Gemini is about to slip into your DMs


Google’s acquired a spherical of Android and app updates in time for MWC, beginning with a brand new technique to chat with its personal chatbot Gemini: proper inside Google Messages. There’s additionally a handful of different small updates touching Android Auto, Google Docs, and a few new clever accessibility options for visually impaired individuals.

In case you’re simply dying to DM your new bestie Gemini, you received’t have to attend lengthy — it’s arriving as an replace to the Messages app this week, although you’ll must be enrolled in Google’s beta testing program to entry it for now. The identical entry guidelines apply so there’s no Google One subscription required, at the very least for this model. Once I examined Gemini alongside ChatGPT a couple of weeks in the past, Gemini left lots to be desired as a conversational companion. Including the chatbot to your messaging app is one technique to make it really feel extra like speaking to a pal. Gemini in Messages is barely out there in English for now, and solely in “sure markets.”

Watch to the top for somebody “reacting” to an AI joke with an emoji.
Picture: Google

Android Auto can also be getting an AI replace, enabling summaries of lengthy texts or chat threads so you possibly can hold your eyes on the street when you catch up. It’s going to additionally recommend replies and actions primarily based on context, like surfacing the choice to share your ETA if a pal asks whenever you’ll arrive.

Generative AI can also be on the heart of some accessibility characteristic updates to Lookout and Maps. Lens within the Google Maps app is getting display screen reader enhancements to assist determine locations of enterprise and supply related details about them, like hours of operation. Lookout, which identifies objects and indicators for people who find themselves visually impaired, will now routinely generate descriptions for pictures utilizing AI, together with photographs on-line and people shared in messages. Google says that is rolling out globally now in English.

Actually this seems actually useful.
Picture: Google

The final couple of updates within the bunch don’t have anything to do with AI — they’re simply helpful. Google’s making a small change to Android that makes it simpler to modify output gadgets whenever you’re utilizing Spotify — that’s good! However hands-down my favourite new characteristic of the bunch is help for handwritten annotations in Google Docs. It’s an replace for Android telephones and tablets that means that you can select from a wide range of pen and highlighter colours so you possibly can mark notes on a doc along with your finger or a stylus.

As one that buys too many journals and loves taking notes with a stylus, this brings me nice pleasure. It’ll little doubt be extra helpful on an even bigger canvas like a Pixel Pill — keep in mind, Google continues to be making an attempt to make Android tablets occur — or the inside display screen of a foldable so you possibly can scribble to your coronary heart’s content material. No AI required.

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