April 19, 2011

Sonos Launches on Android, and Adds AirPlay to iOS

Sonos, the company behind the futuristic wireless digital audio players throughout my house, announced the introduction of their long-awaited Android application this morning, bringing multi-room music management to the fast-growing mobile platform. In addition, the company also expanded its iOS offerings by adding support for AirPlay to its iTunes equivalent, enabling Apple fans to send audio from any AirPlay enabled app to Sonos speakers, including YouTube.

Playing a Song on Sonos and Flipping Through the Music Menu on Android

While it was no secret that Sonos had planned to launch on Android, having featured heavily in Google's Android booth at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the beta process for the Android app took a little longer than anticipated, thanks to some services' issues with buffering and ensuring a high quality experience over the expanding range of Android devices.

Grouping Zones on Sonos for Android

Since February, I have been using Sonos on my Android phone and Galaxy Tab to put all my favorite music on any room in the house whether it's just for me in the office, or in full Party Mode for guests throughout. As with its iOS equivalent, Sonos pulls from a wide array of musical sources, including Spotify, Last.fm, Sirius XM, Rdio and others. The sheer capability of demonstrating Spotify on Sonos, and showing people how I can get practically any song in the world, on demand, to any room in the house, has left people begging to have the capability themselves. Today's announcements brings that to even more tempted audiophiles.

Selecting a Song on Sirius XM or Spotify With Sonos

While I can't go as gaga as Robert Scoble over the future of AirPlay, sending audio from any playing music or video stream on the Web to Sonos speakers is another nifty trick. Imagine picking up a YouTube video, a streaming sports game, or simply an embedded MP3 on a Web site and kicking it out of your tinny laptop speakers, in exchange for full-featured Sonos. There's no reason you shouldn't always be using the best speakers in the house.

Android users can now go get, for the first time, the official Sonos build from the Android Market. iTunes users should watch for their devices to gain point upgrades later this morning.