Sonos, purveyors of some of the nicest-sounding wireless speakers money can buy, held a press conference yesterday to announce a number of new updates to their smartphone app, including Amazon Alexa support, greater Spotify connectivity and more.
First off the bat was support for Amazon’s Alexa voice service, available on devices like the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot portable speakers. According to Sonos, the good news for those who are already used to using Alexa to listen to their music is that the app’s integration with Sonos systems will be seamless — no learning new commands, you just use the same voice commands to tell Alexa you’d like to play music from Amazon or Spotify and she will do the rest. This should come as a relief to those who have struggled with Sonos’ proprietary app in the past.
Speaking of people who might struggle with the Sonos app, Spotify users haven’t been left out in the cold either. The official Spotify app, following a forthcoming update, will allow you to control what’s playing on your Sonos without every having to leave Spotify. This is the first time this has happened — traditionally, Sonos has had users control the entirety of their systems via the officially sanctioned Sonos app. While Spotify is leading the charge in this regard, the press release for the above announcements states that Pandora won’t be far behind.
Sonos also announced partnerships with some of the biggest names in “connected homes,” like Crestron, Lutron, Savant, Control4, iPort and Deutsche Telekom’s QIVICON. If you haven’t heard of those names before, don’t worry — you will soon. That fully-automated future-house you’ve dreamed of since you watched The Jetsons as a kid is another step closer to reality, and now it has wireless speakers built in.
Yet another major partner will be Airbnb, whose hosts will be granted access to Sonos systems to improve the stay conditions for guests around the world. What we’re saying is double check the next room you book through, Airbnb. There might be a Sonos in there.
The last thing Sonos had to talk about was their joining the Open Music Initiative, an organisation dedicated to streamlining the system for identifying and compensating musical creators and copyright holders.
“Sonos is the perfect partner for OMI – it’s a company that deeply and genuinely cares about the power of music in our daily lives and sees the long-term health of the entire music industry as something worth fighting for,” reads a statement from OMI founder Panos Panay in the press release. “With the brainpower of companies like Sonos, OMI will more quickly bring solutions to ensure proper compensation for all creators, performers and rights holders of music.”
For more on Sonos, you can check out our review of the 2015 Sonos Play:5 right here!