Music app

iOS 14.5 beta allows users to set their default music app to any third-party alternative of their choice

In context: If you’re tired of always telling Siri to play songs on your favorite music app, iOS 14.5 is about to change that. Apple’s upcoming mobile operating system will allow users to set their preferred drive as the default, eliminating the need to specify an app to use. While currently only available in public beta, a stable release is expected to arrive later this month.

Apple last week rolled out a public beta for iOS 14.5. One of the first new features we noticed was the ability to unlock your iPhone while wearing a mask, as long as you wear your Apple Watch, a much appreciated addition during those ongoing mask mandates.

This week, another welcome feature appeared in the beta of iOS 14.5. Apple finally allows users to change the default music app. Currently, if you ask Siri to play a song, it will try to find it in Apple’s native Music app. Of course, if you are not using Music, it will just return a message saying that it cannot find the song. MacRumors notes that with iOS 14.5, Siri will ask users which service to use when it receives a song request for the first time. User response will become the default music player for subsequent Siri music requests.

Apple’s first indication that it was loosening its grip on forcing users to use its own apps came with iOS 13. This release added a feature that allowed Siri to open non-native apps such as Spotify. Now users can say “Hey Siri. Play Mozart with Spotify ”, and it will. It will soon be unnecessary to specify which app you want to use once the new default is set. Keep in mind that this is only the beta version and it is possible that Apple may withdraw it at the last minute if it feels it is not ready.

Apple recently relaxed its restrictions in other areas as well. Shortly after its release last September, iOS 14 introduced the ability to change default email and browser apps. Until then, tapping a link in a text message automatically opened it in Safari, and tapping an email address opened Apple’s Mail app for composing. Cupertino is also preparing to allow iPhone users to opt out of data collection despite complaints from several advertisers and social media platforms.

Although it has arrived drip, it looks like Apple is about to open up its walled garden a bit to give users more control. It remains to be seen to what extent he intends to open these doors.

Image credit: Kaspars Grinvalds

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