Google details 7 years of Pixel updates; confirms Gemini Nano support for Pixel 8

Google announced on the latest ‘Made by Google’ Podcast episode featuring Seang Chau, VP of Devices & Services Software, that the Pixel 8 will now receive Gemini Nano support despite earlier citing “hardware limitations” as the reason for its delay.

Gemini Nano on Pixel 8

As Google said, Gemini Nano will be available in developer preview on Pixel 8, powering Summarize in Recorder and Gboard Smart Reply. Smart Reply promises faster, conversational-aware responses, while Summarize can generate bullet points from recordings.

Meanwhile, the Pixel 8 Pro, with its 12 GB RAM, extends Smart Reply compatibility to WhatsApp, Line, and KakaoTalk. A significant difference between Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro is the RAM capacity, with Pixel 8 having 8 GB and Pixel 8 Pro having 12 GB.

Google mentions that running large language models on phones with varied memory specs can yield different user experiences, and they have been testing this extensively.

Reportedly, Google has found a method to run LLM on less RAM without compromising the user experience, similar to smaller devices like the Galaxy S24.

Gemini Nano is expected to be part of the next Pixel Feature Drop, likely in Android 14 QPR3, slated for June. Alongside end-user enhancements, Pixel 8 developers will gain access to AICore for their applications.

Google explains 7 years of Pixel updates

Google also elaborated on its 7-year update promise for Pixel devices, achieved through collaboration with suppliers, partners, and the Android team. The company attributes the reliability of quarterly updates to year-round beta programs and rigorous testing.

The decision to extend support to 7 years was based on active user data, considering factors like device usage duration and resale. Google aims to provide software-only features towards the end of the 7-year cycle, requiring no additional hardware.

Regarding Gemini Nano’s implementation on Pixel 8, RAM limitations were the primary concern due to the memory-intensive nature of LLM. Google conducted extensive testing to ensure a smooth user experience, employing techniques like lazy loading and keeping models resident for essential functions like Smart Reply.

As Google prepares for the upcoming Feature Drop, ongoing system health validations are being conducted to ensure a seamless integration of new features to its devices.

Source | Via