What is Google Gemini? AI chatbot gets its own app and subscription plan

Google’s free Gemini app is out now in the US on Android (Google)
Google’s free Gemini app is out now in the US on Android (Google)

Google has a new name for its artificial intelligence chatbot and productivity tools.

Bard and Duet AI are now known collectively as Gemini, after the backroom engine that powers the pair.

Yes, the big AI rebrand is upon us: After Microsoft renamed Bing Chat to Copilot to link its generative AI tools, now it’s Google’s turn.

With all the work software we have to remember, maybe the thinking goes that too many apps with newfangled names would have broken our brains.

Whatever the reasoning behind Google’s rebrand, the truth is it’s a significant one. Alongside the mystical moniker, we’re also getting a brand new Gemini app and a paid version of the chatbot.

So, is Google’s AI worth paying for? Here’s what you need to know about Google Gemini.

What is Google Gemini?

With the name change, Google is essentially putting all of its AI tech under the Gemini umbrella. There’s the chatbot formerly known as Bard, the erstwhile Duet AI for office tasks, and the next-generation AI software that’s the brains of the outfit.

The latter comes in three varieties: the downsized Gemini Nano for smartphones and the beefier Gemini Pro and Gemini Ultra models.

Like ChatGPT before it, Gemini collects and analyses mounds of data to provide cogent responses to your queries. What’s more, because it’s multimodal, it can work across several disciplines, including text, images, video, and audio.

Gemini Pro powers the free version of Google’s Gemini chatbot. But, for those willing to pay a monthly fee, there’s the heftier Gemini Ultra model. Google says this is its most capable AI model, meaning it can have longer and more in-depth conversations with the ability to recall context from previous chats.

Gemini Ultra 1.0 is available now as Google Advanced, a perk for those who sign up for the newly launched Google One AI Premium subscription plan.

How much is Google One AI Premium?

Google One is a subscription service that lets you buy more cloud storage for your devices. The new AI Premium tier with access to Google Advanced and 2TB of storage costs £19 per month, the same as Microsoft’s Copilot Pro.

Google says Gemini Advanced is available in English in 150 countries and territories.

Is the Google Gemini app available in the UK?

Brits will have to stick with ChatGPT on their phones for now as Google’s free Gemini app for Android isn’t yet available in the UK.

The good news is it appears to be launching in more countries, including in Europe, after its US debut — so fingers crossed we’ll get it soon.

Those who download the Gemini Android app can even replace Google Assistant as the main digital helper on their device. Now, when you long-press the home button or say "Hey Google" on your phone or tablet, Gemini will answer instead of Assistant. You can also make the switch by opting in through Assistant.

If you want to chat to Gemini on your iPhone, on the other hand, you’ll have to use the Google app. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but that update isn’t available in the UK either.

Until it arrives, you can always play with Gemini on the web — including on your mobile.