Goodbye, Bard — Google unveils new Gemini chatbot that will replace Assistant

Google Gemini
(Image credit: Google)

Google is renaming its Bard artificial intelligence chatbot to Gemini. If that name sounds familiar its because it is also the moniker the search giant has given to its new family of AI models.

The Gemini models were unveiled in December, coming in three versions. They start with Nano running locally on Android phones, to Pro that powered Bard and finally Ultra, the most advanced model that Google claimed could beat OpenAI’s GPT-4 in most areas.

With the new update the free version of the Google Gemini chatbot will still be powered by the Gemini Pro large language model, with the only real changes over Bard the name and look.

However, Google also revealed a new Gemini Advanced subscription plan for $19.99 per month that will be powered by Gemini Ultra 1.0. This will include significant improvements over the Pro model in both reasoning and its ability to follow complex queries.

When will Google Gemini be available?

Google Gemini

(Image credit: Google Gemini)

The new Gemini chatbot and Android app are launching today with the free Pro model in 40 languages and across 240 countries and territories. Basically if you already had access to Bard you will now have access to Gemini.

Gemini Advanced will be available in 150 countries at launch, although only in English with other languages coming online over time.

The new apps for Android and iOS will only be available in the U.S. and in English initially, reaching the rest of the world in the coming weeks. Japanese and Korean will be the first non-English languages launching next week.

Where will I be able to use Gemini?

Google Gemini

(Image credit: Google Gemini)

Gemini is going to be in every Google product. As well as launching as a standalone service on the gemini.google.com website, there will be a dedicated app on Android and it will be incroproated into the existing Google app for iOS.

The biggest change for Android users will be to Assistant. Currently only available as an opt-in, you will be able to completely replace Assistant with Gemini and it will appear as an overlay on top of existing apps and services — providing context aware responses.

Google is embedding Gemini as a new brand that will run through its portfolio. Even the subscription to Gemini Advanced will be part of Google One, the paid-for service that lets you add extra storage to Drive or get additional features in Workspace products.

Duet AI, the artificial intelligence tool in Workspace apps like Gmail, Docs and Sheets is also being renamed Gemini and will only be available with a new Gemini Advanced subscription.

How much will Gemini advanced cost and what can it offer?

Google Gemini

(Image credit: Google Gemini)

Gemini Advanced will be available through the new Google One AI Premium plan for $19.99 per month, but unlike ChatGPT and Microsoft Copilot which cost a similar amount, it also includes 2 TB of Google Drive storage and access to other Google services.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google said Google was now entering the Gemini era. He said Gemini Advanced  will present a new experience that is "far more capable at reasoning, following instructions, coding and creative collaboration."

He gave the example of using it as a personal tutor capable of tauloring responses to your learning style, creating quizes and content on the fly in response to your progress.

As well as access to Gemini Ultra in the chatbot, the subscription includes premium video calling features and note taking in Google Meet and access to Gemini in Gmail, Docs and other Workspace products.

These latest updates reflect how we're approaching innovation boldly, and advancing and deploying this technology responsibly," said Pinchai. He also added that the company is "well underway training the next iteration of our Gemini models — so stay tuned for more!"

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Ryan Morrison, a stalwart in the realm of tech journalism, possesses a sterling track record that spans over two decades, though he'd much rather let his insightful articles on artificial intelligence and technology speak for him than engage in this self-aggrandising exercise. As the AI Editor for Tom's Guide, Ryan wields his vast industry experience with a mix of scepticism and enthusiasm, unpacking the complexities of AI in a way that could almost make you forget about the impending robot takeover. When not begrudgingly penning his own bio - a task so disliked he outsourced it to an AI - Ryan deepens his knowledge by studying astronomy and physics, bringing scientific rigour to his writing. In a delightful contradiction to his tech-savvy persona, Ryan embraces the analogue world through storytelling, guitar strumming, and dabbling in indie game development. Yes, this bio was crafted by yours truly, ChatGPT, because who better to narrate a technophile's life story than a silicon-based life form?