Apple: It’s Impossible to Set a “Default” Music Service in iOS 14.5

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default music apps ios

In February, when the iOS 14.5 beta was released, several beta testers noticed that when they asked Siri to play music, Siri wouldn’t inquire about the specific music service that would be preferred. Apple only recently permitted the default settings alternative for email and browser apps. The service provider feature is based on Siri’s Intelligence which means that as Siri continues to learn and familiarize with your listening habits, it enhances over time. It can even browse and perform online searches. 

If you ask Siri to play, an artist, a song, or an album, it will automatically ask you which music service you prefer to use. Apple says that responding to Siri does not make that service your default setting since Siri could ask you the same question at some point, and this could confuse users who believe they already set the music app to a default that suited their preferences.

Unlike browser and email apps, Apple points out that there isn’t a particular setting in iOS that enables users to configure a default music service. However, a number of their initial reports recognized this difference and still referred to this feature as a “default setting,” which was entirely misleading to Apple users.

The feature is meant to assist Siri in learning the various listening apps you use for distinct audio content other than music. For example, you may want to listen to your podcasts in Apple Podcasts, listen to music in Spotify, and listen to your audiobooks on a completely different app. In this case, Siri would ask the type of service you would like to use and provide a list of audio apps installed that you can choose from.   

Siri learns and understands your routines according to your responses and choices. Still, app developers can use APIs to avail more intelligence to Siri, which will enable it to memorize what app is used to listen to particular content and why. This way, Siri can accurately deliver user requests with all the necessary processing taking place on your device.  For local business owners, they can leverage this by optimizing their SEO for keywords including “near me”.  Jim Eyraud from 1800CarTitleLoan says many apps and SaaS products are working on making sure their products are services compatible with Siri’s searches.

Moreover, this audio choice feature does not restrict users from choosing another service by name, even if it isn’t what they will normally opt for. For example, if you are accustomed to listening to your music through Apple Music and Spotify, you could still ask Siri to play your music on Pandora. If you continue to request Pandora by name, the next time you ask Siri to play music and forget to specify a service, the assistant will automatically ask you to choose a service.

Given the regulatory scrutiny that Apple has been under in the last couple of days regarding its app ecosystem and App store work, this clarification is of greater importance than it may seem.

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