The June Google Pixel update brings Gemini AI to cheaper phones

Google’s latest feature update for Pixel devices is a big ask for people who want to use AI technology on cheaper phones, people who constantly lose their phones, and photographers who want a little more control.

However, on those devices with slightly lower specs, you will have to go to Developer Options to enable them. In an interview on the Made by Google podcast, Google Devices & Services Software vice president Seang Chau described the switch as a choice made to limit it to people who understand the “potential user experience impact” of running an AI model on a device with less memory available to support features such as Recorder Summary and Smart Reply.

Summary created by Gemini Nano in the Recorder app.
Image: Google

If you’re using a Pixel 8 Pro or other device with Gemini Nano enabled in developer settings, you’ll also have access to “more detailed downloadable summaries of recorded calls.” Other Pixel 8 family-exclusive features in this set of updates include the availability of the Find My Device update, which can locate your phone even when it’s turned off or the battery has been discharged for “at least 23 hours,” and support for the Display Port Output via USB port – C if you want to see your phone’s interface on a bigger screen.

Some features are also available on older, cheaper Pixel phones, like a new shortcut in the call log that makes it easier to do a reverse phone number lookup and try to figure out who called. It will be available on Pixel Fold, as well as Pixel 6 and newer phones.

On Pixel 6 and later and Pixel Fold devices, you can recognize the “best moment” in an HDR Plus photo. However, you’ll need a more expensive Pixel to take advantage of the ability to manually select which camera lens you want to use when taking a photo, which will apply to the Pixel Fold as well as the Pro versions of the Pixel 6, 7, and 8 phones.