What you need to know

  • Google finally released a Gemini mobile app last week that packs a ton of AI-powered features.
  • Though the Gemini app can replace Google Assistant on Android phones, other devices are left out. 
  • However, a beta version of the Google app reveals that Google is working on bringing Gemini to headphones and earbuds.

Google rebranded Bard to Gemini last week and, with the change, overhauled its artificial intelligence efforts as a whole. Part of that included finally debuting a Gemini mobile app that can replace the Google Assistant on Android phones. However, plenty of other devices that used Google Assistant were left out and are unable to use Gemini yet. 

It looks like Google’s first plan for expanding Gemini will bring the AI-based assistant to headphones and earbuds. 9to5Google spotted strings of code in the most recent beta software version of the Google app that explicitly state the company is working on bringing Gemini to headphones. 

For reference, this is the line of code 9to5Google found that explains Google’s intention to add Gemini support on compatible headphones:

  • <string name=”assistant_onboarding_bisto_error_message”>Gemini mobile app is working on expanding availability to make it accessible on your headphones</string>

While there is usually some doubt related to APK teardowns and the insight they provide, this one seems pretty cut and dry. As Google works to add Gemini support to a slew of Google Assistant devices, headphones, and earbuds seem to be at the top of the list. 

Using Google Gemini on Android

(Image credit: Future)

The Gemini app is a much-needed addition to Android and iOS, but there have been a few key limitations. First, users were surprised they couldn’t use the Gemini app and the Google Assistant simultaneously. Most importantly, Gemini is far from ubiquitous throughout the Google ecosystem.

“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.'”

Some features in the Gemini app require a screen, but headphones won’t support these. Instead, Google must perfect a Gemini assistant that only uses audio to communicate back and forth with a user. This version would presumably be able to connect with a smartphone to continue a session visually if needed. 

Google is still trying to build out Gemini’s feature set and fix problems that pop up, and the former includes adding support for headphones.