With the launch of their conversational AI assistant Gemini on Android devices, Google has gained a significant advantage over OpenAI when it comes to reach and accessibility on mobile. Integrating Gemini directly into the pre-installed Google app on most Android phones was a smart play by Google to maximize mindshare.
Unlike the ChatGPT app which requires a separate download, Gemini is readily available with just a quick swipe up from the corner on your Android phone. And since the Google app is privileged, Gemini can take advantage of Android’s built-in assistant APIs to do things like respond to “Hey Google” wakewords at any time. This always-listening capability gives Gemini a seamless edge over ChatGPT.
While OpenAI could theoretically add support for Android’s assistant APIs, they wouldn’t be able to respond to wakewords without direct OEM partnerships. At best, ChatGPT is currently accessible via a separate app download or Quick Settings tile – a much higher friction experience compared to Gemini’s tight integration.
And with the Google app’s ability to leverage the assistant APIs, Gemini can also access on-screen content and be set as the phone’s default assistant. This potential for deeper device integration gives Google a leg up in making Gemini feel like a core part of the Android experience rather than a bolted-on app like ChatGPT.
With Gemini launching on over a billion Android devices, Google has used their platform advantage to get a head start on mindshare and reach in the mobile AI assistant wars. It will be an uphill battle for OpenAI to match this level of seamless accessibility and integration that Gemini enjoys on Android out of the gate. The key edge for Google lies in Android itself.