Forget Sora, Runway is the AI video maker coming to blow your mind

Artificial intelligence-powered video maker Runway has officially launched its new Gen-3 Alpha model after teasing its debut a few weeks ago. The Gen-3 Alpha video creator offers major upgrades in creating hyper-realistic videos from user prompts. It's a significant advancement over the Gen-2 model released early last year. 

Runway's Gen-3 Alpha is aimed at a range of content creators, including marketing and advertising groups. The startup claims to outdo any competition when it comes to handling complex transitions, as well as key-framing and human characters with expressive faces. The model was trained on a large video and image dataset annotated with descriptive captions, enabling it to generate highly realistic video clips. As of this writing, the company is not revealing the sources of its video and image datasets.

The new model is accessible to all users signed up on the RunwayML platform, but unlike Gen-1 and Gen-2, Gen-3 Alpha is not free. Users must upgrade to a paid plan, with prices starting at $ 12 per month per editor. This move suggests Runway is ready to professionalize its products after having the chance to refine them, thanks to all of the people playing with the free models. 

Initially, Gen-3 Alpha will power Runway's text-to-video mode, allowing users to create videos using natural language prompts. In the coming days, the model's capabilities will expand to include image-to-video and video-to-video modes. Additionally, Gen-3 Alpha will integrate with Runway's control features, such as Motion Brush, Advanced Camera Controls, and Director Mode.

Runway stated that Gen-3 Alpha is only the first in a new line of models built for large-scale multimodal training. The end goal is what the company calls “General World Models,” which will be capable of representing and simulating a wide range of real-world situations and interactions.

AI Video Race

The immediate question is whether Runway's advancements can meet or exceed what OpenAI is doing with its attention-grabbing Sora model. While Sora promises one-minute-long videos, Runway's Gen-3 Alpha currently supports video clips that are only up to 10 seconds long. Despite this limitation, Runway is betting on Gen-3 Alpha's speed and quality to set it apart from Sora, at least until it can augment the model as they have planned, making it capable of producing longer videos. 

The race isn't just about Sora. Stability AI, Pika, Luma Labs, and others are all eager to claim the title of best AI video creator. As the competition heats up, Runway's release of Gen-3 Alpha is a strategic move to assert a leading position in the market.

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Windows 11 has never been so popular – but is a fresh surge of installations coming from a place of love or mere tolerance?

Windows 11 is creeping up on its three-year anniversary since launch, and the OS has apparently hit an all-time high for users – almost 30% of all Windows PCs now run Windows 11, at least according to one analytics firm.

That may not seem like a lot – frankly, it isn’t – but it’s at least a marked improvement in recent times, where Windows 11’s adoption has actually slightly dropped, and this is certainly a positive sign compared to the cold reception that the operating system initially received.

Neowin flagged that Statcounter’s most recent monthly report shows Windows 11 at 29.7% of market share, with Windows 10 still currently enjoying a large majority of 66.1%. 

Normally, when a new operating system drops, it’s widely adopted. Still, if we’re celebrating a high of 30% nearly three years on from release, that’s obviously not a great indication that Windows 11 is being welcomed with open arms – despite all its extra perks and AI features, which are continuously being added.

That begs the question: Why are so many people reluctant to move to Windows 11? For starters, the more demanding system requirements that rule out older CPUs and machines without TPM are a hard barrier for adoption when it comes to some PCs.

Windows 11 laptop showing Copilot

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Furthermore, since its launch, Windows 11 has suffered more than its fair share of poor updates and buggy behavior. Plus, the OS is slowly turning into a conduit for ads that you can’t escape in some cases. Also, there’s just not a lot of difference between Windows 10 and Windows 11 for people who aren’t really that fussed about AI or Copilot (and Copilot is in Windows 10 anyway, even if all of Microsoft’s various AI features aren’t). 

Could this small victory for Windows 11 – which represents a monthly uptick of just over 2% in Statcounter’s figures – simply be the result of people buying new machines? You’d be hard-pressed to find a new Windows desktop PC or laptop that isn’t running Windows 11, and downgrading your system is just not worth the effort for many (or may not even be possible). Especially given that Windows 10 isn’t far off its End of Life anyway (that rolls around in October 2025).

It might be the case that we’ll have to wait until Windows 12 eventually debuts and hope that it’s a big enough improvement to get Windows 10 users to jump ship and skip Windows 11 – although, again, system requirements are likely to prove an insurmountable hurdle for some older PCs.

