Google has recently announced the launch of its latest artificial intelligence engine, Gemini, which is now integrated into Google Search apps on Android and iOS. This marks a significant step forward in Google’s strategy to make the digital assistant more accessible and integrated.
Gemini was first introduced alongside Assistant and Bard during the launch of Pixel 8 and 8 Pro last October. While the user interface of bard.google.com (now gemini.google.com) was optimized for mobile browsers, it did not achieve a true native experience. With Gemini, Google fills this gap by allowing users to start it with a simple tap from the icon on the home screen, a long press on the power button, a diagonal swipe from the corners of the screen or by saying “Hey Google”. Although it operates behind the scenes via the Google app, like Assistant, the app available on the Play Store now serves as a shortcut/icon for the home screen.
One of Gemini’s most striking new features is its contextual “overlay” panel that allows users to type (keyboard), speak (microphone), or add a photo while introducing a new camera UI with image attachment capabilities. This opens up new usage scenarios such as being able to photograph a flat tire asking for repair instructions or asking questions about an article you are reading. Gemini extends its usefulness with Extensions that draw information from other Google services such as Maps, Flights and YouTube.
The answers provided by Gemini maintain familiarity with online experience features such as approval/disapproval options, related Google searches sharing and copying results as well as responding and asking for insights. On mobile front, Gemini’s home screen replicates web one offering suggested prompts and access to previous chats while tapping profile avatar takes you to Gemini Activity Extensions settings others settings pages. Users can choose whether to use Gemini or not which requires manual activation.
For users of Pixel Buds or other earbuds, Assistant will remain available while Gemini requires at least 4GB RAM and is compatible with Android 12 devices or above on iOS; it integrates into existing Google app with search/Gemini switcher at top of Discover feed respectively