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Gemini AI can apparently co-exist with Google Assistant on the Pixel Tablet

All signs point to an imminent tablet rollout for Gemini AI.
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Published onMarch 27, 2024

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TL;DR
  • Google is bringing its Gemini AI Android tablets.
  • A news outlet managed to activate the AI on the Pixel Tablet.
  • Apparently, Gemini can co-exist with Google Assistant on Google’s slate.

Google seems to be getting ready to bring its Gemini to Android tablets. The AI is only available on Android phones right now. When installed, users have to choose between using Gemini or the Google Assistant on their device. This restriction might not apply to tablets, though.

9to5Google performed an APK teardown of the latest Google Search app and found code strings that clearly reveal Google’s plans to bring Gemini to tablets. Following are the references the publication found in the app’s code:

  • Gemini handles tasks on your tablet
  • When Gemini is the digital assistant on this tablet, hosted by the Google app, it can access certain system permissions and data, like dialer, call and message logs, and contacts (to help you keep in touch), installed apps like Clock (to control alarms and timers), and screen content (to help you act on it).
  • Gemini is still learning, so Google Assistant may help with some tasks. Some capabilities from Assistant may not be supported.
  • If “Hey Google” and Voice Match are on in Settings, you can talk to it or Google Assistant (whichever one is active) hands-free. If “Hey Google” and Voice Match are on in Settings, you can talk to it or Google Assistant (whichever one is active) hands-free.

The strings indicate that the Gemini experience on Android tablets will be hosted inside the Google app. It’s unclear if Google also plans to make the standalone Gemini Android app available on tablets or not.

9to5Google also managed to activate Gemini on a Pixel Tablet and found that it can function alongside Google Assistant on the slate. When docked, the tablet answers the “Hey Google” voice prompt by bringing up Google Assistant instead of Gemini. This happens despite screenshots of the setup screen indicating that Assistant will be replaced by Gemini if users opt-in to use the AI.

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Gemini and Assistant don’t have feature parity just yet, and the Pixel Tablet is primarily designed to be an Assistant-powered smart display. So it’s possible that Google will let users access both Gemini and Assistant together on the device until the former gains more smart home capabilities.

Besides this, the outlet reports that the overall experience of using Gemini on the Pixel Tablet is similar to using it on the Pixel Fold. The feature hasn’t been rolled out officially, but once it does, Google’s tablet should be the first to gain it.