Copilot update allows GPT-4 chatbot to replace Google Assistant on Android

Microsoft Copilot app running on Google Pixel 7a smartphone
(Image credit: Laptop Mag / Rael Hornby)

Microsoft Copilot will soon allow Android users to profit from the platform's open customization by allowing the GPT-4-powered chatbot to replace Google Assistant as your device's default digital assistant.

The update for the Microsoft Copilot app is currently in testing, though still freely accessible to those signed up for beta updates. After setting Microsoft Copilot as the default assistant for Android, users can quickly access the AI chatbot with a simple button press, though don't expect Android Assistant-like responsiveness just yet.

A shortcut to the AI assistant

Currently, calling up your assistant will open up the Microsoft Copilot app, meaning there'll be a slight delay before you can register any actual requests. It also means you can't use your digital assistant to activate traditional tasks like setting timers or reminders, or anything involving interactivity beyond what Microsoft's Copilot is currently capable of.

This effectively means switching out your Google Assistant for a Copilot app shortcut, which could be great for those who make use of Microsoft's chatbot frequently but will leave those looking for a true AI assistant longing.

Outlook

It's still early days for Copilot on Android. Truth be told, it's still early days for Copilot on Windows, too. Microsoft's chatbot is an impressive LLM (Large Language Model), but it still has some ways to go before becoming an effective AI assistant.

A recent plugin release for Copilot in Windows named Power Automate has seen the chatbot gain a somewhat broader capability to interact with Microsoft's operating system, but it still feels hamstrung and shackled at the best of times. Similarly, Copilot's Android assistant potential is a restrained experience — and unlikely to be worth the switch for most.

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Rael Hornby
Content Editor

Rael Hornby, potentially influenced by far too many LucasArts titles at an early age, once thought he’d grow up to be a mighty pirate. However, after several interventions with close friends and family members, you’re now much more likely to see his name attached to the bylines of tech articles. While not maintaining a double life as an aspiring writer by day and indie game dev by night, you’ll find him sat in a corner somewhere muttering to himself about microtransactions or hunting down promising indie games on Twitter.