Sonos introduced today new software features and a virtual assistant for their product lineup at a press event in New York City. While previously Sonos simply acted as speakers, now the company is working with Amazon to add in Alexa: the company’s virtual assistant. Sonos is also adding features that will boost functionality with the Spotify app.
Alexa comes to Sonos
Sonos will be adding proper interoperability to their speaker system offering to coincide with Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant. Users will be able to connect their Amazon Echo Dot to a Sonos speaker and then issue commands like, “Alexa, play in the living room.” While the Echo Dot is able to connect directly to an external speaker via bluetooth or analog 3.5mm jack connection, the traditional Amazon Echo will also be able to control which speaker is playing your tunes. Alexa will work with Sonos in an update coming in 2017. Sonos made no mention as to whether or not they will introduce their own mic-equipped speaker system.
Improved Spotify functionality
Soon within the Spotify app, Sonos users will be able to control which Sonos speakers a song is played from. Songs control will come to Spotify Connect users within the mobile applications as well as desktop. As usual with Connect, the feature requires paying monthly for Spotify Premium.
Upon first connection, the Spotify app hands users off to the Sonos application on mobile to add which speakers can be added within Spotify. Once the desired speakers are chosen, music listeners are able to select speakers in different rooms no matter which Spotify app they’re using. Making use of the Spotify Connect protocol, Sonos users are able to start up music even when away from home, so long as they’re connected to the internet.
Miscellaneous software updates
In a sooner update, Sonos will bring its users other smaller features. Previously, Sonos allowed users on iOS to play/pause and skip back and forth from the lock screen. In the coming update, the Sonos app will allow users to search an artist across all services. Additionally, the ability to select “play next,” and “add to queue,” will come in the September update.