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You can't use Gemini for Android if you don't replace Assistant

If you install the new Gemini Android app on your phone, you'll be left with a tough choice: use Gemini or use Assistant.

Published onFebruary 8, 2024

Gemini Android App Sign in Screen
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority
  • When you install Gemini for Android, you must replace Google Assistant with it.
  • If you stop using Gemini and go back to Assistant, the Gemini app resets.
  • That means, for now, it is impossible to use the Gemini app and Assistant on Android.

Today, Google made a slew of changes to its AI services. Bard is now Gemini, Duet AI is also Gemini, and there’s a new Gemini app for Android. The most controversial news, though, is that once you install Gemini, it replaces Google Assistant on your Android phone. This means long-pressing the power button, saying “Hey Google,” or swiping in from the lower corners of the display activates Gemini, not Assistant.

Thankfully, Google allows you to roll back this change and continue to use Assistant as normal. However, we were under the impression that you could then still go on using the Gemini app by manually launching it as you would any other app. Now that we actually have Gemini on a phone, though, we can see that is not the case.

On Android, once you change back to using Assistant instead of Gemini, the Gemini app fully resets. The next time you open it, you’ll need to go through the setup process again. Since swapping Assistant for Gemini is a required element of that process, you’re in a never-ending loop. This makes it impossible to simultaneously have Google Assistant and a working Gemini app on your phone.

We see no reason why this should be the case. If I want to use Gemini on my phone without changing how Assistant operates, I can open a web browser and go to From there, I have access to pretty much every Gemini feature. The app should, in principle, work the same way. But Google is not allowing that. If you want to use the Gemini Android app, you need to be all-in — no more Assistant at all on your phone.

You might be thinking you can keep the Gemini app active and launch Assistant through other means. Remember, though, that Google recently removed the ability to launch Assistant from the search bar in the Google app. Since that no longer exists and all other ways of invoking Assistant on Android are replaced with Gemini, you’re locked out.

In other words, if you still want to use Assistant on your phone, there is no reason to install the Gemini app. Just launch Gemini through your browser instead. The Gemini app should only be installed if you are 100% ready to abandon Assistant on your phone. If you don’t, the app becomes a useless waste of internal storage space.

If there were any doubts about Google’s intentions to kill off Assistant, they can be put to rest. Today’s launch of Gemini for Android is clearly a significant stride towards moving Assistant to the Google Graveyard over the next few years.

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