iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 brought with it the power to set a default browser and email app on your iPhone or iPad. While other app types haven’t gained the ability to change default settings, you can train Siri to learn your go-to music app.
When setting a default browser or email app on your iPhone or iPad, a setting ensures that every relevant link opens the assigned app. That’s not the case with music apps. Instead, as long as you’re running iOS 14.5, iPadOS 14.5, or higher, Siri will ask you which audio app you’d like to use and remembers your choice.
Start by launching Siri. On newer Apple devices, you can do this by saying “Hey Siri” (if you have it turned on) or long-pressing the Side/Top/Power button on your iPhone or iPad with Face ID.
On older iPhones or iPads with a Touch ID sensor, long-press the Home button.
Siri will start listening for a voice command when you see its icon appear on-screen. Ask your phone or tablet to play a song, artist, podcast, or audiobook. For example, you can say “Play Phil Collins,” “Play Sunflower by Post Malone,” or “Listen to the Vergecast.”
Your iPhone or iPad will ask you which music or audio app you would like to listen to the song, artist, podcast, or audiobook on. Tap the app that you would like to use.
In some cases, Siri might ask for your permission to access an app’s data before it can control playback. Grant the voice assistant permission by tapping the “Yes” button from the pop-up message.
Siri’s on-screen overlay will transform into an audio widget. You can control playback, volume, and more from this window. Tapping outside of the widget will make it disappear, but your music, audio, or podcast will continue playing in the background.
Going forward, if you ask Siri to play a song or audio program, your phone or tablet will default to whichever app you selected. It will no longer automatically open the Apple Music app.
As mentioned, setting the default music app is not a setting baked into your iPhone or iPad. On occasion, Siri might prompt you to reselect which audio app you’d like to use to help train the voice assistant.
You are also not locked into only using the app you choose. Instead, you can be specific in your command to Siri to open a song, artist, podcast, or audiobook in a particular app that you have installed on your iPhone or iPad. For example, you can say, “Listen to The Martian in Audible.”