Google Assistant is so Pixel 8 as report claims new 'Pixie' AI assistant may arrive with Pixel 9

Google Assistant on the Google Pixel 8 Pro
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google is reportedly developing a new AI assistant, named Pixie, that will be exclusive to Pixel devices. 
  • Pixie could debut as early as next year, starting with the Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 Pro, according to the report.
  • The company could also bring AI features to lower-end devices, watches, and wearables that don't exist yet. 

Google has already made use of its advancements in generative artificial intelligence in its voice assistants, announcing Google Assistant with Bard this year. But the company could be planning an even bigger move with AI, according to a report from The Information. A new AI-based assistant, affectionately named "Pixie," could debut as soon as next year for Pixel devices. 

The report comes as Google's push to incorporate AI into its existing products is rapidly intensifying. The company released its latest and greatest AI model, Gemini, this month, and it's working on an even more powerful model called Gemini Ultra. And just as Gemini is starting to roll out, Google is already training a new Gemini 2 model, the report notes. 

Pixie (which could be an internal codename) would be a much more powerful version of Google Assistant, but it's unclear whether it would be an outright replacement for Google Assistant. That seems unlikely, but we don't know a whole lot about Google's plans yet. 

The Information spoke to "people with knowledge of the matter," who remained anonymous, so we don't have much to go on there. However, these people said that Pixie could first ship with the Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 Pro next year. Down the line, Google could bring the Pixie assistant to other, more affordable phones and watches. Though it isn't explicitly stated, we assume the Pixel Tablet would be on that list as well.

Pixie will be smarter and potentially more personal than Google Assistant due to its ability to make better use of data on Pixel phones. That includes information from Google products and services, like Google Maps and Gmail, per the report. 

Assistant with Bard at Made by Google event

(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

It's not hard to figure out why Google would want to make AI features exclusive to the Pixel lineup. Though Pixel market share is growing, Google is facing an uphill battle trying to steal more of it away from the best Android phones from Samsung and others. The company is similarly trying to make Bard, Gemini, and other AI products stand out from competitors, like OpenAI's ChatGPT. 

Pixie, and other AI features, could be a reason customers looking for artificial intelligence features end up choosing a Pixel phone. On the flip side, customers seeking a Pixel phone could end up using Google's AI features due to the deep integration available. 

Google already has experimented with AI on smartphones with Gemini Nano, a small version of Gemini that can use a phone's on-device processing. Those efforts will surely continue, whether it be with the rumored Pixie assistant or another feature.

Brady Snyder

Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.

  • fuzzylumpkin
    Pixies are unreliable, mischievous and troublesome creatures... So this seems like a fitting name for Google's assistant.