The Sonos Arc is one of the first products to be released for the S2 platform. | Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge
Sonos is releasing its new app and S2 platform today. The new app (now with a tan icon) is now available on the App Store and the Google Play Store, and it will be the only way to control the company’s latest speakers: the Sonos Arc Dolby Atmos soundbar, Sonos Five, and new third-gen Sonos Sub. Sonos says the new platform includes support for higher-resolution audio technologies such as Dolby Atmos on the Sonos Arc, better security, and an improved user interface.
The new app supports all of Sonos’ modern devices, including those that you previously controlled with the old app. You have the option of either updating your existing system to S2 or continuing to use the old app to control those products. This existing app is still live on app stores, but it’s been rebranded to Sonos S1 Controller, and its listing notes that it will not receive new features and services via updates. It will continue to receive security patches, bug fixes, and music service support, however.
The new S2 update is available for most of Sonos’ existing speakers but not all of them. The company’s Zone Players and first-generation Play:5, Bridge Connect, and Connect: Amp devices will not be updated, and you’ll have to use the S1 controller if you want to continue using them. However, the old S1 Controller app will not work with Sonos products released after May 2020, which includes the new Arc, Five, and Sub, its App Store listing notes.
Where things get a little complicated is households that have a mix of S1-only and S2-compatible speakers. It’s technically possible to run an S1 and an S2 system side by side. However, these will effectively be separate Sonos systems, and you can’t group speakers on the S1 platform together with speakers on the S2 platform. Sonos continues to offer a significant discount on new hardware for owners of these aging legacy devices as a way to move them forward onto S2 without complications.
The new Sonos app is available on Android, iOS, and iPadOS now. Users on the Sonos subreddit have also unearthed links on the Sonos website for the macOS and Windows versions of the app, but when we tried downloading the Windows app from the official support page, we ended up with the old S1 version. That issue should be fixed at some point today.