Apple says iOS 14.5 will not allow users to set a default music player after all

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,864   +746
Staff member
TL;DR: Apple revealed that a feature in iOS 14.5 that testers thought was used to set a default music player is actually a machine learning algorithm that helps Siri learn your media playback preferences. The company clarifies that there is no setting option for selecting a default media player.

Last month beta testers found that Apple had added a feature to iOS 14.5 allowing users to change the default music app, Apple Music, to any other third-party app they had installed. However, this does not appear to be the case.

On Friday, Apple cleared up some confusion regarding reports that iPhone users would be able to change their default music app in iOS 14.5. It says users cannot change the default player because there is no settings entry for that like there is for email and browser apps.

Instead, the feature is part of Siri's machine-learning algorithms. Apple told TechCrunch that when using Siri to playback content, it will ask you what app to use and "learn" your player preferences based on the media type.

For example, maybe you like to use Spotify to listen to music but want to use the native Books app to listen to audiobooks. Siri will attempt to "remember" these preferences and use the appropriate app without asking. However, as it is learning, it might ask again when presented with a similar but slightly different request, which is why Apple wanted to clarify that this was not the same as setting a default.

The distinction is important but does not change the ultimate outcome. Siri will, over time, learn which players you like to use for different types of content and will launch them without having to ask. Siri's eventual behavior is nearly identical to setting a default player but on an even more granular level.

Image credit: nikkimeel

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Shadowboxer

Posts: 1,427   +1,033
I’m on iOS 14.4 and “play music on Spotify” to Siri opens up Spotify and carried on where I left off. I’m not really sure what this change is, there is no default music player app on iOS and ive never had any issues using Spotify on iOS.

Siri doesn’t let you speak the name of a track and tell it to play it with Spotify but does with Apple Music but that isn’t changing here. So I’m not really sure what’s going on, seems like maybe a minor tweak to Siri.

“play Spotify” doesn’t work on Siri on the Apple Watch. So maybe that might now after this?
 
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Hexic

Posts: 912   +1,211
TechSpot Elite
I’m on iOS 14.4 and “play music on Spotify” to Siri opens up Spotify and carried on where I left off. I’m not really sure what this change is, there is no default music player app on iOS and ive never had any issues using Spotify on iOS.

Siri doesn’t let you speak the name of a track and tell it to play it with Spotify but does with Apple Music but that isn’t changing here. So I’m not really sure what’s going on, seems like maybe a minor tweak to Siri.

“play Spotify” doesn’t work on Siri on the Apple Watch. So maybe that might now after this?

"User choice is our priority."

"..as long as the user chooses an Apple product or service."

I remember when the iGods wouldn't even let you change your own phone background. That was amusing.
 

mgilbert

Posts: 18   +48
I still don't understand why people put up with Apple's arrogant, condescending, controlling crap. Those stupid enough to do so get exactly what they deserve.
 

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,864   +746
Staff member
I’m on iOS 14.4 and “play music on Spotify” to Siri opens up Spotify and carried on where I left off. I’m not really sure what this change is, there is no default music player app on iOS and ive never had any issues using Spotify on iOS.

Siri doesn’t let you speak the name of a track and tell it to play it with Spotify but does with Apple Music but that isn’t changing here. So I’m not really sure what’s going on, seems like maybe a minor tweak to Siri.

“play Spotify” doesn’t work on Siri on the Apple Watch. So maybe that might now after this?
This is how I understand it:
Apple added the ability for Siri to open third-party apps back in 2019 with I think iOS 13.2 or 13.3. With that update you could say, for example, "Hey Siri. Play [artist, song, playlist, etc] on Spotify," and Spotify would open and play the selection. Apple added a similar implementation to watchOS last year. So you can tell your watch "Hey Siri. Play [whatever] on Spotify," and it will play your selection VIA YOUR PHONE.

Currently, if you issue that command (without specifying an app) it will try to play your selection with Apple Music. With iOS 14.5 you will be able to say, "Hey Siri. Play [whatever]," and it will ask you what app you want it to use. It will try to remember your choice and use that app the next time you ask it to play a similar type of music, podcast, or whatever. If it's not sure, it will ask you again what app you want to use. Over time, it will learn that you, for example, like Pandora for music and Spotify for podcasts, etc.
 

Dimitrios

Posts: 752   +584
Funny with the timing with this article.............Hey guys I never had an iphone before and my Samsung prepaid was only $180 that I got new last year. Well I cracked the screen and now it's hard to find a prepaid phone that has at least 32GB that's an Android with good camera quality for under $200.

The phones I want are too expensive or have a huge screen. The iphone I saw at Walmart is only $160 with like a 4.5-5inch screen brand new. Is it a pain to add music cough cough or have other so called freedoms? Also NOTE It has to be Walmart cellular service.