ChatGPT steps up its plan to become your default voice assistant on Android

A recent ChatGPT beta is giving a select group of users the ability to turn the AI into their device’s new default voice assistant on Android.

This information comes from industry insider Mishaal Rahman on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) who posted a video of himself trying out the feature live. According to the post, users can add a shortcut to ChatGPT Assistant, as it’s referred to, directly into an Android’s Quick Settings panel. Tapping the ChatGPT entry on there causes a new UI overlay to appear on-screen, consisting of a plain white circle near the bottom of the display. From there, you verbally give it a prompt, and after several seconds, the assistant responds with an answer. 

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The clip shows it does take the AI some time to come up with a response – about 15 seconds. Throughout this time, the white circle will display a bubbling animation to indicate it’s generating a reply. When talking back, the animation turns more cloud-like. You can also interrupt ChatGPT at any time just by tapping the screen. Doing so causes the circle to turn black.

Setting up

The full onboarding process of the feature is unknown although 9To5Google claims in their report you will need to pick a voice when you launch it for the first time. If they like what they hear, they can stick with a particular voice or go back a step to exchange it with another. Previews of each voice can be found on OpenAI’s website too. They consist of three male and two female voices. Once all that is settled, the assistant will subsequently launch as normal with the white circle near the bottom.

To try out this update, you will need a subscription to ChatGPT Plus which costs $ 20 a month. Next, you install either ChatGPT for Android version 1.2024.017 or .018, whatever is available to you. Go to the Beta Features section in ChatGPT’s Settings menu and it should be there ready to be activated. As stated earlier, only a select group of people will gain access. It's not a guarantee.

Future default

Apparently, the assistant is present on earlier builds. 9ToGoogle states the patch is available on ChatGPT beta version 1.2024.010 with limited functionality. They claim the patch introduces the Quick Setting tile, but not the revamped UI.

Rahman in his post says no one can set ChatGPT as their default assistant at the moment. However, lines of code found in a ChatGPT patch from early January suggest this will be possible in the future. We reached out to OpenAI asking if there are plans to expand the beta’s availability. This story will be updated at a later time.

Be sure to check out TechRadar's list of the best ChatGPT extensions for Chrome that everyone should use. There are four in total.

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Microsoft steps up its Windows 11 file management game – get ready to say goodbye to WinRAR and &-Zip

If you’ve ever downloaded a 7-Zip file or RAR file (archive file formats that allow users to compress files to more portable, smaller sizes), you will probably find that you need an extra program or app or do something with them in Windows 11, but that’s about to change. Microsoft has announced native (as in, built-in) support for 7-Zip file and RAR file formats in Windows 11 22H2

According to BleepingComputer, Microsoft has stated that Windows 11 22H2 can now support almost a dozen archive file formats that it couldn’t before without a third-party app or program such as RAR, 7-Zip, Tar, and GZ archives. 

This update came as part of October’s optional KB5031455 Preview cumulative update. This means to have this new archive file capability, you’ll need to go to Settings, then to Windows Update, and select ‘Check for Updates’. Once your device finds the new optional update, click the ‘Download and install’ button. 

That means Windows 11 will soon support all of the following archive file types: .rar, .7z, .tar, .tar.gz, .tar.bz2, .tar.zst, .tar.xz, .tgz, .tbz2, .tzst, and .txz. Password-encrypted files aren’t covered in this update, but that will come soon. BleepingComputer asked Microsoft about the lack of password-protected archive support, but Microsoft had nothing to share at this time. 

This development was first announced during the Build 2023 conference back in a May blog post that detailed Microsoft’s new Dev Home Windows control center.

Reportedly, Microsoft enlisted the open-source libarchive project, a library of file archive and file compression formats. Apparently, this open-source project also allows users to enable support for the LZH and XAR file formats, so we could see in-house Windows 11 support for these as well. If you’re familiar with the .gz archive file format, you’re probably a Linux user familiar with the GNU Zip (gzip) utility. This new Windows support for this file format will be helpful to those using the Windows Subsystem for Linux. 

Internet Archive

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How you can power up your Windows 11's file capabilities

Again, if you’d like this new capability for Windows 11 right now, you’ll need to manually install it. Otherwise you can wait until November’s Patch Tuesday, when there is a scheduled Windows 11 cumulative update. Either way, you will get all the new Moment 4 update features which includes a whopping seventy two new features for Windows 11 like a revamped File Explorer, a renewed Backup app, a new Passkey Manager, and the shiny jewel of the update, Windows Copilot

This is a welcome update, especially since the ZIP, 7-Zip, and RAR archive formats are widely used by users of Windows systems past and present. Since 1998, Windows has had native system support for ZIP archive files, and it’s good to see 7-Zip (.7z), RAR (.rar), and gz (.gz) files, get support in Windows 11, which should make using those files much easier – and means you won’t need to install any extra applications. 


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