Gemini is here to make your phone slightly less useful

Gemini, the Assistant replacement, was offered to me today and I fell for it. I quickly ran it through a list of things I do on a regular basis and for many it worked fine but for my driving offerings it failed to the point I am going to have to switch while I’m in the car.

Update: this has evidently been around a couple of weeks, it was new to me to be bugged to switch.

Gemini looks so inviting... until you're running it and it doesn't work with YT Music

The main issue is there is no YT Music integration at the moment, but it will pull a list of YouTube videos that you can select, which is essentially useless when driving. What’s worse, for me at least, is that asking it to play the news results in nothing. It can’t, and there’s no way to ask it to ask Assistant to play the news.

Yeah, I like the news and music in the car… this kills that. Or at least it does for me as of the time of writing… betting they fix the music integration pretty quickly as they already have other integration like Google Maps and “navigate home” still works… it’ll just be a long and quiet ride home.

Now it seems to do well at your standard LLM responses, but it does not do continued conversation so I find it asking me a lot of questions and then finding out my spoken answers have gone nowhere.

I suspect this will get better quite quickly, however being Google I suspect the things I use most will be the very last to start working.

Gemini also seems to suffer some identity issues as it believes it’s Assistant in some replies. The replies in general are much more expansive than Google Assistant had and asking follow up questions is quite useful, except I have to say “hey Google” for every follow up because continued conversation doesn’t seem to be a thing here.

Minor issues to something that actually looks like it could be amazing… but I do have to switch it for driving, and there’s no automatic way to switch from Assistant to Gemini or back at the moment. Actually I see no way to switch out at this point and stuck with Gemini telling me conflicting things for changing Assistant, which doesn’t seem to work… womp womp.

Immediately after I wrote this and had received multiple wrong replies it gave me the correct info which is open Gemini, press your profile pic, go to settings, down at the bottom is Digital Assistants from Google, press that and you can switch between Gemini and Google Assistant, which isn’t that hard but you’ll find that Gemini is simply gone from your phone after that.

Not terribly hard to re-install it from the play store, and it appears to survive the next switch, but not exactly smooth.

I am completely out of the loop today for a variety of car related reasons, so I suspect this has something to do with all the Google announcements that I managed to miss and am catching up late in the day on.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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