Google may be rolling out Gemini Ultra this week and renaming Bard at the same time

Google Gemini logo
(Image credit: Google)

Google may be scrapping Bard as the brand for its conversational AI tools this week as it begins rolling out its Gemini artificial intelligence model more widely. 

Gemini was launched in December as a new family of AI models, starting with Nano running on Android phones and Gemini Pro powering a new version of the Google Bard chatbot.

Rumors hint at the possibility Google will just call all of its AI tools, including the chatbot itself after the model powering them. So instead of Bard with Gemini, it will simply be Google Gemini.

It comes as a claimed leak of a Google changelog shared by Dylan Roussel on X suggests the most powerful member of the Gemini Family — Ultra — will launch on Wednesday.

Ultra is the model Google claims outperforms OpenAI’s GPT-4, the model underpinning both ChatGPT and Microsoft Copilot — but will only be available with a paid-for subscription.

What else is changing?

Based on the leaked changelog from February 7 the chatbot formerly known as Bard will get a simplified redesign and will included in a wider range of products.

Roussel, an Android developer, has previously shown leaked release notes for Bard that later proved to be correct, including the addition of image generation and wider language support.

If the new changelog is correct the new design for the Gemini chatbot will make it easier to use, reducing visual distractions and simplifying the navigation. 

The document also confirms previously leaked details about a new standalone app for Android, as well as the integration of Gemini AI into Gmail, Maps and YouTube.

What is Gemini Advanced? 

Google Bard includes Gemini Pro

(Image credit: Google)

One of the issues with renaming Bard to Gemini is the confusion it will likely bring between the model and the service. 

Gemini Advanced, or previously Bard Advanced is a new paid-for version of the chatbot that incorporates all the latest updates and capabilities of Gemini Utra, the underlying AI model. 

It is better at coding, logical reasoning, nuanced instructions and collaborating on creative tasks such as image generation or storytelling. jW

When and where will it be available?

This will be available throughout most of the world and in a range of languages, but it will only be fully optimized for English queries in version 1.0.

We’ve had no indication of pricing yet although the leaked changelog hints at the chance to try it out, so may include a free trial period. This isn’t offered by Microsoft with Copilot Pro or OpenAI with ChatGPT Plus.

The dedicated Gemini app will only be available for Android but Gemini will be built in to the Google app on iOS. 

Initially it will only be available in the US but will rollout globally soon after, except for the UK, Switzerland, and European Economic Area countries which will have to wait longer. This is likely due to privacy legislation in the EU.

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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?