Using the Gemini app automatically disables Google Assistant on Android

Using the Gemini app automatically disables Google Assistant on Android

summary

  • Google Gemini is a revamped version of Bard AI, now available as an app for Android users, but it comes at the cost of replacing Google Assistant.
  • When you subscribe to Gemini, your phone’s digital assistant automatically switches from Google Assistant to Gemini, and there’s no way to use the Gemini app without it taking over.
  • Gemini is not yet ready to completely replace Google Assistant because it is slower and still relies on the Assistant for specific tasks. Users who are happy with their current Assistant experience don’t need to replace it at this time.


Are you ready to completely replace Google Assistant with Google Gemini? This is the question that many Android users are thinking about now. Google made a semi-surprise announcement yesterday that its Bard AI has been rebranded and, frankly, revamped as Gemini, and a bunch of changes have come as a result. One of the biggest shocks surrounds the new Gemini app for Android, which is a big step up from having to go into your smartphone’s browser to access AI. However, using this app comes at a cost: Google Assistant.


As we reported yesterday, there are still a number of things Gemini can’t do that Google Assistant can do on Android smartphones and tablets. However, as Android Authority discovered, there’s another drawback – you have to choose between Google Assistant or Gemini. When you agree to the Terms of Service and sign up for Gemini, your phone’s digital assistant automatically switches from Google Assistant. The next time you launch Assistant via a long tap, swipe gesture, or that important Hey Google, you’ll be greeted by Gemini.

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The same applies if you install the Gemini app and then launch your Assistant using one of the shortcuts mentioned above. When you do it this way, you will be asked if you want to switch from Assistant to Gemini. If you answer yes, it is clear what will happen: Gemini becomes the helper. If you answer no, you’ll be greeted by the same Gemini signup page the next time you open the Gemini app. Even if you sign up to try Gemini as your virtual assistant, and then dig into the app settings to switch back, you’ll see the same sign-up page again the next time you open the Gemini app. In other words, there’s no way to use the Gemini app without it replacing Google Assistant.



This is another death push — not a death blow — that suggests the end for Google Assistant is closer than we might expect. Recently, the report that Google Assistant’s driving mode will be shutting down was officially announced in February, so it’s no surprise that Gemini is cuckooing in the Google Assistant’s nest at the moment. The Assistant first appeared in 2016, so the fact that it hasn’t appeared on our annual What Google Killed list yet is pretty remarkable.


The use of advanced large language models (LLMs) in everyday life undoubtedly means that new helpers are on their way to one day replacing older and “dumber” helpers. Gemini is great as it is, but he’s not ready to take full responsibility for what the assistant actually does. Although it’s much better at handling complex and sometimes boring questions that Google Assistant comments on, Gemini seems to take longer to actually register those questions. Interactions are a little slower, and for some tasks, Gemini is just the top level of Russian Doll when it comes to helper. It still has to go through the Assistant to do specific tasks.

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For users who are happy with their current Assistant experience, there’s no need to replace it at this time. In fact, you can access all the features promoted by Gemini by going to the Gemini website on your mobile phone or laptop. All of this leads us to ask: “Why should we bother downloading the application?” There is a lot of good that will one day come from embracing Gemini as your only helper, but that day is not today. Maybe Google should start clarifying its product branding process before that day comes.

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