Google could pump its Gemini AI chatbot directly into your ears — here’s what we know

Google Gemini Advanced
(Image credit: Google)

Google recently renamed its AI chatbot from Bard to Gemini and started rolling it out across its entire product range, including as an alternative to Assistant on Android. 

Now it looks like the search giant wants to place Gemini directly into headphones. A code string found by 9to5Google in the beta version of the Google app hints at the expanded availability.

Gemini is also the name of the powerful family of artificial intelligence models that power the new chatbot as well as many other generative AI tools from Google.

While it isn’t clear when the headphone capability might arrive, or even what form it will take, the string of code is an indication Google is serious about capitalizing on the Gemini brand.

What do we know about Gemini in headphones?

Google Gemini

(Image credit: Google Gemini)

A string within the code of the new beta version of the Google app says: “Gemini mobile app is working on expanding availability to make it accessible on your headphones.”

Currently, even if you have Gemini enabled on your Android phone, using Pixel Buds Pro to trigger the smart assistant will still pull up Google Assistant. This means you don’t get the natural language responses and complex reasoning sills of Gemini. 

However, if the code is correct it means that in future current and future devices that have access to Assistant will be able to call on the Gemini app to respond instead.

Does this mean Google is expanding Gemini?

Google has said it plans to focus on Android and iOS for the initial rollout of Gemini, making it available through the Google app on iOS and as an alternative to Assistant on Android. 

While audio isn’t the primary focus of the Gemini chatbot, replacing Assistant required a voice interface. Much like ChatGPT Voice it allows you to speak to the assistant and get natural language responses. You can hold a full conversation with the AI as if it were human.

While Gemini has been offered as an opt-in alternative to Assistant on Android, Google has yet to update its smart home, wearable or vehicle tools to utilize the conversational AI.

So this is an indication Google does plan to roll it out more widely and replace Assistant in a wider range of devices, particularly where its more personal and conversational.

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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?