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Sonos says redesigned app took ‘courage’ as users freak out over missing features

Published May 9th, 2024 11:58AM EDT

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Well, here we are again. A beloved brand and a passionate community have converged over something the company changed that the community doesn’t like, and we can all guess what happened. This time, the redesign of the Sonos app is the company’s cause for outrage.

The company announced the redesigned Sonos app for iPhone and Android as well as an all-new application for the web earlier this week. According to Sonos, the redesigned app is a response to how fragmented the audio-streaming industry has become. From multiple apps to cover your music, podcasts, and audiobooks to exclusive releases on select services, the app seeks to bring all of your content together under one roof.

The redesigned Sonos app.

While the new app is certainly faster and more beautiful, it has also left out some of the features that Sonos users have enjoyed in the previous generation of the app — and those users are taking to social media to complain. In the new app, users have lost the ability to edit playlists, rearrange songs in the queue, or set sleep timers, among other things.

While these are certainly valid complaints, in a statement to The Verge, Maxime Bouvat-Merlin, chief product officer at Sonos, said that these sacrifices were necessary in order to launch the new app but that the company plans to bring them back in future releases.

Sonos also redesigned its desktop experience.

As if Sonos watched the Apple keynote where Phil Schiller talked about removing the headphone jack from the iPhone before writing this statement, Bouvat-Merlin said that the redesign of the Sonos app took “courage.”

You can read the full statement from Sonos below:

Redesigning the Sonos app is an ambitious undertaking that represents just how seriously we are committed to invention and re-invention. It takes courage to rebuild a brand’s core product from the ground up, and to do so knowing it may require taking a few steps back to ultimately leap into the future.

The app’s revitalization not only aims to address what customers have been asking us for in the short-term, but is also critical for supporting the exciting innovations to come from Sonos in the years ahead.

We realize there are beloved features our listeners are eager to continue enjoying now. We are working diligently to reintroduce them in the coming months, alongside additional enhancements that will make for an even better app experience.

This is just the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Sonos as we continue to expand the way listeners can access and enjoy all the content they love in a more personalized and seamless way. We have always and will continue to listen to customer feedback so we can create sound experiences that well exceed both our standards and the standards of our listeners.

As someone who works in the software development process, I understand that big redesigns can require decisions to be made about leaving out certain features at launch. It happens. However, you’re also signing yourself up for backlash from those who really count on those features, so Sonos should have been able to (and likely did) see this one coming.

Hopefully, the company means “the coming months” when it talks about reintroducing the features that people lost with the initial launch of the redesigned app. We’ll have to see if Sonos sticks to its word on that one.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.