The regular Google Pixel 8 is getting Gemini Nano after all

The mint colorway of the Google Pixel 8
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google's decision to bring Gemini Nano to Pixel 8 users comes as a surprise, considering its initial stance against it for regular Pixel 8 devices.
  • The update introduces two useful features: Summarize in Recorder and Smart Reply in Gboard.
  • The additions will be included in the next Pixel Feature Drop, offering Pixel 8 and 8 Pro users an enhanced experience without requiring an internet connection.

Google just announced that Gemini Nano is coming to Pixel 8 users as a developer preview in the next Pixel Feature Drop. This new update brings two handy features: Summarize in Recorder and Smart Reply in Gboard.

Google's change of heart is quite a surprise. The search giant initially stated that Gemini Nano wouldn't be available for the regular Pixel 8. This decision understandably disappoints those who opted for the cheaper Pixel instead of the Pro.

The Mountain View-based company notes that it has noticed a ton of enthusiasm from users and developers ever since the Pixel 8 Pro became the pioneer smartphone to receive Gemini Nano last year.

Google explains that running large language models on phones with varying memory specifications can result in different user experiences. That's why the company has been rigorously testing this on the Pixel 8.

The goal is to offer more enthusiasts and developers the chance to experiment with Gemini Nano in hopes of gathering more feedback.

Gemini might be Google's largest and most powerful large language model (LLM) yet, but it's more suited for data centers than your phone. However, with Gemini Nano, Google is aiming to strike a balance. It created a scaled-down version of the LLM that can run directly on your device, even offline.

If you own a Pixel 8 or 8 Pro, you're in for a treat with two new features powered by Gemini Nano: the auto-summarization feature in the Recorder app and the Smart Reply feature in Gboard. These additions will be included in the upcoming Pixel Feature Drop. Since the model runs directly on the device, both features work offline, ensuring they feel speedy and intuitive.

On-device AI models like Gemini Nano have a dual purpose: they keep sensitive user data on the phone and provide AI features even offline. Google emphasized Gemini and its different versions during the Pixel 8 series launch, so it's great to see the company now implementing this AI technology in its latest flagship devices instead of limiting it to just one model.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.

  • ryancell
    Magic...just like that. The hardware limitation that never was...overcome to allow a feature. Amazing Google. How did you do it? lol.