Google renames Bard to Gemini, launches Android app & subscription plan

By Rajesh Regmi 4 Min Read

It’s “out with the old, in with the… old… but renamed?” over at Google. The company made a surprise announcement on Thursday that its popular AI chatbot, Bard, is getting rebranded as Gemini. Yep, Google is borrowing the name of its AI model to bring (practically) all of its AI services and features under one brand. 

The company also launched a dedicated Gemini App for Android and Gemini Advanced, a subscription tier powered by Gemini Ultra 1.0 — its largest and most capable AI model yet. Google Workspace is also getting an update as the Duet AI features will now be part of Gemini too.

What’s in a name?

The easiest way to experience Gemini, for Android users, will be through its mobile app. After you download it, you can use it for the usual sets of tasks you would expect from an AI chatbot. Interestingly, Gemini even replaces the phone’s default voice assistant right after the installation.

Last year, Google announced that Assistant would be getting AI features with “Assistant with Bard.” Since Bard itself is no longer in development, Gemini appears to be its natural successor. But the company hasn’t made any official announcement on it yet.  

Google Gemini is part Assistant, part Chatbot. Image: Google

Gemini, as an assistant, still responds to the “Hey Google” hot-word if you have second thoughts. And if you prefer, you can always switch back to the beloved Google Assistant from the device settings. iOS users, however, can only access Gemini from within the Google app with a quick toggle — no standalone app for now!

Beyond the name change, regular users likely won’t notice any major differences. The interface for Gemini’s (formerly Bard) website remains familiar, as do the basic conversational capabilities of the chatbot. Also, chats will automatically migrate from Bard to Gemini. 

Meet Gemini Advanced

While regular users won’t encounter any major changes, the development includes the launch of Gemini Advanced, a service powered by Google’s best AI model, Ultra 1.0.  

Google aims for Gemini Advanced to handle complex tasks, such as coding and logical reasoning, as well as offer more extended, in-depth conversations. 

Gemini Advanced is Google’s best AI. Image: Google

As aforementioned, Gemini Advanced is a subscription-only service that will run $20 per month following a two-month free trial period. To subscribe, you’ll need to sign up for the “AI Premium” plan within Google One. This not only grants you access to Gemini Advanced but also includes the usual Premium Google One benefits, including 2TB of storage. 

Google is also integrating Gemini functionality into its productivity suite (Docs, Sheets, etc.), which will replace the Duet AI.

This whole Bard-to-Gemini (with-a-side-of-Advanced) shows Google is clearly stepping up in the AI arms race. Now whether it can challenge the OpenAI behemoth remains to be seen. 

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