Google rolls out Gemini AI assistant and it’s already getting major updates

Gemini gets voice command and app updates in its effort to replace Google Assistant

Google Assistant
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Quick Summary

Google has started rolling out Gemini, its new AI chatbot that's replaced the old Bard system. As an ‘experimental AI assistant’, the Gemini app is still receiving a few updates as Google hears customer feedback.

Gemini is currently only available in the US with additional rollout plans coming soon, although we’re not entirely convinced if it should replace Google Assistant just yet.

Google has started rolling out its ‘most capable’ AI model yet, Gemini. As a replacement for Google’s pre-existing Bard chatbot, the new AI assistant has been off to a slow start as it’s already had to have some major updates to its voice commands and app.

Late last year, Google announced its plans to expand and invest in AI technology, and the company has done so with its release of Gemini in early 2024. As quoted in the Google Blog, Gemini is Google’s most flexible model yet that “was built from the ground up to be multimodal, which means it can generalise and seamlessly understand, operate across and combine different types of information including text, code, audio, image and video.”

What this means in layman’s terms is that Google's Gemini acts in a similar way to ChatGPT, an AI system that automates conversations and tasks. Replacing the old Bard system, Gemini can do everything Bard used to do and then some, including setting timers, answering questions, checking your emails and making suggestions.

To be expected as a Google programme, Gemini is deeply entrenched with Google applications, meaning it can sync up to Gmail, Google Docs and Google Maps to allow for better suggestions and information. Gemini can also export answers directly to Google applications and it displays a G icon at the bottom of every answer, so you can fact-check it with a quick Google search.

Dubbed as an ‘experimental AI assistant’, Gemini is a new technology from Google, so it’s unsurprising that the Gemini app (available to download via the Google Play Store for US Android phones) is already receiving feedback from users. One such piece of feedback that was almost immediately rectified by Google was its voice commands.

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Previously, you had to manually tap on the ‘send’ arrow in the app to submit your voice command or question which slowed down the process and made chatting to Gemini a lot less conversational. Now, Gemini has been updated so it will notice when you’ve stopped talking and will then offer its response, making it more informative, easy-to-use, and acting in a similar way to Google Assistant.

That’s not the only update that Gemini is set to receive. According to a tweet from Google Gemini employee, Jack Krawczyk, he listed ‘things to fix ASAP (we’re on it!). Alongside the app becoming more available and opening to LATAM, Africa, Asia Pacific, Canada and Europe, coding and interpreters featured on the list, as well as basic functionalities like “assistant tasks: calendar, reminders, routines extensions.”

As an ‘experimental AI assistant’, it’s somewhat to be expected that Gemini is still a work in progress. However, if you opt in to use the Gemini app once it's rolled out, it will replace your Google Assistant as the primary assistant on your phone. As some Google Assistant features aren’t yet available through Gemini and seeing the amount of updates Gemini is currently waiting for, it’s hard to imagine if Gemini will officially replace Google Assistant.

There’s still a question over whether people will want to wave goodbye to Google Assistant or if they’ll be made to if Google shuts the door on it. Judging from the quick responses from the Gemini team, we should ‘soon’ see what Gemini will officially look and act like once it’s in its final stages.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!