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You can use Google Gemini AI on your iPhone without installing an app

Published Feb 20th, 2024 8:47PM EST
Google Gemini can power the Google Assistant app on Android.
Image: Google

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Google gave its generative AI products a big upgrade a few days ago by rebranding almost everything as Gemini. Virtually all of Google’s AI products and services rely on the Gemini model, from AI search to AI features in Google’s productivity apps. You can choose between the free Gemini option and the Gemini Advanced subscription.

Google Gemini is also available on mobile, with Android being the natural home. You can set Gemini to power your Google Assistant experience and invoke it with a voice command or gesture. Google’s best alternative to ChatGPT is also available on iOS, and I have already shown you how easy it is to get Google Gemini on iPhone.

But it turns out that there’s an even simpler way to get Gemini on iPhone, and you won’t even have to install a separate app to get it up and running.

As I explained, you must install the Google app and sign into it with your Google account to use Gemini on iPhone. Once that’s done, simply open the app to start talking to the chatbot. It supports text, voice, and images.

Gemini Chat will appear in your list of Shortcuts on iPhone after you install it.
Gemini Chat will appear in your list of Shortcuts on iPhone after you install it. Image source: Zach Epstein, BGR

I also told you that iPhone 15 Pro users might have it even easier than that. They’d simply have to create an Action shortcut for the Google app to get access to Gemini faster. 

It turns out you don’t have to be an iPhone 15 owner to get that sort of speedy generative AI experience. There’s an iPhone shortcut for Google Gemini that lets you use the chatbot without installing the Google app in the first place.

Tap the shortcut, and you'll be able to start chatting with Google Gemini.
Tap the shortcut, and you’ll be able to start chatting with Google Gemini. Image source: Zach Epstein, BGR

iPhone shortcut developer ProCreations came up with the shortcut called Gemini Chat. 

The shortcut is available free of charge and supports Gemini Pro. It’s incredibly easy to install, and the best part is that it doesn’t require logging into a Google account.

However, your queries will go through something called, a server belonging to the same shortcut developer, which might power a different shortcut called Pro AI.

You'll have to let Gemini Chat send your prompt to a server.
You’ll have to let Gemini Chat send your prompt to a server. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

The responses are generated very quickly, though the interface isn’t great. Here’s what I got in response to a question about the meaning of life. That answer took over the iPhone screen while I was editing a screenshot.

The answers are fast, but they won't look great.
The answers are fast, but they won’t look great. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

One advantage of the shortcut is that you can probably use it in regions where Google Gemini isn’t out yet. The problem with the way it works is that you can’t save any of your chats. Nor can you interact with the answer and follow up on it.

Still, the shortcut gets you fast AI responses to questions you might have. It will certainly beat anything Siri can provide since it uses Google Gemini.

You can install and test the shortcut at this link. If you’re a fan of the Shortcuts app, you can also try to tweak it for a better experience. The alternative is, of course, the official Google app.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.