Microsoft Copilot
Microsoft Copilot is set to challenge Google Assistant and Bixby on Android phones. Wikimedia Commons

Copilot's latest beta build allows you to replace Google Assistant or Bixby, putting Microsoft's AI assistant at the heart of your Android experience.

Currently in beta testing, the feature enables users to summon Copilot from any screen. Google doesn't restrict Android users when it comes to using Google Assistant as their default digital assistant. The company allowed users to choose between its own assistant and Bixby for Samsung device users, and even Amazon or DuckDuckGo.

Following this trend, the search giant is letting users replace the Assistant with AI-powered Gemini (previously known as Bard). Microsoft managed to bring the ChatGPT-powered Bing search engine to Android earlier this month, but faced challenges in replacing Google Assistant. However, it now looks like the tide may be turning.

The Android assistant market is about to get more interesting

Much to Microsoft's delight, Copilot is the latest contender in the Android digital assistant space. This ChatGPT-powered AI app is designed to facilitate and expedite the process of finding web results and answering your questions. As if that weren't enough, Copilot comes with a powerful image generation tool built on DALL-E's latest advancements.

The latest beta build of Copilot (version 27.9.420225014), discovered by tipster Mishaal Rahman, allows the AI tool to automatically register itself as a digital assistant option on your phone. Notably, users can simply hold the power button to use Copilot.

Alternatively, users can swipe up from the bottom corner of the phone to utilise Microsoft's AI assistant. Joining the ranks of available digital assistants, Copilot now appears where Google Assistant or Bixby would normally appear.

However, the shortcut in its current form needs a few minor adjustments. Instead of appearing in a small overlayed box with a chat function, the shortcut launches the app, although this action can be easily achieved through the app icon itself.

Future iterations are expected to incorporate a more seamless user experience. After all, this is just a beta build. With its arrival in the Android digital assistant space, Microsoft has positioned Copilot as a serious alternative to Google Assistant.

While Rahman claims it is not a full-fledged smartphone assistant, it will be interesting to see whether future iterations will have the potential to make Copilot a more useful tool for Android users. In the meantime, Microsoft has been sparing no effort to enhance its AI assistant.

An earlier report suggests Copilot will get smarter with Power Automate Desktop, a tool that can automate repetitive tasks through voice or text commands. The AI tool also received a design refresh earlier this month, giving it a sleeker look. It also gained an inline image editor that can modify generated images within the chat interface.