Google unveiled a major overhaul of its AI chatbot Bard, signifying a renewed push into the AI assistant space. The rebranded Gemini now boasts a dedicated Android app and a premium subscription tier for power users.
Android users can download the new app, while iOS users access Gemini within the Google app. This move underscores Google’s commitment to AI assistants, echoing similar efforts from tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon.
“Gemini changes are a first step to ‘building a true AI assistant,'” said Sissie Hsiao, a Google vice president. The $19.99 per month Gemini Ultra 1.0 subscription grants access to Google’s most powerful AI model, with a free trial available.
Currently available in over 150 countries and territories, English is the sole language option for now, with Japanese and Korean planned for the future. The rebrand also affects “packaged AI agents” within Google Workspace and Google Cloud, which are now known as Gemini for Workspace and Gemini for Google Cloud.
Google One subscribers with the AI subscription will gain access to Gemini’s assistant capabilities in Gmail, Docs, and other Workspace tools. The aim is to integrate user content for a more contextual experience, such as suggesting email responses based on previous messages and relevant Drive files.
The name change, according to Hsiao, aims to highlight users’ direct interaction with the underlying AI models. “Bard represented access to our models, and Gemini is those models themselves,” she explained.
The future holds promise for AI agents like Gemini, envisioning functionalities like scheduling appointments, booking travel, and even completing specific job tasks. Currently, however, their capabilities are largely limited to summarizing information, generating to-do lists, and assisting with code writing.
As CEO Sundar Pichai stated, “We will use generative AI with our most advanced models, allowing us to act more like an agent, following through for users even more.” The rebranded Gemini and its subscription model represent a significant step in Google’s quest to make AI assistants a reality.