Google Pixel 8 to Get Gemini Nano On-Device Support

Google Pixel 8 to Get Gemini Nano On-Device Support - Hero

Google has announced the upcoming roll out of on-device Gemini Nano support to more Pixel devices.

With its next Feature Drop, the Google Pixel 8 will get support for the on-device Google Gemini Nano features. Rolled out to the Pixel 8 Pro in December 2023, Gemini Nano allows for AI-powered tasks to be completed on the device, rather than requiring a connection to Google’s servers. The tech giant had originally said the non-Pro version of the device could not support Gemini Nano because of “hardware limitations.”

What Can the Google Pixel 8 Do With Gemini Nano?

Gemini Nano is labeled Google’s most efficient Large Language Model (LLM) for on-device tasks. It powers a few features in Pixel apps, allowing you to rely upon AI assistance for those tasks even when your device lacks an internet connection.

For example, Gemini Nano powers the Summarize function in Recorder on the Google Pixel 8 Pro (and soon the base Pixel 8.) When you open a recording in the app and navigate to its “Transcript” tab, a “Summarize” option at the top generates a few bullet points summing up the contents of that recording.

Google also uses Gemini Nano in the Gboard keyboard. Here, it powers Smart Reply to generate “higher-quality smart replies in Gboard.” In WhatsApp, for example, Nano can draw on the context of a conversation to provide smart replies that make sense.

Extending Gemini Nano Support to More Devices

When Google first announced the Pixel 8 would not get Gemini Nano support, it cited “hardware limitations.” However, the only real difference between the Pixel 8 and the 8 Pro is RAM. The Pixel 8 has 8GB of RAM compared to the 8 Pro’s 12GB.

Apparently, the developers either decided the on-device LLM could function just fine on less RAM or found ways to further optimize the AI. Whatever the case, this might eventually mean good news for even older versions of the Pixel. As Google continues to refine Gemini Nano, perhaps it will extend support to even more devices.

As it is, Google is expected to include Gemini Nano in the next Pixel Feature Drop. That should be Android 14 QPR3 in June, given previous timelines of the updates. Third-party developers will be able to use AICore to allow Gemini Nano to power features in their own apps, too.

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