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Gemini Nano to now be available on the Pixel 8

Google decides to offer on-device AI on Pixel 8 with the announcement that Gemini Nano will be available on its more affordable flagship smartphone

Pixel 8

Google appears to be backtracking on its claim that its Gemini Nano model, its LLM model that facilitates on-device processing, can’t be made available on the Pixel 8 due to hardware limitations. With an update, Pixel 8 is set to support Gemini Nano after being available on the Samsung S24 Series and the Pixel 8 Pro. It has to be noted that both the 8 as well as the 8 Pro share the Tensor G3 chipset. This prompted several reviewers and the general public to criticise Google’s move to restrict the AI features made possible by Gemini Nano to the more expensive 8 Pro.

Although the Pixel 8 has slightly less RAM than the Pro model, this difference has not impeded the feasibility of running the AI model on the device. The upcoming Pixel Feature Drop will introduce Gemini Nano as a developer preview on the Pixel 8, aimed at getting user feedback before making it widely available.

Gemini Nano’s integration into the Pixel 8 will enhance two key features: an improved summarization function within the Recorder app that operates offline, and the extension of Gboard’s Smart Reply functionality. The offline summarization tool upgrades the existing feature, which currently requires internet connectivity, allowing for the local processing of conversation summaries. Meanwhile, Smart Reply, initially exclusive to WhatsApp and later extended to other messaging apps, suggests contextually aware responses to messages.

Interestingly, Google’s rollout strategy for Gemini Nano does not initially incorporate Google Messages among the first platforms to benefit from the AI’s capabilities, despite its on-device Magic Compose feature being available on the Pixel 8 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S24 Series. Features like Circle to Search, meanwhile, are being made more widely available, with Samsung’s S23 Series receiving the feature via an update as promised.

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