Google Assistant with Bard details just leaked — including release info and new features

Google Bard
(Image credit: Google)

Google is hoping to breathe new life into Assistant by integrating its large language model chatbot Bard. Fresh leaks suggest this could launch as soon as March, bringing generative AI capabilities and improved reasoning to the voice assistant.

The Google News Telegram channel first reported the date after spotting a demo video of Assistant with Bard inside the Pixel Tips app. 

We haven’t been able to find the video inside the app ourselves but the video looks like a typical Google demonstration animation.

If the video is correct then Bard will be accessible from a menu, saying Hey, Google or double tapping side buttons on the device. It will have all the functionality of Bard via the web.

What can we expect from Assistant with Bard?

Google first announced it would be bringing Bard to Assistant last year but specific details have only been seen through leaks. A previous reveal earlier this month showed off the UI including some of the features we see in the new video.

It will be tied to the new Gemini model that now powers the chatbot, but it isn’t clear whether it will use the current Pro version or the Ultra model coming soon.

What we can tell from the animation is that it the combination of Bard and Assistant is coming in March, which is roughly in line with the rumored launch of Gemini Ultra.

The page in Pixel Tips also suggests it will be integrated with Google apps like Gmail, Maps and Drive as well as have access to the camera on your Android phone.

What else do we know?

When activating Assistant a half-screen floating window will pop up out of the search bar where you can type a query, select an image and ask a question about it or use the microphone to speak to the chatbot much like you do now with Assistant.

Then it effectively hands off to Bard for all the functionality. In the same way you query Bard today on the website, the request you make to Assistant will return a natural language text response. This will likely include a spoken response.

Android expert Mishaal Rahman dug into the Pixel Tips code for more details and found strings suggesting Assistant with Bard will launch in March, likely with the Android feature drop.

The code also suggests a limited release for Assistant with Bard, likely restricted to Tensor-powered Pixel phones. This means it won't appear on the Pixel Tablet or Pixel Fold and it isn't clear if other non-Google phones will get it at launch.

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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?