Google is looking to make its generative AI, Bard, more accessible to users on Android devices, starting with an upcoming homescreen widget that will be exclusive to the company’s Pixel phones and tablets — at least for now.
Bard is currently only accessible through its dedicated website, but Google has been steadily working to integrate its AI tech into more of its products, such as Gmail and Docs. Now, as reported by 9to5Google, new code that suggests that Bard AI will soon arrive on Android, “complete with a homescreen widget.” It’s currently unclear whether it will be integrated into the Google Search app or arrive as a standalone app.
It’s also unknown if the widget will grant direct access to Bard AI, or if it contains suggested prompts for conversations with the chatbot.
Bard is Google’s response to other generative AI models like ChatGPT and the new Bing. While Bard is currently usable on Android through a web browser, it’s not as deeply integrated into the platform as GPT-4 is into Microsoft’s Edge and Bing. The new homescreen widget is a much-needed upgrade from Bard’s current web-only availability, and the exclusive access for Pixel owners could be a way to incentivize users to purchase Google’s devices.
It’s also possible that being a Pixel owner will allow users to bypass the waitlist for Bard’s limited preview, or that Google intends to lift the waitlist in the near future. It’s worth noting that Bard AI is currently not available in Canada, and if the new Pixel widget were to drop any time soon, Canadians would likely be unable to take advantage of it.
Google is expected to make more AI-related announcements at this year’s I/O conference, and we’ll likely hear more about the Pixel widget at the event.