Gemini becomes a more capable Google Assistant replacement with latest update

A Gemini overlay in Android,
(Image credit: Google)

What you need to know

  • Google is expanding the availability of the Gemini app for Android, making it accessible in more countries and languages. Gemini will also start rolling out in the Google app on iOS in the coming weeks.
  • Gemini Extensions are rolling out everywhere the Gemini app is available, allowing the AI assistant to tap into your other Google apps and services.
  • More Google Assistant voice features are now available with Gemini, such as setting timers, making phone calls, and managing your smart home.

Google is rolling out the Gemini app and useful features in more languages and countries starting today. The update largely concerns the Android app, but the company says iOS users will start seeing Gemini in the Google app in the coming weeks — if they haven't already.

On the Android side of things, Google is expanding Gemini's capabilities as a voice assistant, making it an even more capable Google Assistant replacement. Some features that were limited to Assistant or were only available with Gemini through Assistant integration now work with Gemini natively.

Android users have more ways to access Gemini from anywhere, as long as they opt in by downloading the Gemini app or through Google Assistant. Essentially, Gemini can be activated in the exact same ways as Assistant. This includes via a press of the power button, saying "Hey Google," and swiping up from the corner on supported smartphones. After doing so, a Gemini overlay will appear on the screen, just like Assistant. 

The company says that it is working on bringing more Google Assistant features to the Gemini app,  but that some can be used already, such as setting timers, managing smart home devices, and making phone calls. 

Additionally, Google is widely rolling out Gemini Extensions everywhere the Gemini app is available. With Extensions, Gemini can tap into your entire Google ecosystem, using information from other apps and services to power its responses. For example, Gemini can check Gmail for certain dates or summarize YouTube videos. If you don't want Gemini to have access to all your other Google apps and services, you can opt-out manually. 

Extensions in Gemini

(Image credit: Google)

Separately, Google is adding a new way to interact with Gemini in Chrome for desktop. Instead of having to launch the Gemini web client and converse with the chatbot, users can type @gemini in the Chrome address bar — followed by a prompt — and press enter to receive a response from Gemini automatically. This comes just after Google added machine learning capabilities to the Omnibox, allowing results to be more personalized.

Some of these features have been available as limited tests previously, but they're now available to the masses starting today. Overall, it once again appears that Google is all-in on Gemini as a replacement for Google Assistant. After all, the company is giving Gemini more features that were once held by Assistant and plans to add more in the future. Now that these features are available in more countries and languages, more Android users can take advantage of Gemini. 

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.

  • rvbfan
    Still not ready for Prime Time. Can't place a call, send an email or text. No voice customization, the list is still long.
  • jeffreytz
    My main issue is its slower than Assistant - ask it what the time is in London and you have to wait as the Gemini screen works out the answer. Ask Assistant and it responds almost instantly.
  • Medevac1
    Gemini is in no way ready to replace the Google Assistant and remains inferior in any of my use cases. Google likes to initiate change just for the sake of making them, whether they are needed/requested or not.
  • tube517
    After 2 years they will switch again maybe back to Google Assistant. They switched back to Wallet recently lol