Sonos has launched an app for Android smartphones that lets you take complete control over a Sonos audio system with the phone. iOS users aren’t left out completely either, as the Sonos System 3.4 update also released today promises to deliver the most advanced use of Airplay seen yet.
The Sonos Controller app, now available for free on the Android Market, lets you control devices such as the Sonos Zoneplayer S5 from your smartphone. Offering a similar interface to the iPhone app, released last year, and the dedicated CR200 controller, you can control what’s playing, how loud it is and search sources such as Spotify, while connecting to any number of Sonos devices running off the same wireless network.
A number of features not available in the iPhone version are also introduced in the Android edition. You can speak your search term into the phone’s microphone and let Google’s voice recognition service work its wonders, and thanks to the added flexibility of Android the physical volume controls can be used to alter the volume of your Sonos player – not possible in the iPhone edition. Sonos Controller for Androids is available now and should work with all Android phones running version 2.1 of the OS or newer, with a screen resolution of HVGA (320x480) or greater. It's a freebie download.
Also released just today was the Sonos System Software v3.4 update, which primarily adds functionality for iOS users. It enables what Sonos suggests is the only multi-room application of the Apple Airplay streaming feature seen yet.
Updated Sonos speaker systems are fully compatible with Apple’s own Airport Express unit, and once connected you’ll be able to pipe-out your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch’s music to all your Sonos players. Using what Sonos dubs “Party Mode” you can instantly make all connected Sonos speakers play the same track, or choose the speakers, and volumes for each, that you want.
All this new functionality comes without paying a penny to Sonos, as both the system update and iPhone/Android apps are available as free downloads. Now that there’s less and less need to splash out on a dedicated CR200 controller, the £350 outlay for a Zoneplayer S5 is starting to look all the more attractive.