Earlier this month, we reported about a new feature that was discovered in a Beta version of iOS 14.5 that seemingly allowed users to set a third-party music or podcasting app as the default for Siri voice commands. It wasn’t clear how it worked, and it didn’t always ask the user which app they wished to open the audio with. There also was no menu that let you manually select an app to do this with.
To clarify the function and its purpose, Apple reached out to TechCrunch to explain what this feature was and that its purpose was not to set a default audio app for Siri. Apple confirmed that there is no specific setting in iOS where users can set a default music service like they can with email or browsing apps.
Apple explains that this prompt to select a music app is for Siri to learn which apps you use to listen to which kind of content. Maybe you like to use YouTube Music for tunes, but you might like to use Google Podcasts for listening to weekly shows. The same may go for genres of music – perhaps you listen to tech house mixes on YouTube, but you listen to Beyonce on Apple Music.
This will let Siri understand the user’s preferences based on how you listen to content. This would also help Siri to become more useful in selecting the right app for the right situation. According to TechCrunch, this processing is all performed on-device.
Not allowing the user to select a ‘default’ music app is a smart move to improve the experience on iOS – and without having to specify the app every time you ask Siri. The average user doesn’t want to dig through menus for something to just work, so letting Siri do the legwork is very on-brand for Apple.