OpenAI’s ChatGPT gearing up to challenge the dominance of Google Assistant on Android devices. The latest version of ChatGPT’s Android app, version 1.2023.352, offers tantalizing clues that OpenAI is not just experimenting but actively developing a feature that allows users to replace Google Assistant with ChatGPT.
Buried within the APK file is a new activity labeled com.openai.voice.assistant.AssistantActivity, hinting at the potential to invoke the ChatGPT chatbot for voice queries without opening the app.
The feature’s current status is inactive by default, as reported by Android Authority. However, it is designed to allow users to activate ChatGPT using the same commands that typically launch Google Assistant. For instance, holding down the Android phone’s central navigation button, a shortcut for Google Assistant, would instead prompt ChatGPT’s interface to appear, ready to receive voice commands. Despite this integration, there is no voice-activated keyword like “Ok, Google” yet, and while the app displays “Connecting” and “Listening” prompts, it remains non-operational, suggesting ongoing refinements by OpenAI.
The implications of this development are immense. OpenAI, led by Sam Altman, is positioning ChatGPT as a formidable rival to Google Assistant. This is not the first time other companies have attempted to challenge Google’s dominance in this space. Samsung’s Bixby and Amazon’s Alexa have tried and largely failed to become a staple on Android devices. OpenAI, however, appears to have a stronger footing, thanks to ChatGPT’s robust technology and public reception.
The path ahead for OpenAI is challenging. Convincing users to switch from the default services on their devices is no small feat. To succeed, ChatGPT must not only match but surpass Google Assistant in terms of speed, accuracy, and integration with other apps and services. Moreover, Google is not standing still in this competitive arena. Enhancements to its assistant and the development of its AI project, Bard, are underway.