iOS 14.5 update — iPhone users won't be able to set a default music app for Siri after all

iOS 14
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple released a beta version of iOS 14.5 in early February. One of the coolest features testers spotted was the ability to change Siri's default music streaming service. As such, many were excited to be unshackled from Apple Music and switch to their favorite apps like Spotify or Tidal.

However, while Apple says that Siri will indeed, ask you for your music-app preferences, using the phrase "setting a default" is technically incorrect (via TechCrunch).

Siri's new feature technically doesn't allow you to set a "default" music app

Reddit users experimented with the public beta version of iOS 14.5 and discovered that if Apple Music is uninstalled, Siri prompted users to choose a service from a list of available apps, including Spotify, Pandora and other third-party music-streaming services. Siri would then remember users' selection and play content using the same app.

The feature indicated that Apple had intentions of opening its walled garden to third-party music apps, so media outlets jumped on the news and reported that users will be able to "set their default music-streaming service" while invoking Siri to play content. 

However, as mentioned, Apple doesn't like the word "default." Yes, Siri will ask you which service you'd like to use to listen to your requested content, but there's no way to configure a default music app. In a statement to TechCrunch, the Cupertino-based tech giant explained that because Siri may, once again, ask users which music platform they'd like to use — and there's no way to get Siri to stick to one app indefinitely — using the words "you can set a default music app with Siri" is incorrect.

The new iOS 14.5 feature is meant to help Siri learn which apps you prefer for different audio content. For example, you may prefer to use Spotify to listen to music, but when it comes to podcasts, you'd rather explore Apple Podcasts. For audiobooks, you may lean toward Audible.

Although you technically can't set a default music app, it will certainly feel like you can because Siri will eventually "learn" which music apps you prefer.

So the good news is that the iPhone maker won't shove Apple Music down your throat when you make an audio request, but the downside is there's no option to set a default music-streaming service.

Kimberly Gedeon

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!