A new feature in iOS 14.5 lets you change your preferred music player for Siri requests. So if you primarily use YouTube Music over Apple Music and other services, Siri will learn so that you never have to tell the virtual assistant to play a song, artist, or album "on YouTube Music" again.
It's no secret that Apple and Spotify haven't exactly gotten along in the past, but things are looking better than ever in iOS 14.5.
Apple has an excellent reputation for its privacy and security policies. That said, it isn't a perfect reputation. Take Siri, for example. The helpful iOS assistant isn't just communicating with you — Apple saves and listens to a history of your Siri interactions. If you don't want Apple storing your Siri history forever, there's something you can do about it.
How To: Miss When Siri Used to Display On-Screen Transcriptions of Everything Spoken? You Can Get That Back in iOS 14
With iOS 14, Siri no longer takes up the entire display unless you want it to. That may be a good thing, but the update also axed the live feedback when listening to you and responding. Siri used to transcribe your words in on-screen text before answering, and it would transcribe its own answers as well. While it looks like those are gone, you can bring them back to life at any time.
Full-page interfaces are so iOS 13. With Apple's iOS 14, alerts such incoming phone and FaceTime calls now appear as small banners instead. The same goes for Siri. Instead of using your iPhone's full display, Siri now exists in an unobtrusive overlay. But if you miss the focus that full-screen Siri used to bring, you're in luck because the feature still exists — it's just hidden.
According to Apple, Siri serves 25 billion requests per month — an enormous number for a feature that was only released nine years ago. But when you think about how much work Apple has put into Siri over the years, it makes sense that the virtual assistant is being used more and more by users with iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, tvOS, AirPods, and HomePod.
Siri has slimmed down in iOS 14. The assistant now appears as a compact icon at the bottom of the screen instead of hijacking your entire iPhone. It's a welcome change to a user interface that has always felt a bit clunky, but just because Siri's UI has simplified doesn't mean that its capabilities have too. On top of several new features, Siri now lets you record and send audio messages using only your voice.
Every home is a little different, and for a smart home app to work, it has to be able to be customized to work with each person's unique setup. With the iPhone's Home app, everyone can set up a smart home just how they want, including the number and names of rooms, and where those rooms are in the house.
HomePod and HomePod mini are excellent smart speakers if you're entrenched in the Apple ecosystem. They even offer ways to protect your sensitive information from friends and visitors who try to ask Siri to spill your secrets. But there's an extra layer of privacy you can put in place to make sure nobody gains access to any important notes, reminders, and calendar events.
While Apple's reputation for privacy and security is nearly unmatched, it'll never be perfect when Hey Siri is always listening. Aside from iOS devices, Hey Siri always listens for questions and commands on the HomePod and HomePod mini smart speakers. If you rarely use Hey Siri on those speakers, it's worth disabling the feature for some extra privacy.
Apple has always strived to make the share sheet in iOS as useful a tool as possible. It has action extensions, share extensions, shortcuts, activities, and Siri suggestions, and you can even customize the order of the buttons to a certain degree. One thing you couldn't change was Siri's suggested contacts at the top. If you've always hated seeing those bubbles, iOS 14 has a way to get rid of them.
With its emphasis on well-rounded audible entertainment, Deezer gives all music and podcast fans the best of both worlds. As great as the app is, it's inconvenient to constantly tell Siri to play your music and podcasts through Deezer so that it doesn't default to Apple Music instead. Luckily, that's changing so that you can set Deezer as your iPhone's default music player for Siri.
If Pandora is your primary music app on your iPhone, you know it can be frustrating to use with Siri. The digital assistant always wants to use Apple Music instead, so you need to specify that you want to play through Pandora with almost every request. That's now a thing of the past because Apple now allows you to set Pandora as your iPhone's default music player.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a frenzy for news and information that is nearly unprecedented in the smartphone era, with a major side effect of misinformation. Now, major tech companies are making it easier to ask for advice about novel coronavirus from their respective digital assistants. Results may vary, but Apple and Google are the most useful at the moment.
Your iPhone's "Announce Messages with Siri" feature is pure Apple. If you have a pair of connected AirPods (2nd generation or newer), Siri can read your messages to you as they come in, and you can say "Reply" to send one back. However, that natural flow is disrupted once Siri reads back your drafted text — but you can disable it to make the process smooth all the way through.
One of my favorite iOS hacks is Type to Siri. This lets you type your queries to the iPhone digital assistant without needing to use your voice. Unfortunately, Type to Siri replaces the typical Siri voice prompt on the Home or Side button, meaning you need to choose between one or the other. That is, until iOS 13.
As much as streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify have dominated the music industry, radio is still alive and well. And why wouldn't it be? Free music, 24/7? It's a great deal. That's why it's so cool that your iPhone can instantly tune in to your favorite radio station, even one across the country.
Finally, Spotify now works with Siri! It's been a long time coming, but as of Spotify Music version 8.5.6 for iOS 13, you can make Siri or Hey Siri on your iPhone play and control music in your Spotify account. But what commands can you use? We've built a list of everything you can tell Siri to do on Spotify right now, and as time goes on, the list may grow even more powerful.
Apple added "Announce Messages with Siri" with the release of iOS 13.2, and it came as a welcome surprise for me; I missed the feature from its initial run during iOS 13 beta testing. However, while users online gleefully showed off their newfound Announce Messages with Siri capabilities, I was frustrated to see that I didn't have the setting, even though I just updated my iPhone to 13.2. So, what's the fix?
Apple's latest update for iPhones, iOS 13, introduces over 200 new and exciting features. Many of those changes come to Siri, resulting in a better, more useful version of the digital assistant we've known for years. If you simply look at iOS 13's webpage, however, you wouldn't realize just how much Siri has changed this time around. We're here to fill in the blanks.