Cortana for Android download available
Want to swap Google Assistant for Cortana? Here's how to do itMicrosoft

Apple's Siri may have beaten it to the punch, but Google's personal assistant tech - bluntly dubbed Google Assistant - is now on pretty much every modern Android smartphone you can think of.

The chatty digital butler, which is also baked into the Silicon Valley giant's Google Home smart speaker, comes with a roster of useful features including answering user questions, providing weather and news reports, GPS navigation help, and a whole host of fun human-to-AI mini-games, all accessed with short, simple voice commands.

But, if the friendly AI companion isn't the kind of pocket pal you are after, there are always other non-Google options and thankfully Android OS is happy to accommodate other assistants.

Changing the default assistant, however, is a little trickier, although still possible if you know where to look in your device's settings.

There are a fair few assistants that support this feature, including Microsoft's Windows and Lumia companion Cortana, as well as more fun ones such as Jarvis - an assistant inspired by the Jarvis from Iron Man.

Here's how to change your Android device's default assistance app:

How to switch Google Assistant to Cortana or other default voice assistants

  1. Head to the Google Play Store and download the app for the assistant you want. For Cortana, this can be found here, and Jarvis is here.
  2. Open the app, navigate to Settings and find the "Assist App Mode" option for Cortana, or your chosen app's equivalent. Alternatively, open the Settings menu on your phone and head to Apps. Tap the three vertical dots in the top right and select "Configure Apps". Choose "Assist & voice input" and click the "Assist app" text (not the gear icon). Then choose whichever assistant you wish to switch in.
  3. Quit to the home screen and hold your home key for a few seconds and your new assistant should be ready to greet you.