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Sonos Controller app for iPhone and iPad review

May 26, 2014

Sonos finally updated their Sonos Controller app to version 5 and not only matched the interface and design of iOS 7, but gave it a better, more streamlined and fluid experience. Other than making the software match the ease and elegance of their hardware, however, how well does it work?

For those already familiar with using the Sonos Controller app, all the services you hook into and all the settings will remain the same. A huge amount of the update contains an update interface. Luckily, that means the navigation and user experience has also been rethought and it even better than ever. Swipe to the right in any screen to access the main menu. From here you can use the universal search to look up anything you want. The search displays results from all the services you have hooked in.

Just like previous versions of the Sonos Controller app, you will use it to add components, edit room settings, and more. If you frequently use the Queue feature, you can access and add tracks to it as you could before. The updated design makes the queue itself easier to access and more obvious than the older version.

One feature that has and still does bug me about the Sonos Controller app is that liking or disliking songs is never consistent. While I can do this with Pandora and Beats Music, it doesn’t work with Spotify and a few others. I’m sure this has everything to do with how each service allows Sonos to hook into it, but it creates an inconsistent experience nonetheless. This is one of the big reasons I would really like to see AirPlay support in the future.

The good

  • Great interface that now matches the ease of use Sonos hardware offers
  • Complete setup of a system takes only seconds with the Sonos Controller app
  • Gesture support makes it easy to get back to the home menu in one motion

The bad

  • Still no AirPlay support
  • Liking and disliking songs works with some services, but not others

The bottom line

The Sonos Controller app always did what it needed to do but wasn’t nearly as easy to use as the Sonos hardware itself. Luckily the 5.0 version changes all that and gives it the design it deserves. The only thing that could make the Sonos experience better in my opinion, would be native AirPlay support.

If you’ve given the Sonos Controller app a spin, what do you think of the new design? Are there any missing features you’d like to see in a future update? Let me know in the comments!



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