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Android Central
Android Central
Brady Snyder

Gemini could soon make an appearance on the Pixel Tablet

Google Pixel Tablet in vertical mode.

What you need to know

  • Since Google released the Gemini app for Android, it has only been available on smartphones, with tablets notably excluded. 
  • The latest version of the Google Search app includes multiple new references to Gemini working on tablets.
  • While an exact launch date is unknown, it's possible that Gemini will appear on the Pixel Tablet first, with the potential for third-party support coming later.

After Google revamped Gemini with a new mobile app, everyone started wondering where the artificial intelligence assistant would appear next. There have been past reports and inklings that Gemini will appear on Google Assistant earbuds, tablets, or smart displays. However, new references to Gemini on tablets in the latest version of the Google Search app suggest a release could be near.

9to5Google found strings in version 15.12 of the Google Search app that directly outline how Gemini will work on tablets. "When Gemini is the digital assistant on this tablet, hosted by the Google app, it can access certain system permissions and data,"  a prompt explains, "like dialer, call and message logs, and contacts (to help you keep in touch), installed apps like Clock (to control alarms and timers), and screen content (to help you act on it)."

As is the case for Gemini on other platforms, there's a disclaimer that Gemini is still learning. Google also says that Google Assistant may be used in situations where Gemini isn't capable of helping and that some Assistant features won't be available. 

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

9to5Google managed to get Gemini up and running on a Pixel Tablet using the latest version of the Google Search app. Overall, the experience using Gemini on tablets is unexpectedly similar to using it on big-screen foldables, such as the Pixel Fold. Notably, Google Assistant remains the default voice assistant even when Gemini is installed on a Pixel Tablet. This falls in line with Google's earlier guidance that smart devices will still use Google Assistant. 

"Gemini will not replace Google Assistant on your other devices, even if you opt-in to use it as your mobile assistant," Google explains in a support document. "On other non-mobile devices, including Smart Displays, smart speakers, TVs, cars, smart watches, headphones, and earbuds with Google Assistant built-in, and Pixel Tablets, Google Assistant will continue to respond to 'Hey Google.'"

The Pixel Tablet is an interesting device because it is a standalone tablet and a smart home hub. Due to Gemini's current limitations with assistant-based features, it makes sense that Google isn't ready to completely swap out Assistant for Gemini on the Pixel Tablet.

While an official launch date is unknown, it looks like Google is gearing up for a Gemini launch on tablets. The Pixel Tablet will almost certainly be one of the first tablets to support Gemini, but it's possible third-party devices could be supported as well.  

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