Third-party apps will soon work a lot better with Sonos devices

New APIs and an open developer program means closer ties between Sonos and other apps.
Nathan Ingraham
N. Ingraham|08.29.18

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Nathan Ingraham
August 29th, 2018
Nathan Ingraham / Engadget
Nathan Ingraham / Engadget

Sonos has partnered with plenty of software companies over the years to enhance its own offerings -- after all, if streaming music services don't want to play ball with the company, its products aren't very useful. Starting in September, the Sonos software department is about to get a lot more open. The company says that it is opening up access to the Sonos platform and releasing a new set of APIs to give third-party developers more access to Sonos control in their own apps.

The new APIs include access to controls like adding Sonos account playlists through third-party apps, limiting a player's maximum volume, switching between different line-in devices and core features like play / pause, grouping speakers and selecting different playback modes. Another feature Sonos is working on that'll be ready later this year is the ability to send notifications and alerts from third-party devices through Sonos speakers.

There's some irony behind that last feature, as Sonos has long touted its superiority over Bluetooth, with the lack of notification sounds interrupting music being a key benefit. Of course, with smart speakers more and more serving as central control for entire homes, being able to pipe specific alerts through them could be beneficial. Sonos gives the example of something like a smart doorbell broadcasting to speakers all over the house, something that definitely could be useful.

The company was also clear that it would be very thoughtful about how those alerts were delivered. For example, you could make a setting that mutes all alerts when you're playing music, or only let certain alerts through during specific hours. Given that the company wants its speakers in multiple rooms around your house , it does make sense to increase the ties between Sonos and third-party devices through these new APIs. And with the flexibility the new Sonos Amp will afford consumers, giving apps more ways to interact with the company's products is a smart move.

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