Gemini may be the biggest, most powerful large language model, or LLM, Google has ever developed, but it’s better suited to running in data centers than on your phone. With Gemini Nano, though, the company is trying to split the difference: it built a reduced version of its flagship LLM that can run locally and offline on your device. Well, a device, anyway. The Pixel 8 Pro is the only Nano-compatible phone so far, but Google sees the new model as a core part of Android going forward.
If you have a Pixel 8 Pro, starting today, two things on your phone will be powered by Gemini Nano: the auto-summarization feature in the Recorder app, and the Smart Reply part of the Gboard keyboard. Both are coming as part of the Pixel’s December Feature Drop. Both work offline since the model is running on the device itself, so they should feel fast and native.
Google is starting out quite small with Gemini Nano. Even the Smart Reply feature is only Gemini-powered in WhatsApp, though Google says it’s coming to more apps next year. And Gemini as a whole is only rolling out in English right now, which means many users won’t be able to use it at all. Your Pixel 8 Pro won’t suddenly feel like a massively upgraded device — though it might over time, if Gemini is as good as Google thinks it can be. And next year, when Google brings a Gemini-powered Bard to Assistant on Pixel phones, you’ll get even more of the Gemini experience.