What you need to know
- After releasing the Gemini app for Android, users can replace the classic Google Assistant with Gemini.
- However, it turns out that users can’t run Google Assistant and Gemini at the same time.
- If you choose to use classic Google Assistant, the Gemini app will no longer function. In order to set it up again, you’ll have to ditch Assistant.
Google finally brought a Gemini mobile app to Android on Thursday, and users can choose to replace the Google Assistant with Gemini if they prefer. This means that actions like holding the power button or saying “Hey Google” will invoke Gemini, not Assistant. Gemini isn’t as good at voice assistant-related functions, but it’s better at tasks that benefit from artificial intelligence.
However, it looks like Android users can’t have the best of both worlds, as Android Authority pointed out. Many originally thought that Android users would have the option of using Assistant as their voice assistant and Gemini as an AI chatbot app. But if you want to use the Gemini app, the setup process requires you to replace Assistant with Gemini. The Assistant app icon will also change to Gemini, making it appear as if you have the same app twice.
Users do have the option of reverting their assistant preference from Gemini to Assistant after the fact. This still isn’t a solution though, because reverting Gemini to Assistant will cause the Gemini app to completely reset. In order to use it, a user needs to setup the Gemini app again — and thus replace Assistant with Gemini.
At least for now, this means it is effectively impossible to use the Gemini app and the Google Assistant simultaneously. It seems like there is no logical reason for this besides the fact that Google likely wants to push users from Assistant to Gemini. Users with Google Assistant can still use Gemini on the web, so they are simply losing the convenience factor of having Gemini in an app.
For what it’s worth, Google recently announced that it was removing 17 features from Google Assistant. Separately, the company reportedly laid off hundreds of employees working on Assistant. These two factors, plus the inability to use Gemini and Assistant together, could indicate that Assistant might be on the way out.
This limitation might force some users to stick with Assistant over the Gemini mobile app. At launch, Gemini is limited in what assistant features it can handle. For example, Gemini can start timers or make calls, but it cannot set Reminders or create Google Calendar events.
It’s possible that this is unintended behavior for the Gemini app and could be changed in an update. Google has said that Assistant isn’t going anywhere, at least for now. However, if this behavior is intentional, it would definitely push some users away from Assistant and toward Gemini.