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The year so far in AR/VR: the 5 biggest announcements and what’s coming next

We're six months into 2024, and in the first half of the year we've been treated to a whirlwind of augmented and virtual reality tech goodness.

The star of the show was the Apple Vision Pro launch, but we’ve also seen Meta open up its Horizon OS to its former VR rivals, and Xreal launched new glasses and a spatial computing accessory that finally feel like the AR future we’ve been promised.

The year's far from over though, with hardware announcements expected from Meta and (if we're lucky) Samsung in the coming months – so let's dive into the year so far in AR/VR, and take a look at what we might see in the back half of 2024.

AR/VR in 2024: what have been the biggest announcements so far this year?

Lance Ulanoff staring at Apple Vision Pro in its case

The Apple Vision Pro came, but did it conquer? (Image credit: Future/Lance Ulanoff)

We can’t talk about AR and VR tech in 2024 without talking about the Apple Vision Pro – the most anticipated XR product launch maybe ever. Unfortunately for Apple, while its headset made a major splash when it launched in February – with our Apple Vision Pro review awarding it four-and-a-half-stars – the hype has since petered out, and the upcoming global launch on July 12 for Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the UK doesn’t seem to have reignited major interest in the $ 3,499 / £3,499 / AU$ 5,999 device.

But the VR space was given a major shake up this year, even if not by Apple. That’s because Meta announced that its Horizon OS would be coming to third-party headsets – starting with devices from ASUS, Lenovo and Xbox. This is super exciting as the Horizon OS is the best standalone VR platform thanks to its intuitive UI, massive software library, and regular updates. 

Horizon OS going third-party should see the launch of a wider range of headset designs – focusing in distinct niches like gaming, productivity, exercise, and more – that aren’t held back by lackluster operating systems; which was the case for headsets like the HTC Vive XR Elite)

Though it wasn’t all good news from Meta as it cut support for the original Oculus Quest headset. April 30 was the last day developers could send app updates to the half-a-decade-old VR device, and August will mark the final month Meta will send out “critical bug fixes and security patches” to the device – so if you want to keep using your Quest library it might finally be time to upgrade to the Meta Quest 3 (which we’d recommend anyway so that you can enjoy upcoming exclusive like Batman: Arkham Shadow).

Lastly, in the AR space specifically, Xreal announced the Xreal Air 2 Ultra and a handy Xreal Beam Pro accessory – that’s basically a spatial computing ready smartphone. We haven’t yet had a chance to try out the Ultra, but its been billed as a more affordable alternative to the Vision Pro, complete with in-built cameras so you can interact with virtual elements with your hands (something you couldn’t do with previous models such as the regular Xreal Air 2).

AR/VR in 2024: what launches are we expecting during the rest of the year?

Girl wearing Meta Quest 3 headset interacting with a jungle playset

Will we see a new Meta Quest 3 this year? Probably (Image credit: Meta)

One headset that we’ll almost certainly see later this year is the Meta Quest 3S. This so-called affordable Quest 3 is believed to pack the Quest 3’s brain (a Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chipset) in a bulky Quest 2-like body – as well as adopting a few other downgrades.

Meta hasn’t said much officially, but it has leaked the device twice. One leak involved its CTO accidentally showcasing it in the background of a Threads video, while the other saw the Quest 3S appearing accidentally on some Meta Quest Store pages as a compatible headset for some software. So this all but guarantees it’ll show up at Meta Connect 2024, which we know is scheduled for September 25 – 26.

Meta also dropped a surprise teased its first pair of AR glasses at the end of a blog post earlier this year, but we don’t expect they’ll launch in 2024 – with a leaked internal roadmap shared by  The Verge back in 2023 suggesting they’ll land in 2027, though a pair of precursor smart glasses are expected in 2025 to update its AI-powered Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses product line.

Getting back to 2024 releases, we might also see the highly-anticipated Samsung XR/VR headset. Samsung and Google announced its existence over a year ago, but haven’t had much to say on it since – with rumors suggesting they delayed its launch following reactions to the Apple Vision Pro. Hopefully that means it wasn’t pushed out of 2024 and into 2025 or beyond, but we’ll have to wait and see.

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Microsoft admits recent Windows 10 updates messed up the taskbar for some users – but a fix is coming

Microsoft has acknowledged that there’s a bug introduced by recent Windows 10 updates that can break a piece of taskbar functionality – but the good news is a fix is in the works.

The problem is evident for some Windows 10 users when right clicking on a pinned app on the taskbar, when instead of seeing the usual context-sensitive jump list menu – that allows access to common features, like opening recent files – they get something entirely useless.

