Siri now permits you to choose a default app for music streaming requests

Siri in iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 has gained a new feature for choosing the default music-streaming service when using the digital assistant to request songs.

According to reports on Reddit and The 8-Bit, Siri in iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 allows you to choose the default app for all Siri music requests. The list includes any third-party apps that stream music and integrate with Siri via Apple’s official APIs.

Setting the default music-streaming service means you can ask the digital assistant to play a song without specifying which app to use. So, something like “Hey Siri, play It’s A Hard Life by Queen on Spotify” can be shortened to just “Hey Siri, play It’s A Hard Life by Queen.”

A screenshot of the Siri interface in iOS 14.5 asking the user to pick the default app for music streaming
Image credit: “matejamm1″/ Reddit

Moreover, Siri will automatically set a particular app as your new default after you ask her to use that app for music playback. The feature appears to be a bit rough around the edges, which is to be expected because Apple is currently testing it with developers.

Can I use this feature right now?

Yes, provided you’re a member of Apple’s Developer Program or Beta Software Program. If you’re Apple’s registered developer or a public beta tester, you can download the iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 betas to your devices through Apple’s portal for developers.

After installing the beta on your device, you should be able to tests this new Siri functionality.

As for the general public, regular customers will be able to get their hands on this new Siri feature when iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 launch publicly sometime around the spring.

Media playback controls via Siri

Apple has been experimenting with this feature since at least iOS 13 two years ago.

In September 2019, Spotify was testing the ability for Apple customers to ask Siri to play a song, an artist or an album. The following month, the Siri-Spotify integration launched on the Apple TV, and in April of 2020 on the Apple Watch.

At the time, this was thought to be a concession on Apple’s part to Spotify, which sued Apple alleging anti-competitive behavior. In reality, however, iOS 13 has opened up the SiriKit framework to allow third-party streaming apps access to the assistant. In other words, it’s up to developers to add support for media playback controls via Siri.