As Jeff Benjamin noted in 9to5Mac’s video coverage, iOS 14.5 will use Siri intelligence to select music services based on listening behaviors. While the feature falls short of actually allowing you to set a default music service, it will open Siri to 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 intends to take the focus off describing the feature change as default music service support and instead on it being a part of Siri intelligence:

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. 

As we’ve noted in previous coverage, Apple’s approach with Siri is less clear for users than Amazon’s with Alexa. Echo smart speakers allow users to set default audio services for music catalogs and music radio stations including Apple Music through the Alexa mobile app.

Apple lets users set default web browsers and email clients in iOS 14, but Apple is choosing not to offer this same level of control over audio clients yet.

Seriously, don’t call it default music app support in iOS 14, according to Apple, because it’s Siri-based, which means it’s much more nebulous than a simple setting. Actually, we can just call it that going forward: nebulous Siri audio feature.

iOS 14.5 is currently in its third beta version. We should have a clearer description through release notes when the upcoming software update ships later this month. In the meantime, you can keep default music, audiobook, and podcast apps on your wish list for iOS 15.

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