Google is already leading the charge when it comes to AI-focused phones, with the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro having more AI features than most handsets – and it sounds like the Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 Pro could take another big step forward.
According to a report in The Information (via Phone Arena), Google is working on a new AI-powered assistant called Pixie, which will – at least initially – be exclusive to Pixel devices, and may launch alongside the Google Pixel 9.
Notably, you might not have to buy a Pixel 9 or Pixel 9 Pro to get access to Pixie, with the report saying simply that it’s exclusive to Pixel devices, and that Google wants to bring AI features – which may or may not include this assistant – to its lower-end phones and the Pixel Watch line too.
So at the very least, recent handsets like the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro might get Pixie, and it sounds like Google intends to brings various AI tools to as many of its devices as possible.
Powerful and personalized
As for what exactly Pixie is, it’s reportedly powered by the Google Gemini AI model, and could “evolve into a far more personalized version of the Google Assistant.” It would also apparently be able to perform “complex and multimodal tasks, such as suggesting directions to the closest store where someone can buy a product they have photographed.”
It’s unclear if Pixie will eventually come to non-Google devices, but it sounds like it’s set to replace, or be an upgraded version of, Google Assistant on Pixel devices. So the main difference as a user, beyond its enhanced skills, might simply be that you’ll use ‘Pixie’ as the wake word.
Interestingly, it also sounds like this is separate to Google Assistant with Bard, which is also an AI-upgrade for Google Assistant and is expected to launch sooner, and not just for Pixel devices.
So it could be that Pixie is an upgraded version of Assistant with Bard, but that’s unclear for now. Either way, it looks like 2024 is shaping up be the year of AI assistants on phones, as an AI version of Siri is also rumored for a 2024 launch.
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James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.