Gemini AI in Google Messages rolls out to more Android devices: 7 ways to use it

What can your new Android AI assistant do? It would be easier to answer what it can't do.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
Artie Beaty/ZDNET

Back in February, Google announced that Gemini AI was coming to Google Messages. At the time, the feature could only be accessed from Pixel 6 devices or later, the Pixel Fold, Samsung Galaxy S22 or later, and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and Z Fold.

First spotted by 9to5Google, Google has dropped that limitation, and Gemini AI is coming to all Android devices. It appears the feature is rolling out slowly, so if you don't see it now, you should soon.

To access Gemini AI, you'll open Google Messages and tap "Start chat." Choose Gemini from the top of your contacts list and follow the instructions and you'll see a prompt to enter what you're looking for.

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"You can chat with Gemini in the Google Messages app to draft messages," Google explained, "brainstorm ideas, plan events, or simply have a fun conversation."

What can Gemini AI on Google Messages do for you? Let's dive in.

1. Suggest recipes

Out of dinner ideas? Ask Gemini for recipes based on ingredients you have on hand. When I asked what I could prepare with chicken and black beans, the AI quickly replied with a tasty-looking, easy-to-prepare dish. The recipe did involve an ingredient I didn't have, and when I told the AI that, the recipe was adapted. You can request vegetarian recipes, ask for a beginner recipe, find ones easy for kids to make, and more. Let's just hope it doesn't offer up glue pizza or gasoline spaghetti recipes.

2. Write text messages

I asked Gemini to write a text to a friend. It's their birthday, I explained, and I haven't seen them in a long time. Gemini shot back, "Happy birthday, [friend name]! Been too long! Hope you have a fantastic day. Let's catch up soon! When I asked Gemini to "make it funny," it replied with "Happy birthday, [friend name]! Just realized I haven't seen you in, like, forever… fossil record territory. Let's remedy that soon! Your treat (since you're older)."

3. Plan itineraries

I'm planning a trip to New York City in the fall, so I asked Gemini for a list of five must-see things. The AI quickly responded with a list of things I shouldn't miss, complete with pictures. I asked the AI to "make the list artsy" and it changed my must-dos to all art museums and shows. I then asked it to go back to the original list, but only for a weekend and received a shorter version. The list Gemini offered wasn't new information since I'd done some planning already, but it would make a great starting point if I hadn't. I asked for recommendations for my hometown of Charlotte, NC, and the list I got would indeed make a great itinerary.

4. Create code

I'll admit that I know nothing about coding, but when I asked Gemini what its coding capabilities are, it responded that it could handle simple scripts in Python or Javascript to automate simple tasks, specific snippets of code to generate functions or classes based on descriptions, or pseudocode to represent steps if you're still outlining logic behind code. "The code I produce may require tweaking or revision," the AI warned.

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Google notes that results come from Google Search and that responses are up-to-date on current events. If a response isn't deep enough for you, you can press for a better answer, and the AI almost always responds. You can also ask Gemini to completely redo an answer if you don't like the output. 

5. Get book recommendations

If you're looking for your next favorite book, ask Gemini for help. I told it the name of a book I enjoyed, Devil in the White City, and asked for similar recommendations. The AI recommended another book from that same author, which was obvious enough, but understood that the book was historical true crime and recommended several other books I hadn't heard of yet -- all with pictures of the front so I could judge the books by their covers. 

6. Write nearly anything

In addition to text messages, Gemini AI can create just about any written content. You can ask it for a poem about a certain topic, a song about something, an email to a coworker about a sensitive topic -- anything really. If you need help writing something, Gemini can either create it entirely for you, give you an outline to get started, or brainstorm ideas if you don't know where to start. 

7. Just chat

Aside from anything productive, you can use Gemini AI to have a friendly chat. When I asked to just chat, Gemini asked what I wanted to talk about. When the conversation turned to books and I mentioned that I liked Edgar Allan Poe, Gemini actually remembered an earlier chat where I mentioned I was going to New York and pointed out I could visit his home there. Chatting with Gemini AI is a fun way to kill time if you're looking for something to do.

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This is far from an exhaustive list of course. Anything you can ask an AI like ChatGPT to do, you can ask Gemini AI for help with. Whether that's planning a themed party, writing a message, finding a new movie to watch, creating a word puzzle for a classroom, or any other imaginable idea, there's a great chance you can get a little assistance getting it done. 

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