Recent data has revealed a significant surge in Google searches related to AI in South Africa, with a 370% increase over the last year and a remarkable 650% increase over the past five years. In a new global survey conducted by Google, South African respondents reported that they are already witnessing AI’s impact on how they access information, learn, and work.
In light of this, Google is announcing a series of developments marking the next phase of its Gemini era — introducing new names, new products, and new ways to engage with its most advanced AI capabilities.
Gemini is evolving beyond mere AI models; it now encompasses an entire ecosystem, from the everyday products used by millions of South Africans to the APIs and platforms empowering developers and businesses to innovate.
A new name for Bard
The primary goal of Bard has always been to provide users direct access to Google’s AI models, and Gemini now embodies our most powerful family of models. Consequently, Bard will now be known simply as Gemini.
Gemini — Advanced
Users can already interact with Gemini using our Pro 1.0 model in over 40 languages across more than 230 countries and territories. Now, we’re introducing Gemini Advanced to facilitate seamless collaboration with Google AI’s best.
Gemini Advanced will grant users in over 150 countries and territories access to Ultra 1.0, our largest and most sophisticated state-of-the-art AI model. This model excels at highly complex tasks such as coding, logical reasoning, following intricate instructions, and collaborating on creative projects. Initially available in English, we plan to expand support to more languages over time.
Introducing a new subscription for the Gemini era
Gemini Advanced is included in our new Google One AI Premium Plan, priced at R429.99 per month, with a complimentary two-month trial. This plan offers access to the latest Google AI advancements, along with all the benefits of the existing Google One Premium plan, including 2TB of storage. Additionally, AI Premium subscribers will soon be able to utilize Gemini in Gmail, Docs, Slides, Sheets, and more.
Easily access Gemini on your mobile device
We’re introducing a new mobile experience for Gemini and Gemini Advanced with the Gemini app on Android and in the Google app on iOS, launching initially in English in the US and coming to South Africa in English next week.
With Gemini on your mobile device, you can type, speak, or upload an image for assistance while on the go. Whether it’s snapping a photo of a flat tire for instructions, creating a custom image for a dinner party invitation, or seeking help composing a challenging text message, Gemini aims to be a conversational, multimodal, and helpful AI assistant.
Boldly and responsibly building next-gen AI
We remain committed to a bold and responsible approach to deploying this technology globally. To address issues such as unsafe content or bias, we have incorporated safety measures into our products in accordance with our AI Principles.