What Windows 10 produces instead is the ‘Open with…’ menu (that facilitates choosing which app you want to open a file with). That’s not only unhelpful but also confusing, frankly, though Windows Latest, which spotted this, notes that the bug only affects a small set of Windows 10 users – and it only happens with some apps, not all of them.

So, this isn’t something you’re likely to encounter, but if you do, it’s a rather annoying issue. Furthermore, it affects a wide range of recent updates for Windows 10 – not just the latest June cumulative update, but also the May cumulative update (and that month’s optional update), and the optional update for April too.

Windows Latest reports that Microsoft has pinpointed a fix and the company has indicated that the resolution will be included in a future update for Window 10 22H2.

Analysis: A quick fix, with any luck

Hopefully, with the fix identified, implementing it shouldn’t be a difficult task and we might see the cure in next month’s cumulative update. Indeed, if that’s the case, we’ll actually get it before the July update, as it will be in the optional update for June, which is a preview of the former. That should be here in not much more than a week, in fact – though there’s no guarantee the fix won’t take longer, of course.

In case you missed it, what’s interesting with Windows 10 is that Microsoft is not just fixing and patching the OS, but is actively developing it again, adding new features and recently resurrecting the Beta channel to test them. That’s despite the End of Life date for Windows 10 coming ever closer – the OS runs out of support in October 2025, in case you’d forgotten. So it won’t be that long before you need to start exploring the options you have in that regard.

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‘Apple Intelligence’ is reportedly coming to your iPhone in iOS 18 – here’s what to expect

We’ve learned from Tim Cook’s comments and countless reports that Apple is working on AI features for all of its devices and platforms. And we’re almost certain that the technology giant will unveil it during the opening keynote of WWDC 2024

Now, though, we have an idea of how Apple will be branding the AI features – and no, it won’t be artificial intelligence or “Absolutely Incredible,” as Greg Joswiak, Apple’s SVP of Marketing, teased in a post on X (formerly Twitter)

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, it will be called “Apple Intelligence,” which certainly has a nice ring to it. It’ll apparently be the central location to opt-in to the new features built into iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS 15. As predicted, it will likely be all about integrating AI functionality into current apps and services, ones that someone could use daily and provide value. 

As Gurman notes, “the company is less focused on whiz-bang technology — like image and video generation — and instead concentrating on features with broad appeal.”

WWDC 2024

(Image credit: Apple)

These will likely become summarization powers for navigating a crowded inbox or getting the gist of a webpage on the fly. Similar to Samsung’s Galaxy AI or Google’s Gemini feature set, they will extend to summarizing notes, automatically transcribing voice recordings, and even providing a simple digest of notifications.

In Messages, suggested replies should get an upgrade, and Siri will seemingly get the equivalent of a new brain, hopefully making it much more useful. The upgrade could integrate a large-language model to let the virtual assistant control functions and features within apps and multi-step queries. Bloomberg’s latest reporting also notes that Apple will partner with OpenAI and that its tools will be used to power some features.

The report notes that “Apple Intelligence” features will be entirely opt-in and not turned on by default – additionally, they may be labeled as “a beta version.” This hint suggests that Apple plans to improve them over time and potentially add additional features. 

It seems you’ll need a Mac or iPad with an M-Series chip or newer. For the iPhone, it will reportedly be supported on forthcoming models introduced in 2024 as well as the iPhone 15 Pro or 15 Pro Max. The A15 Bionic or later will likely be the requirement, but it will be interesting to see if it’s needed for all features or just specific elements. 

Apple iPad Pro 13-inch (2024)

(Image credit: Future)

Like other services, the processing will either be on a device or cloud-based computing; the latter would be a change for Apple, which always focuses on users' privacy and security. To that point, the report notes that WWDC will focus on what “precautions” Apple is taking, such as “security features on the chips that it’s using in its data centers,” and that user profiles based on customer data will not be built.

With either processing route, it’s clear that privacy will be front and center, and Apple will use it to differentiate itself from competitors. It could also help push more folks to actually opt-in to Apple Intelligence, and that, paired with actually useful features that are viewed as helpful, could help to turn the tide here. After all, useful upgrades to applications and tools we use daily can help speed through workflows and make tasks easier.

We’ll have to wait and see what Apple unveils at WWDC 2024’s kickoff and how it positions AI, err, Apple Intelligence. You can see the five things we expect Apple to unveil, including a round-up of all of our news leading up to the kick-off at 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm BST on June 10 (3am AEST, June 11).

