Sonos iPad app not just a port from iPhone

We're big fans of the Sonos music streaming system at Pocket-lint. It's pricey, but you get every penny's worth in ease-of-use and audio performance. The company was also one of the first to recognise the potential of iPhone apps for the home automation market, and created a controller for its kit that is still a benchmark for design and innovation.

That's why we're extremely excited about the iPad version. And, after having had a quick play with the Alpha version of the build, we can safely say that it uses all of the extra real estate afforded by the tablet's bigger screen.

Indeed, the part that you would normally see on the iPhone screen (or Sonos' own CR200 touchscreen remote) is a mere tile surrounded by other information and interactive portals. But, the best part of the application (that we've seen so far) comes when you want to select and play music.

A right-ranged sidebar gives you access to your networked files, internet radio or music streaming services (such as Napster). You navigate to the track you want and drag it to the music playlist in a different tile. That's it! Even at this early stage, it's intuitive, simple and smooth as a swimmer's armpits.

Naturally, it displays the album art of the track currently playing, like with the iPhone version, but also appears in every other instance where a music file is on screen, giving the whole effect a professional jukebox feel.

At this stage, we're not sure whether you can swap tiles about or rearrange the screen in any way, but even if you can't, it seems perfectly and sensibly laid out, so we don't think you'd need to.

The final version of the app will hit iTunes around the end of August and will, like its iPhone stablemate, be totally free. Obviously, you need some combination of Sonos kit for it to hook up to, but that could start with just the S5, so needn't break the bank.

And, we'll be hooking up with the beta version of the app soon, so watch this space...

UPDATE: We've also discovered this, a video demo from the US that's, ahem, very, very American, but shows the app's features...