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Sonos app relaunch won’t bring back its most missed iOS feature

Update 24/4: A Sonos spokesperson confirmed to Trusted Reviews that while the company is exploring bringing back iOS lock screen controls in the future, there is nothing to share today.

Original story continues below…

The relaunch of the Sonos app for mobile devices will bring a fresh interface and a slew of improvements for controlling media output – including faster access to your tunes.

However, it appears as if one integral feature that departed from the iOS app last year, will not be making a return.

In the Sonos app v15.6 for iOS last year, the company removed the ability to control the Sonos app from the iPhone and iPad Lock Screen. It also stopped supporting the hardware buttons on iOS/iPadOS devices for controlling volume.

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Sonos effectively said it wasn’t meeting Apple’s expectations for media controls, so those features were pulled from the app last July.

In the release notes, the company wrote: “We’ve removed the ability to control the Sonos app for iOS using lock screen controls and device hardware buttons. The way these features were architected do not meet Apple’s experience guidelines for developers and no longer offer a reliable control experience.”

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The removal of the feature from the S2 app meant users needed to open the Sonos app if they wish to skip tracks or change up the music, or adjust the volume. That’s if they wish to stream the music to the speaker directly from the Sonos app.

Of course, there are alternatives. You can use Alexa or Sonos Voice commands, or you can stream via your app of choice via AirPlay 2. However, the anecdotal evidence is that you lose some audio quality this way.

Given Sonos has had since July last year to improve the user experience for Lock Screen controls, one might have expected any significant app upgrade would have reintroduced the feature. Especially considering the idea of the app is to get to your tunes faster than before.

Sonos doesn’t mention the return in its press release today so our working assumption is this absence hasn’t been resolved, but we have contacted the company for confirmation.

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