Move over, Google Assistant. ChatGPT could become a default assistant option on Android

ChatGPT conversation screen on a smartphone
(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • ChatGPT could become a default voice assistant on Android in the future, which would make it easier to access.
  • Code spotted in new versions of the ChatGPT app suggests OpenAI is working on adding the feature.
  • If ChatGPT could become the default assistant, users could trigger it on Android with their voice and other ways, from any application.

It took OpenAI quite a while to release a ChatGPT mobile app for iOS and Android, and both versions were highly anticipated. Although the ChatGPT app became the fastest-growing app of all time last year, it's not the quickest way to get an answer to every question. Using a voice assistant, like the Google Assistant, is still faster in many cases. 

But according to code found in the newest version of the ChatGPT app, spotted by Android Authority, that might not be the case for much longer. Android researcher Mishaal Rahman found an activity named com.openai.voice.assistant.AssistantActivity, although it is not currently enabled. As the name suggests, it's referencing a ChatGPT mode that would enable it to work as a voice assistant system-wide. 

Rahman was able to enable the activity in version 1.2023.352 of the ChatGPT app. After launching the voice assistant activity, a ChatGPT process shows above the Android Home Screen. This suggests that, unlike current ChatGPT voice control, you will be able to use a ChatGPT voice assistant from any part of Android.

Essentially, this would put the ChatGPT voice assistant on par with Google Assistant. The app currently doesn't have all the necessary code requirements to be set as a default voice assistant in Android, even if you manually enable the activity. However, the incomplete code strings strongly imply that it's a feature that OpenAI is actively developing.

Given how influential artificial intelligence was last year and user demand, there's incentive for OpenAI to roll out support for ChatGPT as a default assistant. The company's moves might also set up a race between Google and OpenAI to create the first AI-powered voice assistant for Android. Google says that Google Assistant with Bard is coming, but we don't exactly know when. 

If OpenAI could beat Google to market with a ChatGPT voice assistant for Android, it would be a serious win for the company. Microsoft could also make some noise, as it just released a Microsoft Copilot app for Android. That's significant because it's the easiest way to access OpenAI's GPT-4 model for free on an Android phone. 

It's unclear when ChatGPT could debut as an Android default voice assistant. However, the feature would certainly give users more choice over what AI-enabled voice assistant can be quickly triggered on their great Android phones.

Brady Snyder

Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.