Forget Siri. Turn your iPhone’s ‘Action Button’ into a ChatGPT voice assistant

With the news that OpenAI’s ChatGPT Voice feature is now available to all free users, you can ditch Siri as your main voice assistant on your iPhone – well, especially on your iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, that is. The latest Apple smartphones support the ability to configure the new Action Button, which replaces the Mute button that has been on the iPhone since its debut. Through a new Settings menu, users can remap the button to other uses beyond silencing their ringer.

Depending on your personal preferences, you can associate the Action Button with any number of tasks — you can open the Camera, turn on the Flashlight, record a Voice Memo, open the Magnifier app, let you quickly to use an Accessibility feature, or, run a Shortcut in the app.

The latter is the option you want to use to make the button a trigger for ChatGPT.

iPhone 15 Pro Max in natural titanium, hand held, showing the side of the phone including the Action and volume buttons

Image Credits: Darrell Etherington

Before Wednesday’s announcement that made Voice access free for all ChatGPT users, however, associating this iOS Shortcut with the Action Button would only lead to an error, because Voice access needed a subscription to ChatGPT+. Now, that’s no longer an issue, which means anyone can ditch Siri in favor of ChatGPT by configuring their Action Button to launch ChatGPT’s Voice access feature.

To do this, you need to scroll down to the “Action Button” menu on the iOS Settings screen, then swipe the “Shortcut” option near the end. Then you tap the blue “Choose a Shortcut” button and scroll down through the alphabetized list of supported apps to tap “ChatGPT.” On the next screen, simply tap on the existing Shortcut “Start voice conversation” to associate this particular action with the button.

Note that you need the Shortcuts app downloaded to your iPhone, if it isn’t already.

Once configured, you can press and hold the Action Button to start your ChatGPT voice session. Users can choose from 5 different voices for their ChatGPT assistant – Ember, Sky, Breeze, Juniper, and Cove. You can then speak your questions directly to ChatGPT and listen to its answers – just like Siri but much smarter.

We must note that ChatGPT is far from the only app that supports the new feature on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. You can also use this button for other common tasks, such as setting your favorite Starbucks order coffee, start a workout, hum a song, call a favorite person, make a new note, etc.

Many third-party apps have also adopted the Action Button shortcuts feature, including music apps like Airscrobble, Albums, Endel, Longplay, Music Tracker, Musicharborand Tape It Up; recipe and food apps like Amber, Caloriesand Crumble; utilities like CardPointersOpal, Children’s Sleep Cycles, Tide Guideand Watermind; productivity apps like It’s over, Drafts, Focused Work, Good Links, Look up, Rewind, Streaks, Tasks, Things, Thoughts, TickTickand Timer; photography apps like Come on; workout apps like liftin’; reading apps like Books and Instapaper; meditation apps like Zenitizer; entertainment apps like Movie Tracker and Soka; and even other AI utilities like Petey, etc.

Apple’s first-party apps are also supported.

If none of these fit the bill, you can also configure your own custom Shortcuts by tapping the plus + sign at the top right of the Shortcuts app’s main screen, then tapping “New Shortcut,” “Rename” (to add your Shortcut’s. name), then “Done.”

Next, you tap “Add Action” to see a list of available action categories, each of which you can tap (such as Mied or Web) to find the action you need. and add it to your shortcut. To add another action, swipe up on the search field at the bottom of the screen, then select an action again. When you’re done, tap “Done” and the new custom Shortcut will be added to your collection, where it can be found in both the All Shortcuts and My Shortcuts categories. Once this process is complete, you can return to the Action Button menu and assign your custom button shortcut.

But we would argue that adding ChatGPT support is one of the best options here, given the AI ​​chatbot’s usefulness in many daily questions to discuss Siri’s lacking capabilities.

Now, if only we could make this the default iPhone assistant…

Leave a comment