Five ways Google is bringing AI features to Android phones

  • Google has announced five new AI-enabled features for Android phones at its I/O 2024 conference.
  • The company is yet to detail what its latest mobile operating system, Android 15, has in store.
  • Google says it wants to make AI a core part of the Android experience.

It is day one of Google I/O 2024 and the big tech firm is focused solely on AI. It has already announced new models for Gemini, as well as new generative media tools, but it is not stopping there, with Android phones also set to be imbued with AI-enabled capabilities.

To that end, Google has outlined six AI specific features that are coming to, or will be available, on Android phones.

“We’re at a once-in-a-generation moment where the latest advancements in AI are reinventing what phones can do. With Google AI at the core of Android’s operating system, the billions of people who use Android can now interact with their devices in entirely new ways,” effused Google in a blog post.

The first feature is an extension of something that already exists on Galaxy AI, as Circle To Search can now be used to solve maths problems.

“When students circle a prompt they’re stuck on, they’ll get step-by-step instructions to solve a range of physics and math word problems without leaving their digital info sheet or syllabus. Later this year, Circle to Search will be able to help solve even more complex problems involving symbolic formulas, diagrams, graphs and more,” Google shared.

How well this function performs remains to be seen, but Circle To Search is already available on more than 100 million devices, according to Google.

Next is Gemini, which will soon be integrated into more elements of Android phones. Here Google says that, “soon, you’ll be able to bring up Gemini’s overlay on top of the app you’re in to easily use Gemini in more ways. For example, you can drag and drop generated images into Gmail, Google Messages and other places, or tap “Ask this video” to find specific information in a YouTube video.”

Sticking with Gemini, Nano is described as a built-in, on-device foundation model. With Nano, Google says it is able to bring experiences to Android phones quickly and keep user information completely private.

“Starting with Pixel later this year, we’ll be introducing our latest model, Gemini Nano with Multimodality. This means your phone will not just be able to process text input but also understand more information in context like sights, sounds and spoken language,” it highlights.

Google is also using the multimodal capabilities contained within Gemini Nano for use in TalkBack, its tool for those who are visually impaired. It will use the AI model to get more detailed information for what is on a visually impaired user’s display, with Google noting that on average, TalkBack users come across 90 unlabelled images per day.

The last feature is aimed at better helping users identify scammers. Here Google says it is testing a new feature that uses Gemini Nano to provide real-time alerts during a call if it detects conversation patterns that are commonly associated with scams.

“For example, you would receive an alert if a “bank representative” asks you to urgently transfer funds, make a payment with a gift card or requests personal information like card PINs or passwords, which are uncommon bank requests,” it added.

As for Android 15, Google has not forgotten about the upcoming iteration of its mobile operating system, with it set to be one of the key focus areas on day two of I/O 2024.


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