iOS 14.5 can't set a default music app for Siri, just a preference, says Apple

How to sign up and activate an Apple Music family plan
How to sign up and activate an Apple Music family plan (Image credit: Casian Holly / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple says iOS 14.5 can't set a default music app for Siri after all.
  • Siri will probably ask you to choose a music app again at some point.

People using iOS 14 in its current beta form have noticed that they can tell Siri to play music from a specific streaming service, rather than Apple Music, and have the assistant remember that preference for next time. But there's bad news – Apple says that Siri isn't setting a new default app at that point – and it'll prompt you to select a new one at some point.

The disappointing news came via TechCrunch with Apple also keen to remind everyone that there's no actual default music app option to be found anywhere in the settings.

For example, if you tell Siri to play a song, album or artist, it may ask you which service you want to use to listen to this sort of content. However, your response to Siri is not making that particular service your "default," Apple says. In fact, Siri may ask you again at some point — a request that could confuse users if they thought their preferences had already been set.Apple also points out there's no specific setting in iOS where users can configure a "default" music service, the way there is with email and browser apps.

Given the fact Apple already lets users set their own default browser and email app, it's disappointing that we don't get the same option with music apps. It's probably also something to keep in mind when choosing a new smart speaker – maybe choose one that will let you select whether you're going to listen to Spotify or whatever out of the box.

Apple is currently testing iOS 14.5, the latest update to last year's iOS 14 release, with developers. It's likely to be made available to the public within the next few weeks.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.