Music app

How to Set Spotify as Default Music App on iPhone and iPad

While complete freedom to set default apps on iOS is still a few years away, Apple seems more inclined than ever to move in this direction. If the ability to change the default browser and messaging app in iOS 14 was a sign of something big to come, the unexpected option to set Spotify as the default music app in iOS 14.5 or later on iPhone and iPad surely shows that Apple is heading in the right direction. Over 300 million active users of the leading music streaming app will be happy. Whether you are a loyal Spotify user or just want to change the default music app on your iPhone and iPad, let me help you get started.

To note: While we are focusing on Spotify for this article, the same steps can be used to set up any music app including YouTube Music, Pandora, Tidal, etc. as default music player on iPhone.

Change the default music app on iPhone and iPad running iOS 14.5 or later

Before you try the Quick Steps, there are a few important things to keep in mind.

Works only when using Siri

In typical Apple fashion, the tech giant kept the option of slightly modifying the default music app on iOS 14.5. Interestingly, there’s no toggle in the Settings app to set a music app as the preferred choice. So how does it work?

Well, it’s only when you summon Siri and ask it to play a song that the option to switch music apps appears. Once you allow the virtual assistant to stream music through your favorite music app, it will automatically choose that specific app to play music from that point on.

Do you still have to add “Spotify” to the order?

It should be pointed out that you could already play Spotify music using Siri, you had to add “Spotify” in your order. For example, you had to say something like, “Hey Siri, play my workout playlist on Spotify.” “Hey Siri, play Justin Bieber songs on Spotify.” To say the least, it didn’t always seem practical.

However, with the introduction of this brand new feature, you no longer need to mention Spotify or for that matter the name of a music app at the end of the order. So, this is the welcome change.

Make Spotify the default iPad / iPhone with iOS 14.5 or later

  1. To start, invoke Siri on your iPhone, either by pressing the side / home / power button on your iPhone or iPad, or by using the “Hey Siri” command.

2. Now ask personal assistant to play a song, album or artist.

3. If you are using multiple music apps, Siri will present to you a list of all music apps and asks you to select the preferred application.

Choose the music app

4. Next, Siri will ask for your permission to access your data. “I will need to access your Spotify data for this. Are you OK ? Press on Yes proceed.

Allow Spotify to access your data

That’s it! Siri will start playing the song. From now on, it will always stream music using your favorite music app.

Change Default Music on iOS and iPadOS

Set the default music app on iPhone and iPad

This is how you can set Spotify as the default music app on iOS and iPadOS. As is always the case with the beta, this feature does not always work as expected. However, once Apple officially releases iOS 14.5, hopefully it becomes stable. Also, I would like Apple to add a separate toggle / option in the same row as the browser / mail app for better control.

Notably, iOS 14.5 also allows you to unlock your iPhone using Apple Watch. If you haven’t tried it yet, check out our quick guide. Anyway, what do you think of this brand new feature? Be sure to share your feedback in the comments below.


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