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Google Pixel 8, Pixel 8a to get Gemini Nano, but it may be hidden

It seems that Google is already working on bringing Gemini Nano to the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8a as well. However, enjoying its capabilities would not be as easy as on the Pixel 8 Pro. Currently, Gemini Nano is integrated into the Pixel 8 Pro and Galaxy S24 series to power multiple AI-based features.

Gemini Nano is the “lite” version of Google’s family of AI models. Nano is intended for on-device AI processing on mobile devices. This enables AI-powered features locally, without going through the cloud. A few weeks ago, Google decided that Nano would be exclusive to the Pixel 8 Pro, leaving the Pixel 8 out. This decision upset many owners of the vanilla model that uses the same Tensor G3 chipset.

Gemini Nano would hide behind developer options on the Pixel 8 and 8a

After numerous complaints, Google changed its mind and announced that it would bring the Gemini Nano model to the Pixel 8 as well. Now, new findings suggest the company is working on it. Not only to bring Nano to the vanilla Pixel 8 but also to its latest mid-ranger, the Pixel 8a. But, unlike the Pixel 8 or the Galaxy S24 series, the AI model would not be enabled by default. Instead, you would have to enable it in the developer options.

The Android Authority team managed to activate a couple of toggles after an APK teardown to the AICore app. The toggles are “Enable AICore Persistent” and “Enable on-device GenAI features.” Both are available from Settings > Developer Options > AICore Settings. According to the report, both are expected to be disabled by default on the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8a.

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Activating the developer options on Android is not particularly difficult. You just have to tap seven times on “Build number” from your device settings. However, it is not something that the vast majority of people usually do. If Gemini Nano is really hidden behind this menu on the Pixel 8 and 8a, many may not even know about its existence.

The toggle would also reach the Pixel 8 Pro for more control options

If the rumor is true, Google’s decision would clash a bit with its current strategy. The company seeks to ensure that the majority of people can access AI-powered tools. So, it wouldn’t make sense to hide access to Gemini Nano. A possible reason would be unstable performance due to hardware limitations, something they said when they announced that the Pixel 8 would not get Nano. It’s noteworthy that the Pixel 8 Pro has 12GB of RAM, while the Pixel 8 and 8a have 8GB.

On the bright side, the new toggle would also allow more freedom of action for users over AI processing on their devices. After all, the toggle would also come to the Pixel 8 Pro, which would allow you to disable Gemini Nano if you wish. That said, this could possibly result in the loss of some features. Also in slower processing for others by always having to resort to the cloud.

Toggles to enable Gemini Nano. Source: Android Authority

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John Smith

My John Smith is a seasoned technology writer with a passion for unraveling the complexities of the digital world. With a background in computer science and a keen interest in emerging trends, John has become a sought-after voice in translating intricate technological concepts into accessible and engaging articles.

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