Google Bard
Google has been rebranded its AI chatbot Bard to Gemini. Wikimedia Commons

Google has renamed Bard, its artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbot, to Gemini. Aside from this, the search giant introduced a fresh app and subscription options.

Last week, Android app developer Dylan Roussel shared an image of a Google Bard changelog dated February 7, which hinted at the name change. "Oh by the way... is real," Roussel wrote in an X post.

While Google did not confirm this speculation at the time, it announced a major rebrand of Bard on Thursday. Bard AI is now Gemini.

Interestingly, Gemini also refers to the underlying AI model suite that powers Bard. To recap, Google unveiled the Gemini models back in December and they come in 3 versions, including Ultra, Pro, and Nano.

First, the Nano AI model is part of Google's Bard chatbot and Pixel 8 Pro phones. It boasts features like Smart Reply on Gboard. The Pro AI model, on the other hand, powered Bard. Lastly, the Ultra AI model is the most advanced model that is capable of beating OpenAI's GPT-4 hands down in some areas.

Notably, the free Google Gemini (formerly Bard) chatbot still uses the powerful Gemini Pro large language model (LLM), with just a name and appearance change. Targeting power users, Google announced a new Gemini Advanced subscription plan for $19.99 (£15.85) per month that will be powered by Gemini Ultra 1.0.

When is Google Gemini set to roll out?

The rebranding of Bard to Gemini and the release of the Android app happened on February 8, 2024. It will be available in 40 languages and across 240 countries and territories. In other words, those who had access to Bard will now have access to Gemini.

Gemini chatbot is currently available in English on both Android and iOS phones in the US. Japanese and Korean will be the first non-English languages launching next week.

Use cases for Gemini chatbot

Last year, Google updated Bard's YouTube extension, making the AI-powered chatbot smarter than before. Now, the company is reportedly planning to incorporate Gemini in every product.

As part of this strategy, Google is gearing up to launch the AI chatbot as a standalone service on the website. Moreover, Android users will be able to completely replace Assistant with Gemini and it will be visible as an overlay on top of existing apps and services.

Even the Gemini Advanced subscription will be part of Google One, which alludes to a paid service that allows users to add extra storage to Drive or access additional features in Workspace products.

Google is also renaming Duet AI, the artificial intelligence tool in Workspace apps like Gmail, Docs and Sheets to Gemini. The tool will only be available with a new Gemini Advanced subscription.

Gemini Advanced: How much will it cost and what does it offer?

Gemini Advanced will be available through the new Google One AI Premium plan for $19.99 (£15.85) per month. While ChatGPT and Microsoft Copilot cost a similar amount, Gemini Advanced will include 2TB of Google Drive storage and offer access to other Google services.

CEO of Google Sundar Pichai said the American tech giant is now entering the Gemini era. The top executive went on to note that the Advanced model will offer a new experience that is "far more capable at reasoning, following instructions, coding and creative collaboration".

For instance, he said the AI chatbot can be used as a personal tutor that can adjust responses based on your learning style. It can quickly create quizzes and content in response to your progress.

On top of that, the subscription offers premium video calling and note-taking features in Google Meet and includes access to Gemini in Gmail, Docs and other Workspace products.

"These latest updates reflect how we're approaching innovation boldly, and advancing and deploying this technology responsibly," said Pinchai.

He also stated that the company is "well underway training the next iteration of our Gemini models — so stay tuned for more!"