ChatGPT, the viral conversational AI chatbot from OpenAI, appears to be plotting a takeover of Android devices by positioning itself as an alternative to the Google Assistant. Code found in the ChatGPT Android app suggests features are in development to allow it to be set as the default voice assistant. If successful, this would mark the first serious threat to Google’s long-standing control of core Android functionality.
ChatGPT Android App Teardown Reveals Clues
Noted Android developer Mishaal Rahman conducted an APK teardown of the ChatGPT Android app, discovering code referencing an “assist app” configuration. This suggests OpenAI is building functionality for ChatGPT to handle assistant-style voice queries on Android devices.
Specific strings found include:
- “Set as assist app”
- “Assist app settings”
- “Default assist app”
Additional code indicates users would be able to set ChatGPT as the default assistant, replacing Google Assistant in key areas like voice search and hands-free queries.
From Siri Challenger to Android Disruptor
The findings come just days after leaked Apple audio revealed the company recognizes ChatGPT as a major competitive threat to Siri. Apple plans to substantially upgrade its well-established assistant to better compete.
Now it seems Google should also be concerned, with its very control over core Android functionality under fire. ChatGPT ascending to default status would be an Android first.
As Mishaal Rahman commented:
This should be interesting. Never before has a third-party app had this level of deep integration as a voice assistant service on Android. Not even Siri can replace Google Assistant like this.
Battle for Supremacy Heating Up
OpenAI has skyrocketed in popularity thanks to ChatGPT’s impressively human-like conversational abilities. With Google search under threat from such AI generative models, experts believe OpenAI sees an opening to chip away at another Google stronghold.
Other snippets found in the Android app code include:
- “Sorry, I can’t actually replace the default assistant on your device…” – suggests the feature is still in development
- “Stand by while I configure myself as your assistant” – indicates a setup process
Code for integrating with Android accessibility features was also found, suggesting ChatGPT will deeply integrate system functionality.
Google has yet to officially respond to the discoveries, though a fierce battle between the two tech giants now seems inevitable.
What Comes Next?
OpenAI still faces substantial hurdles to pull off such an ambitious Android takeover. Google maintains tight control over key Android integrations given its own assistant and search services.
There’s also the question of whether ChatGPT can capably handle the breadth of queries fielded by Google Assistant every day. As a factual information source, ChatGPT has displayed inconsistencies not yet fully addressed.
However, with skyrocketing popularity and nearly $30 billion in fresh funding, OpenAI has resources and motivation to spare. If it succeeds in upgrading ChatGPT’s capabilities and Google open up Android further, we may one day see:
- ChatGPT seamlessly replacing Google Assistant
- Voice searches going through ChatGPT not Google Search
- A showdown between the two assistants
For now, all eyes will be on OpenAI to see how quickly they can turn the discovered code into reality. Android users tired of Google’s dominance will surely be rooting for the upstart ChatGPT.
The table below summarizes the key details:
|Currently default assistant on Android
|Code found suggesting it can be set as default
Potential launch timing for default capability|N/A|Unknown|
Key technical hurdles|None|Integrating with Android OS|
Backing|Google|OpenAI ($29B funding)|
We will bring further updates on this rapidly developing story as additional details emerge.
To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.