It’s long been an inescapable fact about Apple’s iOS operating system for iPhones that you couldn’t change your default apps from Apple’s own. But just a few months after Apple changed course and allowed users to change the default email or browser apps, the same choice now seems to be coming for music streaming services.
After Apple recently released the first public beta of iOS 14.5, a Reddit user quickly discovered that the first time they asked Siri to play a song after updating, they got a prompt to choose which streaming service to use. wanted to use. Subsequent prompts then obeyed that selection.
Other users on Reddit and MacRumors confirmed similar experiences. They also confirmed that it works if you verbally specify the streaming service, for example by saying, “Hey Siri, play Heroes by David Bowie on Spotify.”
Before the iOS 14.5 beta, that was “on [service name here]phrasing was required every time you wanted to play a song on something other than Apple Music. But now you just have to say “on Spotify” the first time. Well, that seems to be the point anyway. This is a beta release, and the users who have shared their experiences say it’s buggy and inconsistent, only certain phrases work and sometimes the selection resets.
Assuming the bugs are fixed, it could be a particular boon to Apple’s HomePod speakers. When we reviewed the first HomePod, we criticized it for only working well with Apple Music, while other (sometimes cheaper) smart speakers are more service-agnostic.
We’re not exactly sure why Apple has changed course so drastically on iOS default app behavior, but one possibility is that the company sees these changes as a way of hindering ongoing and upcoming antitrust investigations and lawsuits.
iOS 14.5 is expected to release in early spring and is also expected to introduce the much-discussed controversial opt-in requirement for user ad tracking that companies like Facebook have fought against in public. Should the default music service’s behavior change make it to the final public release of iOS 14.5, it will likely appear in iPadOS as well.
List image by Samuel Axon