Google has begun rolling out Gemini Nano support for the Pixel 8, as promised earlier. Early assumptions were that Gemini Nano would go live for the Pixel 8 with a feature drop. However, this on-device AI support is rolling out in the form of an Android AICore update. But it’s worth noting that it’s not clear if anyone has actually managed to activate the feature properly yet.

The AICore update in question went live on the Play Store a few hours ago for the Pixel 8, bearing the version number 0.release.pixel8.636144055. This update brings with it a new “AICore Settings” option, which can be accessed through Developer Options > AICore Settings.

Within the AICore Settings, users will find an intriguing option: “Enable on-device GenAl Features: Enable GenAl features that will run through AlCore, using Gemini.” Enabling this feature will initiate the process of downloading the substantial Gemini Nano model onto the device. However, the process does not start immediately. I tried ways to forcefully initiate the download, with no luck. So you might just have to keep your phone on charging overnight connected to Wi-Fi for the download to begin.

Additionally, other app updates may be required to fully unlock the functionality of Gemini Nano on Pixel devices. By default, the on-device GenAl Features option is disabled, as Google had previously announced that Pixel 8 would have access to Gemini Nano as a developer preview.

Since the Pixel 8a shares the same powerful Tensor G3 chip as the Pixel 8, it is also slated to receive this update, allowing users to experience the benefits of Gemini Nano on both devices.

Gemini Nano will power several features, including Summarize in Pixel Recorder, Gboard Smart Reply, and Google Messages Magic Compose, enhancing the overall user experience and productivity.

A Google engineer first cited RAM constraints for the reason to limit Gemini Nano to the higher-end Pixel 8 Pro with its 12GB of memory. However, Google has since announced that the base Galaxy S24 managed to offer Gemini Nano, prompting the company to bring the feature to the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8a in June, coinciding with the release of Android 14 QPR3.

As the Gemini Nano update rolls out, Pixel 8 and Pixel 8a users can look forward to unlocking the full potential of their devices, thanks to Gemini Nano’s cool AI capabilities. While currently limited, we expect to see more third-party apps, such as Grammarly, add support for on-device AI functions.

Dwayne Cubbins
1157 Posts

My fascination with Android phones began the moment I got my hands on one. Since then, I've been on a journey to decode the ever-evolving tech landscape, fueled by a passion for both the "how" and the "why." Since 2018, I've been crafting content that empowers users and demystifies the tech world. From in-depth how-to guides that unlock your phone's potential to breaking news based on original research, I strive to make tech accessible and engaging.

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