Sonos iOS Lock Screen Controls Are Gone

by Volker Weber

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In a big downgrade of the Sonos 9 controller, you will no longer see lock screen controls. And with that you will also lose the ability to control Sonos from your Apple Watch.

I have that same limitation in Spotify. If I play via Spotify Direct, that means the music streams directly from the service to the player without two trips through the iPhone, there are no lock screen controls. Only if I use AirPlay, where the music is streamed through the app on the iPhone, the lock screen controls are present.

There is a silver lining. You can get the old behaviour back:

If you aren't using AirPlay, you have the option to disable third-party AirPlay endpoints and continue using lock screen control on Sonos.

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That is a big downgrade indeed, although even before, i would not always see the controller in the lock screen. I couldn't even put finger down on why, there was no clear pattern as to when it would show, and when not. Any thoughts?

Axel Borschbach, 2018-07-12

You have to understand the architecture to see what happens. There are two flows: control and media. With Sonos, the control flow connects the player to a source. Media flows from the source to the player. You can terminate the controller and the music continues playing.

When you open a different app that plays media, like YouTube for instance, that is now the "Currently playing" app, even if Sonos is still streaming and the Sonos player updates the Sonos controller about what is going on. If you pull the Sonos player back to the foreground, that becomes the "Currently playing" app. Whatever iPhone sees are the "Currently playing" app gets the lock screen.

And with Airplay 2 that all changes.

Volker Weber, 2018-07-12

Lock screen controls used to be a huge battery sucker, that's why I disabled them a while ago.

Axel Koerv, 2018-07-12

Thank you for the explanation!

Axel Borschbach, 2018-07-12

I'm trying to figure out how to disable third party AirPlay endpoints if I don't have any AirPlay devices (other than my phone). They didn't provide any details which I find frustrating. Suggestions?

Amy Blumenfield, 2018-07-12

Oh, just realized my LG OLED tv probably is a third party AirPlay device.

Amy Blumenfield, 2018-07-12

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