If you’ve been waiting for a Calculator app for iPad, it seems this is the year. VisionOS 2.0 will also bring more environments to Vision Pro, and we'll also apparently get new Mac, iPhone, and iPad wallpapers, a dedicated app for managing passwords, and the ability to create emojis on the fly.

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Microsoft’s AI Copilot is coming to your messaging apps, starting with Telegram

Whether you love or hate Microsoft’s Copilot AI, there could be no escaping it soon as it has recently been spotted crawling around messaging apps, specifically Telegram. Microsoft seems to have sneakily introduced Copilot into the messaging app, allowing Telegram users to experience it firsthand. 

According to Windows Latest, the move is part of a new project from Microsoft dubbed ‘copilot-for-social’, which is an initiative to bring generative AI to social media apps. The Copilot bot seems to currently work in Telegram in the US and UK (and possibly other regions). It’s available for free, although it requires your phone number to work.

Telegraph and Copilot

(Image credit: Future)

You can find the bot by typing in ‘@CopilotOfficialBot’ into Telegram’s search bar, whereupon a new message thread will open and Copilot will give you the rundown of everything it can do. Keep in mind that there is a query limit of 30 questions a day, but given that you don’t need to create a separate account and it’s all completely free, that’s not a bad setup. 

Copilot appears to work similarly to how you use it on a PC. The AI can also be used on the desktop, phone and web versions of Telegram. 

Great, I hate it 

From what we understand the reason why you need to verify your phone number to enable Copilot in Telegram is to stop people within the EU from gaining access (likely due to data regulations and stricter laws in that region). We’re sure in time that EU users will have the chance to try it out, but as of now, they’re going to have to wait.

Copilot may be exciting news to some, but others may not like the idea of an AI having access to their messaging app (there could be trust issues for some Telegram users, we’d imagine). Furthermore, this does give me flashbacks to Snapchat’s AI chatbot, a rather bizarre affair that died as quickly as it popped up.

It seems like generative AI chatbots are becoming harder and harder to escape, as Telegram surely will not be the end of Copilot’s mobile integration plans. Microsoft could also push for integration with WhatsApp, Messenger and more, which I would find unbearable frankly. 

Hopefully, Microsoft will stick with the non-invasive setup that Copilot seems to have in Telegram, where you must actively seek it out, rather than having the AI shoved into your messages by default somehow.

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Bad news, Windows 11 users: ads are coming to the Start menu, but there’s something you can do about it

Microsoft seems intent on pushing its luck with its users, as it’s just released an optional Windows 11 update (KB5036980) which adds yet more adverts to the Start Menu – a move that hasn’t gone down at all well with many people.

The update is available for users running Windows 11 version 23H2 and 22H2 in Windows Update, and it’s also available to download directly from its Update Catalog.

If you’d like to install the update using Windows Update, follow these steps:

1. Go to Settings > Windows Update.

2. Click ‘Check for updates.’

3. After your system detects the availability of the update, click ‘Download & Install.’

The patch should appear with the full name “2024-04 Cumulative Update for Windows 11 Version 23H2 for x64-based Systems (KB5036980).”

For the moment, this is an optional update that will advance Windows 11 23H2 to Build 22631.3527 and Windows 11 22H2 to Build 22621.3527. This release is the last patch in Microsoft’s April 2024 update cycle, and if you forgo the optional update, you will get what’s included in a mandatory update on May 2024’ ‘Patch Tuesday’ – a monthly event where Microsoft releases a variety of software updates for its products.

A man looking thoughtfully at a computer in an office

(Image credit: Shutterstock/dotshock)

The most talked about part of the update

This optional update has already proved controversial because it brings ads to the Start Menu – seemingly for all users. Windows Latest writes that Windows 11 users can expect adverts to begin appearing  at the tail end of May. 

A screenshot of the optional update shared by Windows Latest shows the Start Menu featuring a new ad for a third-party app, the Opera browser, neatly tucked in the Recommended section. There’s a little disclaimer underneath that says “Promoted” and an Opera tagline, “Browse safely.” Apparently, a similar ad for another service, Password1 Manager, was also spotted.

