As Jeff Benjamin pointed out in the 9to5Mac video coverage, iOS 14.5 will use Siri’s intelligence to select music services based on listening behaviors. While the feature doesn’t really allow you to set a default music service, it will open Siri for easier music control for more services without having to specify which service to use. Apple has now described in more detail how it intends the new behavior to work.
TechCrunch received a statement from Apple that it intends to stop focusing on the description of the role change as support for the default music service and is instead part of Siri intelligence:
For example, if you tell Siri to play a song, album, or artist, it might ask you which service you want to use to listen to this type of content. However, your answer to Siri isn’t to make that particular service your “default,” says Apple. In fact, Siri may ask you again at some point, a request that could confuse users if they thought their preferences have already been set.
Apple also notes that there is no specific setting in iOS where users can set a “default” music service, as with the email and browser apps.
As we’ve noted in previous coverage, Apple’s approach with Siri is less clear to users than Amazon’s with Alexa. Echo smart speakers allow users to set up default audio services for music catalogs and music radio stations, including Apple Music through the Alexa mobile app.
Apple allows users to configure default email clients and web browsers in iOS 14, but Apple is choosing not to offer this same level of control over audio clients just yet.
Seriously, don’t call it compatibility with the default music app in iOS 14, according to Apple, because it’s Siri-based, which means it’s way more nebulous than a simple setup. We may actually call it that in the future: Siri’s nebulous audio feature.
iOS 14.5 is currently in its third beta version. We should have a clearer description via the release notes when the next software update ships later this month. Meanwhile, you can keep the default music, audiobook, and podcast apps on your wish list for iOS 15.
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