iOS 14.5 won't actually let you change a default music service

It may be easier to avoid Apple Music, but you still can't set a new default.

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Karissa Bell
March 4th, 2021
Popular music listening apps on iPad screen
NoDerog via Getty Images

It turns out that Apple’s iOS 14.5 update won’t actually let you change your default music service that you use with Siri. Beta users had originally noticed that it appeared as if early versions of the update might allow you to change the default service that launches when you ask Siri to play a song.

This meant that rather than specifying a third-party music app with each request, Siri would remember your preference and launch with the service you had originally specified. While all that still seems to be the case, TechCrunch reports that Apple has apparently “clarified” that it “doesn’t consider this feature the equivalent to ‘setting a default.’”

That’s because the feature relies on “Siri intelligence,” which can track your music-listening habits over time and predict which app you’re more likely to want at that moment. For users, that may certainly feel as if you’ve changed your default music player, but there’s still no way to do that on iOS.

All this may seem like a ridiculous distinction, but as TechCrunch notes there are some bigger implications to the issue. Namely that the company is currently facing multiple antitrust investigations that deal in part with whether or not the iPhone maker privileges its own services over competing ones. Giving users more control over defaults could be one way to address some of those concerns. But for now it seems Apple still isn’t quite ready to make that jump.

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