- Google has integrated its advanced large language model (LLM), Gemini, into various AI-driven products
- Google rebranded its language model from Bard to Gemini
- Users who previously accessed Bard via bard.google.com will now be required to visit gemini.google.com instead
- Gemini Android app has been launched for a more streamlined and convenient mobile experience
- iPhone users can access the Gemini app through the iOS Google app
- Gemini replaces Google Assistant on Android.
Google is taking a major step by fully adopting Gemini, its advanced large language model (LLM) that powers the latest generative AI features. This transition affects various aspects of Google’s AI products, including Android and Assistant, among others. Let’s take a closer look at what this means.
The transformation from Bard to Gemini
Around a year ago, Google released Bard, an AI chatbot that generates responses to natural language questions. Bard was developed on Google’s LLM, PaLM 2. However, in late 2023, Google introduced Gemini as the updated LLM to replace PaLM 2. Gemini has three versions (Nano, Pro, and Ultra) that are customized for different systems and applications. Bard has now shifted from PaLM 2 to Gemini Pro.
To compete with OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google is renaming Bard as Gemini. This means that both the service and the LLM core will be under the same name. Similar to OpenAI’s strategy, where ChatGPT is based on a version of the GPT platform, Google’s Bard will be under the Gemini platform.
As part of the renaming process, the web access point for Bard will change to gemini.google.com from bard.google.com. However, the transition might take some time, so Gemini could still identify itself as “Bard” when asked its name.
This change is just a rebranding, so the service itself remains mostly the same. Gemini will still be available wherever Bard was previously accessible.
Gemini Android app launch
In the past year, accessing Bard was a straightforward process: users would simply open a browser and navigate to the site. However, accessing the website via a browser on a phone could be an inconvenience. To address this issue, Google is launching a Gemini Android app as part of the Bard to Gemini rebranding. This new app will provide users with a more streamlined and convenient mobile experience when accessing the site.
The Gemini app has maintained all the features that Bard users have been enjoying for the past year. It is still built on Gemini Pro and, like Bard, is a cloud-based tool that requires an active data connection for use. While some of Gemini’s features are available on-device within the Pixel family, these are distinct from the app itself.
If you’re an Android user and interested in using the Gemini app, you can now download it from the Google Play Store. Currently, the app is available in the United States with English support, but Japanese and Korean support are expected to be added next week. Support for other languages and countries will be available shortly after.
No standalone Gemini app for iOS
For iPhone users, accessing the Gemini app will now be available through the iOS Google app. Instead of downloading a standalone Gemini app, users can simply switch between the Google “G” logo and the Gemini “Star” logo at the top of the app. By swiping to the Gemini logo, users will be able to access all the Gemini tools, which will offer a similar experience to the web portal. This new feature will make it easier for users to manage their Gemini accounts directly from their iOS device.
At present, it’s uncertain whether Google will release a standalone Gemini app for iOS. However, an updated version of the Google app will be accessible on iPhones in the United States from today onwards, with support for the English language. Support for Japanese and Korean languages is expected to be added next week, followed by the inclusion of more countries in the future..
Gemini replaces Google Assistant on Android
Google is currently promoting users to replace Google Assistant with Gemini when they install the Gemini Android app. This replacement is absolute, which means that any task that normally activates Assistant will now bring up the Gemini overlay instead. The move has been controversial among users.
According to Google, Gemini has the ability to perform a number of tasks that are usually expected from a virtual assistant, such as making phone calls, setting timers, and controlling smart home devices. However, Google admits that Gemini may not be able to fully replace some of the features offered by Assistant, and is currently working to add these features to Gemini gradually.
It is worth noting that Gemini, unlike many Android phones, requires a data connection to perform Assistant tasks. On the other hand, Gemini has the advantage of being context-aware of what’s happening on your phone, which is not possible with Assistant.
One important aspect to bear in mind is that substituting Google Assistant with Gemini is a reversible process. Users can switch back to Google Assistant as their default digital assistant whenever they want. Keep in mind that this change doesn’t prevent the use of Gemini, but users will need to launch the app manually to access its features. It’s also worth noting that both digital assistants can coexist on the device, and users can choose which one to use depending on their preference and needs.
Gemini Advanced: a paid version
Gemini Advanced is a new version of the chatbot called Bard, which comes with a subscription fee. It is based on Gemini Ultra 1.0 and provides the most advanced generative AI experience for general consumers using Google.
Gemini Advanced is specially designed for users who need to perform complex tasks. Coders can request intricate creations, while content creators can analyze trends, generate text and imagery, and more.
Accessing the Ultra model through Gemini Advanced is not free. Instead, it is incorporated into a new tier of Google One called Google One AI Premium, which costs $19.99 per month. This fee includes unlimited access to Gemini Advanced across various platforms, 2TB of storage, and all the other perks that come with the 2TB Google One Premium plan.
Duet AI becomes Gemini
Google announced Duet AI, a suite of AI-based tools for business customers using Google Workspace and Google Cloud apps at Google I/O last year. These features are now being rebranded under the name Gemini and will be accessible to consumers outside of Workspace and Cloud. To access them, users will need to subscribe to Google One AI Premium. These AI tools will be available in Gmail, Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Meet, although Google has not provided a timeline for their release.