Apple clarifies it’s not allowing users to set a ‘default’ music service in iOS 14.5

Way back in February, it was revealed that the next update to iOS actually made some changes to selecting a default music player for streaming. However, it turns out that might not be the case after all. At least, that’s not how Apple sees it.

That’s according to TechCrunch, which reported this week that Apple has tried to clarify the situation. While the company does allow iOS users to set third-party email and browser apps, that’s apparently not what’s going on with music streaming apps. But it may just come down to the details.

With iOS 14.5, users can tell Siri that they want to use, say, Spotify to stream music by default. This means they don’t have to clarify to Siri every single time to play music from Spotify. Rather, the digital assistant will handle that on its own after the user sets the “default” music streaming app. However, Apple doesn’t see this as the user setting a default app for their music streaming needs.

Apple clarifies this by saying this feature is “intelligence-based”. The company believes it will actually improve over time as the user interacts with the feature, and will learn the person’s listening habits.

An example, provided in the report:

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. However, your response to Siri is not making that particular service your ‘default,’ Apple says. In fact, Siri may ask you again at some point — a request that could confuse users if they thought their preferences had already been set.

The need for clarity comes from the fact that Siri may actually request which service a user wants to use when they make a request. So Apple doesn’t want users to be confused. They aren’t setting a default app like they can with an email app or mobile web browser.

Siri will learn based on your apps with these streaming situations. So if you use an Apple service to listen to podcasts or music, then Apple will lean into that. But if you prefer a third-party app for these things, Siri will learn that and make it easier to stream from them. Selecting from the list of apps will inform Siri which you prefer, and it will learn from there.

So, a good bit of clarity here and that’s not a bad thing. Though, it may be a disappointment for some who were hoping for the ability to outright set a music streaming app as default.