Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Emerging Tech

Google rebrands Bard AI as Gemini

Article Image
Tech giant Google has renamed its chatbot Bard as Gemini and released a dedicated Gemini mobile app with a paid-for AI subscription service.

To access the AI platform, Android users can download a new dedicated Android app for Gemini, while iPhone users can use Gemini within the Google app on iOS.

The tech giant has also added Gemini to Google Assistant, which means that users will be able to have voice conversations with the AI tool.

"Google's Gemini changes are a first step to building a true AI assistant, for Google, Gemini is a shift in how we think about the state-of-the-art technology and the entire ecosystem," said Sissie Hsiao, Gemini Experiences and Google Assistant VP, said during a virtual press briefing.

Google said Gemini is available to users in more than 150 countries and territories, including South Africa, but is restricted to the English language for now.

The firm said it plans to expand language offerings to include Japanese and Korean soon, as well as other languages, but was not clear on whether any African languages would be included in future.

Gemini subscriptions

Google customers in the US will pay $19.99 per month to access Gemini Advanced, which includes a more powerful Ultra 1.0 AI model, Google explained.

From next week, South Africans can access the service for 430 South African rand ($22.75).

Gemini is available to users in more than 150 countries and territories, but is restricted to the English language for now.   (Source: Google)
Gemini is available to users in more than 150 countries and territories, but is restricted to the English language for now.
(Source: Google)

For that price, subscribers will receive 2TB of cloud storage, and they will soon gain access to Gemini in Gmail and Google's productivity suite.

"Google One subscribers who pay for the AI subscription will also have access to Gemini's assistant capabilities in Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Slides and Meet," Hsiao added.

Google's African AI strategy

Google's Gemini rebrand and app offerings underscore the tech giant's plans to invest more in AI assistants in Africa.

The launch as a recent Google study found that South Africans were showing more interest in AI, with Google searches related to AI topics increasing by 370% in 2023.

That survey found that searches for AI reached an all-time high last year in SA and grew 650% over the last five years.

Google's managing director for Africa, Alex Okosi, recently spoke to Connecting Africa about Google's AI strategy in Africa including its AI-powered search and how local businesses can harness the potential of AI.

In August 2023, the company launched a startup accelerator program for Africa, aimed specifically at AI startups looking to use AI to solve local challenges.

Follow Connecting Africa on our new X account @connect__africa to get the latest telecoms and tech news across Africa.

In 2021, Google pledged to invest $1 billion over five years to support Africa's digital transformation through a range of initiatives.

Related posts:

*Top image source: Freepik

Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub


Ilara Health aims to improve quality of care in Kenya

Kenyan healthtech startup Ilara Health aspires to improve the quality of care in the country's clinics by providing equipment financing and digitizing facilities with its software.


Orange opens digital center in Guinea-Bissau

Pan-African operator Orange has opened an Orange Digital Center (ODC) in Guinea-Bissau.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Follow us on X

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Upcoming events

Cyber Revolution Summit
August 9, 2024
Gaborone, Botswana
Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 12-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Africa Tech Perspectives


Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.


The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.


Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Guest Perspectives


Leadership Lessons: The importance of mentorship for career growth

By Nollie Maoto

Nollie Maoto, First Rand Group's compliance chief data and analytics officer and Africa Tech Festival Leadership Council member, reflects on the importance of mentorship for career growth for African women in data analytics.


Omdia View: May 2024

By Omdia Analysts

May 2024's telecoms highlights in the Middle East and Africa included African 5G subscriptions surpassing 5 million, growth from SpaceX's satellite Internet service Starlink, and a major fiber partnership in the Middle East and North Africa.

More Guest Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up
Tag id test-002