Sonos fans are turning to this alternative app instead of the troubled official one

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If you're one of the Sonos users who doesn't like the updated app, there may be a solution: a third-party app called SonoPhone. 

The app has been out for some time – its version history on the Apple App Store goes back eight years and the YouTube promo clip embedded below is 10 years old – but it's being rediscovered by Sonos users such as "Cake Burner", who writes on Apple's iOS App Store that "after the dreadful launch of the new Sonos app... SonoPhone does what it says on the tin... it lacks a few of the admin functions [but] for actually playing your own music, managing queues and enjoying your hardware it is excellent." It's also proved a hit with multiple users of the Sonos subreddit.

Sonos has issued multiple updates to restore features removed from the app earlier this year, but even the most recent update is still missing some key features. This month's update is planned to deliver better playback settings, local library editing, improved Autoplay settings and improved Sub audio settings; a future update will add snooze alarms.

SonoPhone - YouTube SonoPhone - YouTube
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What you need to know about the SonosPhone app

If you're hoping to run SonoPhone on Android, unfortunately you're out of luck: it's an iOS-only app. And while it supports most music streamers it doesn't currently support Google Music or enable you to stream locally stored music from your phone. It doesn't do alarms, and it isn't designed to set up a new Sonos system.

What it does do rather well is operate as a controller for the best Sonos speakers. It's been designed to require as few taps as possible to access commonly used features, and while it's not going to win any awards for its looks – its interface is very dated – it's fast and effective. It's also compatible with tons of iPhones going back to the iPhone 4S and the 5th-gen iPod Touch.

Writing on, Sonos owner and SonoPhone user Tyler Hayes says that while he doesn't anticipate it being his main Sonos app forever "it's a great stop-gap measure right now"; Hayes "wouldn't be surprised if other burned Sonos customers do end up sticking with the SonoPhone app, or another third-party one, for as long as they can". He also suggests another option, Lyd, which adds Sonos controls to the Apple Watch.

SonoPhone is available from the App Store for $2.99.

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Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now and her next book, about pop music, is out in 2025. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind.