Google Bard – the generative AI the search giant launched following the success of Microsoft’s Bing Chat – might soon be coming to your Google Pixel smartphone via a home screen widget.
Microsoft and Google are engaged in an AI search engine battle, and with Microsoft having taken an early lead – Bing Chat is available on PC and mobile via an app, and is generally performing better than Bard – Google is keen to catch up.
According to 9to5Google (opens in new tab), code found in the Android app files teases the arrival of a home screen widget for Bard – though it’s currently unclear exactly how the widget will function. It could be a new standalone icon, or it could be incorporated into the existing Google Search app’s widget; we also don’t know if the Bard widget will offer all the same services as the browser version, but it should at least offer Pixel smartphone users an easier way to access the Google AI.
That said, there’s no guarantee that this code means we’ll see a Google Bard widget in the near future, or even at all. But with Google I/O 2023 coming soon, and Bard likely to feature heavily at that event, it’s possible that we’ll learn more about this leaked widget then.
Exclusive to Pixel
One other aspect to this leak is that Bard is currently set to be exclusive to Pixel phones, including the Google Pixel 6, Google Pixel 7, and probably the Google Pixel Fold, which Google just announced. So if you own one of the best Android phones that isn’t a Pixel, you’ll likely be unable to access the Bard widget straight away.
This wouldn’t be the first time Google has made its own services exclusive to its smartphones. The now-shuttered Google Stadia was initially only playable on mobile if you had a Pixel phone – a factor that may not have helped its early popularity, as Pixel phones weren’t around in huge numbers then.
Hopefully, Bard won’t end up like Stadia – being unceremoniously canceled when the company gets bored of funding it – but we’ll have to wait and see.
Looking to try out other AI bots? Here are some interesting ChatGPT alternatives you can take for a spin right now.