Which AI chatbot is better?

Gemini Google Assistant Smart Home

Calvin Wankhede / Android Authority

Over the past decade, Google Assistant has become a common presence in our daily lives. But while it does basic tasks like smart home control and entertainment well, the Assistant has always struggled to answer questions or solve complex problems. Fortunately, Google has a modern alternative in the form of Gemini, which is built on the same artificial intelligence foundation as ChatGPT. So how does Gemini compare to Google Assistant, and should you make the switch? Let’s break it down.

In what ways is Gemini better than Google Assistant?

Google Assistant pop-up on Pixel

Mishaal Rahman / Android Authority

Gemini is Google’s latest chatbot and digital assistant that can answer questions on a variety of topics and perform tasks like setting reminders and calling contacts. Unlike the upcoming Google Assistant, Gemini can better understand natural human language. This means you no longer have to worry about wording your request correctly.

Gemini is built on two relatively new technologies, large language models and generative artificial intelligence. These technologies also power competing chatbots such as ChatGPT and Microsoft Copilot. However, Google uses an internal large-scale language model of the same name for its chatbot. Gemini language models come in three sizes: Nano, Pro, and Ultra. The smallest Gemini Nano model runs natively on some devices like the Pixel 8 Pro, but the digital assistant relies on the Gemini Pro running in Google data centers.

In the role of a digital assistant on iPhone and Android, Gemini offers several advantages: it can understand complex questions, search the Internet for the latest information, summarize articles, and more.

Gemini offers a more user-friendly digital assistant experience, but it’s still missing some features.

We’ve compiled a list of the best Gemini tips for the web, but the takeaway is that chatbots excel at any language-related task. It can also handle image input, allowing you to submit screenshots or images from your camera. I personally use this feature of Gemini to analyze restaurant menus, something the old Google Lens couldn’t do.

In the long term, Google also plans to bring all of Assistant’s existing device control capabilities to Gemini. However, we are still a long way from realizing this vision. Today’s Gemini lacks some major Google Assistant features, including some that you and I probably take for granted on our smartphones every day.

Gemini vs. Google Assistant: Pros and Cons

Gemini Image Tips Translation

Calvin Wankhede / Android Authority

You can switch to Gemini as described below, but doing so will completely replace Google Assistant. In other words, swiping up from the corner or using the “Hey Google” wake word will bring up Gemini every time. You can always revert to Google Assistant, but that will render the Gemini app useless.

With this either/or choice in mind, here are the pros and cons of Gemini compared to Google Assistant.

  • As long as you don’t touch on politically sensitive topics, Gemini can answer a wider range of factual questions than Google Assistant.
  • You can share photos or screenshots with Gemini along with the usual text prompts (pictured above). This can come in handy when deciphering unknown objects or scenes.
  • Currently, Google is only bringing Gemini to Android and iOS smartphones. We still use Google Assistant on other devices like Pixel tablets, wearables, and smart speakers.
  • Both Gemini and Google Assistant can control certain aspects of the device, such as making calls and setting reminders. However, the Gemini can’t yet play music or talk to services like Spotify and YouTube Music.
  • Google Assistant offers routines and automations that can be triggered in response to events such as alerts. Gemini does not yet provide this functionality. If you use the Assistant routines feature in the Google Clock app, I’d steer clear of the Gemini.
  • Currently, Assistant is the only way to access some Pixel-exclusive features, like translating on-screen content and reading web pages aloud.
  • Like the web version, the mobile version of Gemini can generate code, serve AI-generated images, and convert unstructured data into tables. However, you may not need most of the features in the form of a chatbot digital assistant.

You can improve Gemini’s response quality by subscribing to Google One AI Premium. The latter gives you access to Gemini Advanced or what Google calls “Gemini Ultra” language models. While $20 per month may seem expensive, I think it’s a bargain compared to Microsoft’s Copilot Pro subscription since Google also offers 2TB of cloud storage.

That said, if you just want the basic Gemini experience on Android or iPhone, you don’t have to give Google a dime, as most features are free. The chatbot may expand to other Google mobile apps like Gmail and Docs in the future, but for now it’s limited to an assistant role.

How to replace Google Assistant with Gemini AI

Google Gemini logo on smartphone stock photos (7)

Edgar Cervantes/Android Authority

Google has officially launched the smartphone version of Gemini in a few countries, including the United States. If you’re lucky enough to live in one of these areas, just download the Gemini app from the Play Store. If you are an iPhone user, install the Google Search app from the App Store and enable Gemini in the Settings menu.

But if the Play Store doesn’t let you install the app, we have to get creative. Here’s how to sideload Gemini and use it to replace Google Assistant:

  1. Download Gemini APK from third-party websites like APKMirror on your smartphone.
  2. Using the file manager application, navigate to download folder on your device and click on the downloaded APK file.
  3. If you’ve never sideloaded an app, you may see a prompt asking you to enable the feature.
  4. After installation, open the app and follow the prompts. Make sure to provide Gemini with the necessary permissions and enable the assistant functionality when prompted.

How to get rid of Google Gemini?

Google chooses digital assistant

Calvin Wankhede / Android Authority

Once you set up Gemini, it will completely take over Google Assistant. To revert this change, open the Gemini app, tap your profile photo, and navigate to Settings. At the bottom of the menu, look for the setting titled “Google Digital Assistant” (pictured above) and select the assistant of your choice. Keep in mind that reopening the Gemini app will disable the assistant and you must repeat this process.

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