Apple Music appears to be affected by a bug that forces the app to install directly into the dock when downloaded from the App Store, with the app even replacing other first-party and third-party apps located in the dock.
There have been several complaints about the issue on Twitter from users who downloaded Apple Music and then had it replaced by another app. Kevin Archer, for example, asked Apple Music to replace Spotify in its dock.
Archer claimed the app only replaced non-Apple apps, but that appears to be incorrect, as Tech Crunch tested the bug and Apple Music installed on the Camera app, Twitter, and Safari. We’ve installed it on the Mail app and Dropbox, so music apps aren’t targeted or uniquely impacted.
It seems that if you download the Apple Music app from the app store, it will automatically appear on your device (iPhone) dock, more than that, it will change any other 3D party app with Music app . If on your dock you only have Apple apps, it won’t do anything. pic.twitter.com/c0pkO9G2pq
— Kevin Archer (@IM_Kevin_Archer) May 5, 2022
There have also been complaints that Apple Music sets itself as the default music service when downloaded even though another music app has been set as the default, but we were unable to reproduce this behavior .
iOS devices running iOS 15.4.1 are affected, and we were also able to get Apple Music installed on another app in the iOS 15.5 beta. Other older versions of iOS 15 also seem to have the same issue. There’s even a complaint from 2019, way before iOS 15.
Like Tech Crunch points out, this behavior has not been explicitly explained as a bug by Apple, but it is probably unintentional. Apple has already been accused of favoring its own apps over third-party apps and is under regulatory scrutiny, so there’s little chance of Apple blatantly replacing third-party apps with its own.
It also appears that there is no set pattern for which apps Apple Music will replace, with Apple’s own apps also being replaced, and the issue does not occur consistently. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney, however, suggested that Apple would “rig” iOS to replace apps with Apple Music.
I just checked this on iOS 15.4.1. With Spotify installed and on the dock, installing Apple Music removed Spotify from the dock and put Apple Music there – without asking. This happens without Apple Music running, so clearly Apple rigged their OS to do this! — Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) May 5, 2022
Since the Apple Music issue is getting a lot of attention, including accusations of preferential treatment, Apple will likely fix it soon.
Update: apple said MacRumors that he is aware of the problem and is looking into it.