Goodbye Siri – Embracing ChatGPT as Your New Voice Assistant

With news that OpenAI’s ChatGPT Voice feature is now available to all free users, you can ditch Siri as your main voice assistant on your iPhone. Here's how you do can do it.

iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max

The latest iPhones from Apple, the 15 Pro and Pro Max, support the ability to configure the new Action Button. This button replaces the Mute button that has been on the iPhone right from the beginning. Through an updated Settings menu, users now have the option to repurpose the button for various functionalities beyond just muting their phone. Based on individual preferences, the Action Button can be customized for a variety of uses. It can launch the Camera, activate the Flashlight, start recording a Voice Memo, open the Magnifier app, swiftly access an Accessibility feature, or execute an app Shortcut.

Use the Action Button for ChatGPT

For integrating ChatGPT, you'll particularly want to use the app Shortcut functionality. This allows you to set up the button as a dedicated trigger for ChatGPT. Prior to the recent announcement on Wednesday, which made Voice access available to all ChatGPT users at no cost, linking this iOS Shortcut to the Action Button resulted in an error. This was because Voice access was initially exclusive to those with a ChatGPT+ subscription. However, this restriction has been lifted, enabling any user to choose ChatGPT over Siri by setting up their Action Button to initiate ChatGPT's Voice access feature.

To set this up, navigate to the "Action Button" section in your iPhone's iOS Settings, and swipe to find the "Shortcut" option towards the end. Click on the blue "Choose a Shortcut" button, and then browse the alphabetical list of apps to select "ChatGPT." In the following screen, select the "Start voice conversation" Shortcut to link it with the Action Button.

Remember, your iPhone must have the Shortcuts app installed to complete this setup.

After configuration, a long press on the Action Button will initiate your ChatGPT voice session. You have the option to pick from five unique voices for your ChatGPT assistant: Ember, Sky, Breeze, Juniper, and Cove. You can then ask your questions aloud to ChatGPT and receive spoken responses, offering a more intelligent alternative to Siri.

Other iPhones

On other iPhones you can make use of the back tap feature to make use of ChatGPT as voice assistant. This feature was introduced in iOS 14 and is available on iPhone 8 and later models, allows you to perform actions by quickly double or triple tapping the back of your iPhone.

In order to use the back tap feature to open ChatGPT, you have to create a shortcut. This method directly activates ChatGPT’s Voice feature, offering an alternative way to access the AI without needing to use the Action Button specifically. Here's how you can do it:

  1. Download Shortcuts App: First, ensure you have the Shortcuts app installed on your iPhone. This app is crucial for creating custom shortcuts.
  2. Create a New Shortcut: Open the Shortcuts app. Tap on the "+" icon to create a new shortcut.
  3. Tap on "Add action": This will open a list of apps that are supported by shortcuts.
  4. In the actions menu search for ChatGPT. Select "Start voice conversation"
  5. And you are (almost) done - the shortcut is ready for use. If your iPhone supports Back Tap then you can continue with the next steps.
  6. Open the settings, select Accessibility/Touch. Scroll down to Back Tap and select it.
  7. In Back Tap you can choose between Double Tap and Triple Tap. After you made your choice, scroll down to Shortcuts and look for "Start Voice conversation with ChatGPT" and select it.
  8. And you are done.

The future of Siri

The latest ChatGPT update, which positions it as a prime alternative to Siri for voice assistance, kind of casts Siri in a quaint, almost retro light. It’s as if Siri, once the epitome of cutting-edge voice assistant technology, might now need to dust off its resume. The simplicity with which ChatGPT can be activated on an iPhone—mere taps and swipes away—heralds a new chapter in AI interaction. This change not only gently pushes Siri to the sidelines but also vividly demonstrates the swift progress and increasing allure of ChatGPT’s advanced features. This transition serves as a playful nudge about the relentless pace of technological advancement, a world where the stars of yesterday's tech scene quickly become relics of a bygone era. As we embrace ChatGPT and its versatile voices and enhanced intelligence, let's offer a light-hearted nod to Siri for its years of service, even as we eagerly press the Action Button, ready to explore conversations with our new, more sophisticated AI companion.

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