Google announced on Thursday that it is consolidating its AI offerings by folding everything AI-related that it currently offers into the Google Gemini brand. It also announced a new Android app and overpriced Google One subscription tier, a year after Bard sang its first ballad.
If you can remember as far back as February last year, Google Bard’s launch came hot on the heels of Microsoft’s Copilot launch. That celebrated its first birthday this week with a redesign and Super Bowl ad, now it’s Google’s turn.
Included in Google Gemini is The Chatbot Formerly Known as Bard, Google’s Duet AI features aimed at developers, and Gemini Ultra 1.0 — the new version of the company’s large language model (LLM).
For most folks, the easiest way to experience Gemini will be through mobile apps — there’s a new Google Gemini app for Android while iPhone users will find Gemini in the Google app — but everyone outside the US will have to wait until next week for the wider rollout.
You won’t have to wait to start giving Google your money, however. The new ‘AI Premium’ tier of Google One is already available to South Africans for R430/m. This gives you 2TB of Google Drive storage, access to the Gemini Ultra 1.0 LLM, and, eventually, Gemini’s help in Google Workspace apps like Google Docs and Sheets.
That might sound like a lot of money but it’s roughly the same price as a ChatGPT Plus subscription. But Google Gemini is going to need more than a similarly priced subscription if it hopes to distinguish itself from the AI competition.