Google rebrands Bard to Gemini, now available for the first time on mobile

Farewell Bard, meet Gemini.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
The Gemini Era

When Google Bard first launched almost a year ago, the AI-powered chatbot had some major flaws. Since then, it has grown significantly with two large language model (LLM) upgrades and several updates. Now, Google is ready to leave Bard's name and reputation in the past, rebranding the chatbot as Gemini

On Thursday, Google unveiled that Bard would now be called Gemini, the name of the LLM powering the AI chatbot, "to reflect the advanced tech at its core," according to Google. 

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Gemini is Google's most capable and advanced LLM to date. The model comes in three sizes: Gemini Nano, Gemini Pro, and Gemini Ultra. The versions of Gemini are suitable for different tasks. Gemini Pro currently powers Google Bard. 

Now, with the rebranding exercise, the chatbot's name reflects the LLM that powers it -- and that dual use of the Gemini brand has the potential to cause confusion. It looks like Google is taking a page out of Microsoft's book, which rebranded Bing Chat to Copilot, and that chatbot now comes in multiple flavors

Building on the rebrand, Google is rolling out a new Gemini app for Android next week that not only gives users a way to more easily access Bard on mobile for on-the-go queries but also provides an improved Google Assistant experience. 

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Android users will be able to download the Gemini app from the Google Play Store. Users can also opt-in through Google Assistant to access Gemini's assistance from the app or via anywhere that Google Assistant would typically be activated, including pressing the power button, corner swiping, or even saying "Hey Google." 

For example, if you long press the power button, Gemini will be activated over your screen, where you can chat via voice or enter a prompt.

Many of the Google Assistant features you know and love, such as setting timers, making calls, and controlling smart home devices, will be available within the Gemini app as well, according to the release. 

If you are an iOS user and still want to experience Gemini on mobile, you don't need to miss out entirely. Google says it will be rolling out access to Gemini from the Google app in the coming weeks. 

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Once the app rolls out, users will be able to tap the Gemini toggle at the top of the Google app to access the chatbot.

Other updates from Google include a brand-new paid subscription tier, Google One AI Premium Plan. This tier grants users access to Gemini Advanced, which is Google's take on a ChatGPT Plus-like service. For $19.99 a month, users get access to Ultra 1.0, 2TB of storage, and all the latest Google advancements. 

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