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Google's new AI assistant tech is now available for iPhone

Google releases Gemini AI app

Google's Bard has been replaced by Gemini, and the new, improved AI assistant is now available within the iOS Google app.

Google's first efforts with what it called the Bard app was not a great success, and in late 2023 it was renamed Google Assistant with Bard — and it's now been renamed again.

"Our mission with Bard has always been to give you direct access to our AI models, and Gemini represents our most capable family of models," said Google in a blog post. "To reflect this, Bard will now simply be known as Gemini."

It wasn't known simply as Gemini for very long, though. In the next paragraph of that blog post, Google introduced a paid version called Gemini Advanced.

Where Gemini is uses Google's Pro 1.0 model and is said to be good for "everyday needs," Gemini Advanced uses a different AI model to the regular Gemini, a larger one named Ultra 1.0. It costs $20 per month as part of the Google One AI Premium Plan.

At present, Gemini Advanced can respond to direct questions within the app. Google says it will be integrated into Gmail, Docs, and more in the future.

Gemini Advanced (Source: Google)
Gemini Advanced (Source: Google)

Google says that either version of Gemini is an improvement over the previous Bard app because it remembers context and so allows for longer series of commands, or longer conversations.

The Gemini Advanced subscription is said to be good for acting as a personal tutor with sample quizzes as well as step by step guidance.

It's also very much a 1.0 release. Google says it will continue to reflect and leverage the company's latest advances in AI as they happen.

Gemini Advanced is rolling out to users in more than 150 countries and territories in English. The company says that it will expand it to more languages over time. No specific timetable for expansion has been given.

To try out Gemini on iPhone, download or update the iOS Google app. The app requires iOS 15.0 or later.

When Google first introduced Bard, it was generally trounced by Microsoft's Bing. Now with an early 2024 launch, Google may be focused on making a compelling alternative to what Apple is expected to announce for iOS 18 and Siri.