Gemini Nano is coming to the Pixel 8 after all, along with two new AI features

After initially saying that the Pixel 8 couldn't handle Gemini, Google appears to have changed its mind.
Written by Artie Beaty, Contributing Writer
Google Gemini chatbot
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

When Google first announced Gemini Nano, the company made its AI model designed for mobile devices a big selling point for the Pixel 8 Pro. After initially blaming hardware limitations for leaving out the base Pixel 8 model, Google has now found a way to give Gemini Nano to Pixel 8 users after all.

Google confirmed today that its on-device AI model will be headed to the Pixel 8 in the next Pixel Feature Drop, which should arrive in June – in developer preview mode. That means any Pixel 8 user can access Gemini Nano by simply turning it on in the Developer options. Gemini Nano will almost certainly come to the wider Pixel 8 audience eventually, but for now, it'll be reserved for testing only.

Also: What is Gemini? Everything you should know about Google's new AI model

Gemini Nano will power two new features on the Pixel 8 that were previously exclusive to the Pixel 8 Pro.  

First, the Recorder app is getting a Summarize feature that can generate a few bullet points based on an audio recording's transcript. This should make Recorder fantastic for taking meeting notes: just tap the Summarize button once a meeting recording is finished.

The second feature will be Gboard Smart Reply, which Google says allows for higher quality smart replies that include conversational awareness. On the Pixel 8 Pro, that feature works with WhatsApp, Line, and Kakao Talk.  

When Google introduced Gemini Nano, a lot of Pixel 8 users felt left out. Google blamed the Pixel 8 for having less RAM compared to the Pixel 8 Pro. Since Gemini Nano runs locally on the device, Google was worried about the quality of the Gemini experience.

That said, both of Google's phones are powered by the same Tensor G3 chipset. Furthermore, Samsung managed to get Gemini Nano on the Galaxy S24 series, the entry model of which has 8GB of RAM, just like the Pixel 8.

Editorial standards