You might already be feeling uneasy about this, but there is some reassuring news. If you dislike seeing the ads, you can turn them off by doing the following: 

1. Go to Settings > Personalization > Start.

2. Turn off “Show recommendations for tips, app promotions, and more” by switching the toggle off. “

Microsoft logo outside building

(Image credit: gguy / Shutterstock)

Questioning Microsoft's strategy

This optional update also adds app recommendations to the Start menu, and this section will include ‘promoted’ apps that are essentially more adverts. This ‘Recommended’ section is supposed to show the best apps from the Microsoft Store that might enhance users’ experience. 

The optional update will also include a new taskbar widget icon that will no longer appear pixelated and more options for lock screen management, giving users greater control over lock screen widgets in particular.

I’m not too fond of this move from Microsoft, but I guess it’s not as egregious as it could be. That’s not me trying to encourage Microsoft to push its luck further, and I think this move could already cause a lot of bad will with users, but at least you can turn it off.

Microsoft is also testing putting Xbox Game Pass ads in the Settings app, and some observers have called the approach billboard-like. Features like the Start menu and the Settings app are key parts of Windows 11, and having to see ads in important places like that can feel intrusive and disruptive. I personally hope Microsoft considers reversing its decision on this, as I don’t like that Windows 11 is becoming just one more aspect of my life where I can’t escape advertisements – and I’m sure I’m not alone. 


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Meta Quest’s software is coming to new Asus ROG and Lenovo headsets

It’s a big day for Quest users. Meta has announced it’s giving third-party companies open access to its headsets' operating system to expand the technology. The tech giant wants developers to take the OS, expand into other frontiers, and accomplish two main goals: give consumers more choice in the virtual reality gaming market and give developers a chance to reach a wider audience.

Among this first batch of partners, some are already working on a Quest device. First off, ASUS’ ROG (Republic of Gamers) is said to be developing “an all-new performance gaming headset.” Lenovo’s on the list too and they’re seemingly working on three individual models: one for productivity, one for education, and one for entertainment. 

This past December, Xbox Cloud Gaming landed on Quest headsets as a beta bringing a wave of new games to the hardware. Microsoft is teaming up with Meta again “to create a limited-edition Meta Quest [headset], inspired by Xbox.” 

New philosophy

Meta is also making several name changes befitting their tech’s transformation. 

The operating system will now be known as Horizon OS. The company’s Meta Quest Store will be renamed the Horizon Store, and the mobile app will eventually be rebranded as the Horizon app. To aid with the transition, third-party devs are set to receive a spatial app framework to bring their software over to Horizon OS or help them create a new product.

With Horizon at the core of this ecosystem, Meta aims to introduce social features that dev teams “can integrate… into their [software]”. They aim to bridge multiple platforms together creating a network existing “across mixed reality, mobile, and desktop devices.” Users will be able to move their avatars, friend groups, and more onto other “virtual spaces”. 

This design philosophy was echoed by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg. In a recent Instagram video, Zuckerberg stated he wants Horizon OS to be an open playground where developers can come in and freely create software rather than a walled garden similar to iOS.  

Breaking down barriers

It’ll be a while until we see any of these headsets launch. Zuckerberg said in his post that “it’s probably going to take a couple of years for these” products to launch. At the moment, Meta is “removing the barriers” between its App Lab and digital storefront allowing devs to publish software on the platform as long as they meet “basic technical and content” guidelines. It’s unknown if there'll be any more limitations apart from requiring third-party companies to use Snapdragon processors.

No word if other tech brands will join in. Zuckerberg says he hopes to see the Horizon Store offer lots of software options from Steam, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and even apps from the Google Play Store – “if they’re up for it.” It seems Google isn’t on board with Horizon OS yet. 

Rumors have been circulating these past several months claiming Google and Samsung are working together on an XR/VR headset. Perhaps the two are ignoring Meta’s calls to focus on their “so-called Apple Vision Pro rival”.

Be sure to check out TechRadar's recommendations for the best VR headsets for 2024.

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Classic PlayStation and Saturn games may be coming to your iPhone next

With the advent of increased third-party support on iOS, video game emulators have rushed to the App Store to fill in the gap. The first bunch has been primarily for old Commodore 64 and GameBoy titles. However, this could soon change as we may see an emulator capable of running Sony PlayStation and Sega Saturn games. The app in question is called Provenance EMU. In an email to news site iMore, project lead Joseph Mattiello said his team is working on launching their software to the App Store.

Provenance, if you’re not familiar, can run titles from a variety of consoles, including famous ones such as the Super Nintendo and more obscure machines. It’s unknown when the emulator will make its debut. Mattiello states they also need to make some quality-of-life fixes first and he wants to “investigate” the new rules. The report doesn’t explain what he’s referring to, but Mattiello may be talking about the recent changes Apple made to the App Review Guidelines. Lines were added in early April stating “developers are responsible for all the software inside their apps”. Plus, emulators need to “comply with all applicable laws”. 


