Turn Your iPhone’s ‘Action Button’ into a ChatGPT Voice Assistant, Forget Siri

OpenAI’s ChatGPT Voice feature is now available to all free users, enabling you to switch from using Siri as your main voice assistant on your iPhone, specifically on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Apple’s latest smartphones support configuring the new Action Button, replacing the Mute button that has been a feature since the iPhone’s debut. Via a new Settings menu, users can repurpose the button for tasks beyond silencing the ringer.

The Action Button can be associated with various tasks based on personal preferences. It can open the Camera, activate the Flashlight, record a Voice Memo, open the Magnifier app, enable Accessibility features, or run an app Shortcut.

The last option is what you’ll want to use to configure the button as a trigger for ChatGPT.

Image Credits: Darrell Etherington

Before the recent announcement, associating an iOS Shortcut with the Action Button would only result in an error, as Voice access required a ChatGPT+ subscription. This limitation no longer exists, allowing anyone to replace Siri with ChatGPT by configuring their Action Button to launch ChatGPT’s Voice access feature.

To set this up, navigate to the “Action Button” menu in the iOS Setting screen, select the “Shortcut” option, tap “Choose a Shortcut,” scroll through the list of supported apps to select “ChatGPT,” and tap the existing Shortcut “Start voice conversation” to associate it with the button.

It’s important to have the Shortcuts app downloaded on your iPhone, if it isn’t already.

Once configured, pressing and holding the Action Button will initiate your ChatGPT voice session. Users can choose from five diverse voices for their ChatGPT assistant — Ember, Sky, Breeze, Juniper, and Cove. You can then simply speak your questions directly to ChatGPT and listen to its responses — like Siri but much smarter.

Note that the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max’s new feature is supported by other apps as well, enabling a range of common tasks, from placing a Starbucks coffee order to starting a workout or creating a new note.

A variety of third-party apps have also adopted the Action Button shortcuts features, including music apps like AirScrobble, Albums, and Endel; recipe and food apps like Ambre, Calory and Crumbl; utilities like CardPointers, Opal, and Sleep Cycle Kids; productivity apps like Doneit, Drafts, and Focused Work; photography apps like Halide; workout apps like Liftin’; and entertainment apps like Movie Tracker and Soka, among others.

Apple’s first-party apps are also supported.

If none of these options suit your needs, you can create custom Shortcuts using the Shortcuts app, enabling you to tailor the Action Button to your specific requirements.

Adding ChatGPT support is a particularly useful option, given the AI chatbot’s capabilities across various everyday queries unlike Siri.

While it’s not possible to make it the default assistant on the iPhone, using ChatGPT as an alternative voice assistant is a promising development.


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