ire should be directed at Apple (which no doubt considers its lock screen as valuable real estate that only it should control) rather than Sonos, but "meeting customer expectations" is after all what a consumer products company, especially one like Sonos on the cusp of an IPO, should be all about, and the roll-out of this latest "upgrade" was surreptitious in its failure to warn that it would involve the trade-off of losing one important function in order to gain another (which in my and obviously many other cases, was a net loss). I've been a Sonos customer for over 10 years and have been increasingly dismayed by the direction the software interface has taken, sacrificing simplicity for sub-menus and multi-step processes -- and now this. The irony, of course, is that Sonos started with the ultimate lock-screen/hardware volume control -- i.e. dedicated controller hardware, which they stopped supporting, forcing everyone onto third party devices whose makers ultimately call the shots. Perhaps not the smartest strategy. Indeed, it wouldn't be a bad idea for Sonos to re-introduce a dedicated handheld device to replicate the top-screen functionality we've just lost by this upgrade. I'd probably buy it, however resentfully.

Thanks again.
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I believe I've read all the posts on here, but does anyone know if this lack of lock screen control with SONOS is due to them or to Apple?

As a few others have said, disabling Airplay on my laptops/Apple TV/tablets isn't practical. I actually use Airplay for those. I don't personally see the need of using Airplay for music as SONOS does that pretty well.
If it's an Apple issue, I suppose we are just stuck lock-screen-less.
Hopefully it's a SONOS issue that they can fix.
We shall see.
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I believe I've read all the posts on here, but does anyone know if this lack of lock screen control with SONOS is due to them or to Apple?


It's not exactly a matter of blame type issue. I already explained the situation a couple posts above so I won't repeat the details again. But based on the situation, you could...

-blame Apple for not implementing a way for app developers to use the lock screen controls for home audio systems...pushing Sonos to develop a 'hack' way of getting around the limitation that is no longer fully sustainable after implementing airplay support. Of course wouldn't take any blame since they never supported the feature to begin with.

- blame Apple for introducing airplay 2 with the tech requirements and features it has.

- blame Sonos for developing the hack solution that wasn't sustainable. Should they have never given iOS users the lock screen controls to begin with? If they had never done it, no one be upset that it doesn't work in all scenarios anymore.

- blame Sonos for not just making this work. Forget about technical limitations and all that. Customers want the lock screen controls to work and therefore they should just work.

So just pick your favorite. There's a little truth to all of them, except maybe the last one. Personally, I can't point too much blame anywhere as they were all decent to good decisions at the time they were made.
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While Apple is not really a friend to anyone outside their walled garden, this problem falls squarely on Sonos.

Spotify has neatly solved this. They have lock screen controls for both their own Spotify Connect protocol as well as when using AirPlay.

There is no technical reason Sonos can’t do the same. I’m not saying it’s not complex to implement, but that’s not our problem.

Sonos took away critical functionality to support an inferior multi-room protocol, that makes their speakers act just like any run of the mill AirPlay speaker.
[quote=Quintus]

As an aside, for those of you wishing to use your Apple Watch, you could always use the "Sonobit" widget (download from teh AppStore) which works in both iOS and WatchOS. Just a recommendation as a temporary workaround until these issues get resolved.



Thanks for the tip on SonoBit!!!

I agree with the group here in the general irritation at this update but, since we look to be out of luck...

This works especially well for Apple Watch and, all things considered, is a good replacement. Worth the $2.99 so far for the simplicity. Only drawback is the tapping for volume change rather than using the crown.

Thanks again!
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While Apple is not really a friend to anyone outside their walled garden, this problem falls squarely on Sonos.

Spotify has neatly solved this. They have lock screen controls for both their own Spotify Connect protocol as well as when using AirPlay.


Spotify is a music service, not a home audio system. Not a parallel situation.


There is no technical reason Sonos can’t do the same. I’m not saying it’s not complex to implement, but that’s not our problem.

Sonos took away critical functionality to support an inferior multi-room protocol, that makes their speakers act just like any run of the mill AirPlay speaker.


Understandable that you aren't a fan of airplay, but a ton of people do care. And has been explained several times, if you don't want to use airplay, turn it off and your lock screen controls for Sonos return.
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Spotify is a music service, not a home audio system. Not a parallel situation.

.


I think people who use Spotify Connect in their homes to play audio to their speaker systems would be surprised to hear it isn't a home audio system lol.
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Got the notice in my iOS app, came here to look, and found this thread. Read comments on page 1 and half of page 2, then skipped to page 6 (the last page as of this moment) hoping there was a better answer, and instead, still people complaining and nothing official from Sonos.

Why is it that every time SONOS updates their app, they "F" things up terribly? Every time I get a notice that Sonos needs to update, I have to pop some anxiety meds before I do the update!

I read that SONOS is struggling as a company. No doubt. With this last update, my android controller (an Amazon Fire HD8 tablet) has been screwy, switching to other rooms all by itself, not refreshing the screen with whatever is playing, not responding to what I tell it to do, and just being plain difficult. It's NEVER done that before.

Are these software releases coming too fast to have been properly tested?

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