Please note the use of emulators may be in violation of the game developer and publisher terms and conditions as well as applicable intellectual property laws. These will vary so please check these. Emulators should only ever be used with your own purchased game copy. TechRadar does not condone or encourage the illegal downloading of games or actions infringing copyright. 

This could put third-party developers under deep scrutiny by gaming publishers. Nintendo, for example, is not afraid to sic its lawyers after developers it claims are violating the law. Look at what happened with Yuzu

Game emulation currently exists in a legally gray area. Despite this, they have been allowed to exist, but one wrong move could bring the hammer down. So, Mattiello wants to ensure his team won’t be stepping on any landmines at launch. If all goes well, we could see a new era of mobile gaming; one where the titles aren’t just sidescrollers with sprites, but games featuring fleshed-out 3D models and environments.

What to play

We don’t recommend downloading random ROMs of games off the internet. Not only could they violate intellectual property laws, but they can also hold malware. These digital libraries aren’t the most secure. 

So if and when Provenance is released on the App Store, what can people play? At the moment, it seems users will have to try out homebrew games. They’re independently made titles that copy certain graphical styles for emulators. 

iMore recommends PSX Place, a website where hobbyists come together to share their homebrewed PlayStation games. is another great resource. If you ever wanted to play a fan adaptation of Twin Peaks, has one available. For GameBoy-style titles, Homebrew Hub has tons of fan-made projects. Personally, we would love to see publishers like Sony and Nintendo release their games on iOS. That way, people can enjoy the classics without skirting the law.

For those looking to upgrade, check out TechRadar's guide for the best iPhone for 2024.

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Google Gemini AI looks like it’s coming to Android tablets and could coexist with Google Assistant (for now)

Google’s new generative AI model, Gemini, is coming to Android tablets. Gemini AI has been observed running on a Google Pixel Tablet, confirming that Gemini can exist on a device alongside Google Assistant… for the time being, at least. Currently, Google Gemini is available to run on Android phones, and it’s expected that it will eventually replace Google Assistant, Google’s current virtual assistant that’s used for voice commands.

When Gemini is installed on Android phones, users would be prompted to choose between using Gemini and Google Assistant. It’s unknown if this restriction will apply to tablets when Gemini finally arrives for them – though at the moment it appears not. 

Man sitting at a table working on a laptop

(Image credit: Shutterstock/GaudiLab)

A discovery in Google Search's code

The news was brought to us via 9to5Google, which did an in-depth report on the latest beta version (15.12) of the Google Search app in the Google Play Store and discovered it contains code referring to using Gemini AI on a “tablet,” and would offer the following features: 

The code also shows that the Google app will host Gemini AI on tablets, instead of a standalone app that currently exists for Android phones. Google might be planning on a separate Gemini app for tablets and possibly other devices, especially if its plans to phase out Google Assistant are still in place. 

9to5Google also warns that this is still as it’s still a beta version of the Google Search app, Google can still change its mind and not roll out these features.

A woman using an Android phone.

(Image credit: Shutterstock/brizmaker)

Where does Google Assistant stand?

When 9to5Google activated Gemini on a Pixel Tablet, it found that Google Assistant and Gemini would function simultaneously. Gemini for Android tablets is yet to be finalized, so Google might implement a similar restriction that prevents both Gemini and Google Assistant running at the same time on tablets. When both were installed and activated, and the voice command “Hey Google” was used, Google Assistant was brought up instead of Gemini.

This in turn contradicted screenshots of the setup screen showing that Gemini will take precedence over Google Assistant if users choose to use it.

The two digital assistants don’t have the same features yet and we know that the Pixel Tablet was designed to act as a smart display that uses Google Assistant when docked. Because Google Assistant will be used when someone asks Gemini to do something it’s unable to do, we may see the two assistants running in parallel for the time being, until Gemini has all of Google Assistant's capabilities, such as smart home features. 

Meanwhile, Android Authority reports that the Gemini experience on the Pixel Tablet is akin to the Pixel Fold and predicts that Google’s tablets will be the first Android to gain Gemini capabilities. This makes sense, as Google may want to use Gemini exclusivity to encourage more people to buy Pixel tablets in the future. The Android tablet market is a highly competitive one, and advanced AI capabilities may help Pixel tablets stand out.


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