Google Gemini: The Next Evolution in Digital Assistance, But Are Users Ready to Make the Switch from Google Assistant?

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Are you ready to completely replace Google Assistant with Google Gemini? That’s the question many Android users are now pondering. Google made the semi-surprising announcement yesterday that Bard AI has been rebranded and, frankly, revamped into Gemini, and a host of changes have come as a result. One of the bigger shockwaves surrounds the new Gemini app for Android, which is a big step up from having to go into your smartphone’s browser to access the 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 could on Android smartphones and tablets. However, as discovered by Android Authority, there’s another shortcoming — you must choose between Google Assistant or Gemini. When agreeing to the terms of service and opting into Gemini, your phone’s digital assistant is automatically switched over from Google Assistant. The next time you trigger the assistant via long-press, swipe gesture, or Hey Google hotword, you’ll be greeted by Gemini.

The same goes if you install the Gemini app and then trigger your Assistant with one of the above-mentioned shortcuts. When doing it this way, you’re asked if you want to switch from Assistant to Gemini. If you say yes, it’s obvious what will happen: Gemini becomes the assistant. If you say no, you’re greeted by the same Gemini opt-in page the next time you open the Gemini app. Even if you opt into the Gemini experience as your default assistant, then dig into the app’s settings to switch back, you’ll see that same opt-in page again the next time you open the Gemini app. In other words, there’s no way to use the Gemini app without it taking over for Google Assistant.

This is another death push — not death blow — that signals Google Assistant’s end is closer than we might expect. Recently, the report that the Google Assistant Driving Mode was shutting down in February was made official, so it’s not like we’re shocked that Gemini is the Cuckoo bird in the Google Assistant nest right now. Assistant first debuted in 2016, so the fact that it hasn’t made an appearance on our now annual What Google Killed list yet is pretty remarkable.

Utilizing advanced large language models (LLMs) in everyday life undoubtedly means that new assistants are on their way to one day fully replacing older and “dumber” assistants. Gemini is great as is, but it’s not ready to completely take over for what Assistant already does. While yes, it is way better at handling complex, sometimes tedious questions that Google Assistant gets hung up on, Gemini seems to take longer to actually register those questions. Interactions are a bit slower, and for some tasks, Gemini is just the top level of a Russian Doll when it comes to Assistant. It still has to go through Assistant for specific tasks.

For users happy with their current Assistant experience, there’s no need to replace it for now. As a matter of fact, you can get access to all the features Gemini touts by going to Gemini’s website on your mobile phone or laptop. All that leads us to ask, “Why should we bother downloading the app?” There’s a lot of good that will come one day from embracing Gemini as your only assistant, but that day is not today. Maybe Google should start clearing up its product branding process before that day comes.

Google Gemini vs. Google Assistant: Navigating the Shift in Android AI Landscape

With the introduction of the Gemini app for Android, Google has opened up a new chapter in the Android AI landscape. This rebranding and revamp of Bard AI have brought about significant changes that have left many Android users in a state of confusion. One of the most notable changes is the fact that using the Gemini app automatically disables Google Assistant on Android devices.

In order to use the Gemini app, users are required to agree to the terms of service and opt-in to Gemini. This automatically switches the device’s default digital assistant from Google Assistant to Gemini. This means that when users try to trigger the assistant through long-press, swipe gesture, or the Hey Google hotword, they will be greeted by Gemini instead of Google Assistant.

This shift from Google Assistant to Gemini can also occur when users install the Gemini app and trigger their Assistant using the aforementioned shortcuts. In this case, users are presented with the option to switch from Assistant to Gemini. Choosing to switch means that Gemini takes over as the default assistant, while opting not to switch will result in being greeted by the Gemini opt-in page the next time the Gemini app is opened. Even if users opt into the Gemini experience as their default assistant and later try to switch back using the app’s settings, they will still be presented with the Gemini opt-in page upon reopening the app. Therefore, there is currently no way to use the Gemini app without it replacing Google Assistant.

While this move may not be a death blow to Google Assistant, it does signify that its end may be closer than expected. The recent announcement of the shutdown of Google Assistant Driving Mode in February further supports the idea that Gemini is now in the spotlight as the preferred digital assistant. Considering that Google Assistant first debuted in 2016 and has yet to be included in the annual “What Google Killed” list, the rise of Gemini is quite significant.

The increased utilization of advanced large language models (LLMs) in everyday life suggests that newer and more advanced assistants are on their way to replacing older and less capable ones. Gemini shows promise in handling complex and intricate questions that often stumped Google Assistant. However, it does seem to take longer for Gemini to process and respond to these queries. Interactions with Gemini can be slower, and in some cases, it acts as a gateway to Google Assistant for specific tasks. This Russian Doll-like behavior signifies that Gemini still relies on Google Assistant for certain functions.

For users who are satisfied with their current Google Assistant experience, there is no immediate need to replace it with Gemini. In fact, all the features offered by Gemini can be accessed through the Gemini website on mobile phones or laptops. This raises the question of why users should bother downloading the app when they can enjoy the benefits of Gemini without making the switch. While there is potential for Gemini to become the sole assistant in the future, that day has not yet arrived. It would be prudent for Google to clarify its product branding process before fully integrating Gemini as the default assistant.

In conclusion, the introduction of the Gemini app and the subsequent rebranding and revamp of Bard AI have brought about significant changes in the Android AI landscape. The automatic disabling of Google Assistant when using the Gemini app is a noteworthy development that has both its advantages and limitations. As users navigate this shift between Google Assistant and Gemini, it is essential to consider the capabilities and limitations of each assistant to determine which best suits their needs. Whether or not Gemini will eventually replace Google Assistant entirely is a question that only time will answer. Until then, users have the option to explore the functionalities of Gemini through alternative means without completely replacing their existing assistant.

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