Gemini's next evolution could let you use the AI while you browse the internet

Gemini may receive a big update on mobile in the near future where it’ll gain several new features including a text box overlay. Details of the upgrade come from industry insider AssembleDebug who shared his findings with a couple of publications.

PiunikaWeb gained insight into the overlay and it’s quite fascinating seeing it in action. It converts the AI’s input box into a small floating window located at the bottom of a smartphone display, staying there even if you close the app. You could, for example, talk to Gemini while browsing the internet or checking your email.

AssembleDebug was able to activate the window and get it working on his phone while on X (the platform formerly known as Twitter). His demo video shows it behaving exactly like the Gemini app. You ask the AI a question, and after a few seconds, a response comes out complete with source links, images, as well as YouTube videos if the inquiry calls for it. Answers have the potential to obscure the app behind it.

AssembleDebug’s video reveals the length depends on whether the question requires a long-form answer. We should mention that the overlay is multimodal so you can write out an inquiry, verbally command the AI, or upload an image.

Smarter AI

The other notable changes were shared with Android Authority. First, Gemini on Android will gain the ability to accept different types of files besides photographs. Images show a tester uploading a PDF, and then asking the AI to summarize the text inside it. Apparently, the feature is present in the current version of Gemini however activating it doesn’t do anything. Android Authority speculates the update may be exclusive to either Google Workspace or Gemini Advanced; maybe both. It’s hard to tell at the moment.

Second is a pretty basic tool, but useful nonetheless called Select Text. The way Gemini works right now is you’re forced to copy a whole block of text even if you just want a small portion. Select Text solves this issue by allowing you to grab a specific line or paragraph.

Yeah, it’s not a flashy upgrade. Almost every app in the world has the same capability. Yet, the tool has “huge implications for Gemini’s usability”. It greatly improves the AI’s ease of use by not being so restrictive.

A fourth, smaller update was found by AssembleDebug. It’s known as Real-time Responses. The descriptor text found alongside it claims the tool lets you see answers being written out in real-time. However, as PiunikaWeb points out, it’s only an animation change. There aren’t any “practical benefits.” Instead of waiting for Gemini to generate a response as one solid mass, you can choose to see the AI write everything out line by line similar to its desktop counterpart.

Google I/O 2024 kicks off in about three weeks on May 14. No word on when these features will roll out, but we'll learn a lot more during the event.

While you wait, check out TechRadar's roundup of the best Android smartphones for 2024 if you're looking to upgrade.

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