iOS 14.5
Image: Reddit / u/matejamm1

One of the biggest changes that Apple introduced with iOS 14 was the ability to set third-party apps as default for certain tasks. For example, you can now set Gmail as the default app for emails instead of Apple Mail, while your go-to browser for opening links could be anything from Chrome to Edge, and not Safari by default. And with the arrival of iOS 14.5 beta, users noticed that Siri now asks them to select a music service for playing songs and defaulted to it for a while. However, it is not going to work the same way as email and browser apps.

Unlike email and browser, there is no option to pick a default music service at system level

Apple has told TechCrunch that iOS 14.5 doesn’t have a dedicated option to pick a default music service on your iPhone, unlike email and browsers. Users will only be able to pick a music service when Siri presents them with a list of options to choose from. Apple is not blocking other services though. Instead, if you specifically namedrop a service in your voice command, Siri will comply with your request.

“Instead, the feature is Siri intelligence-based, meaning it can improve and even change over time as Siri learns to better understand your listening habits. For example, if you tell Siri to play a song, album or artist, it may ask you which service you want to use to listen to this sort of content.”TechCrunch

So, if you pick a service – say Spotify – for playing a song when Siri asks you to, that doesn’t mean Siri will now remember and set Spotify as the default music service forever. In fact, the virtual assistant might again ask you to specify which service you want to stream a song from. And as mentioned above, there is no dedicated toggle or feature baked in iOS 14.5 that will let you pick a default music service.

This is Apple's way of saying we're giving you a choice, but not all the way

However, it appears that Siri will learn from your preference over time. Even though it is not what users have wanted, there is at least some semblance of it, which Apple might be offering to avoid claims of anti-competitive practices from rivals like Spotify. On Apple’s part, the non-availability of an option to set a default music service appears equivalent to adding a layer of friction that might keep users hooked to its Apple Music service.

I’ve been writing about consumer technology for over three years now, having worked with names such as NDTV and Beebom in the past. Aside from covering the latest news, I’ve reviewed my fair share of devices ranging from smartphones and laptops to smart home devices. I also have interviewed tech execs and appeared as a host in YouTube videos talking about the latest and greatest gadgets out there.
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