Google’s Gemini Nano AI requires high-capacity RAM on smartphones

Google’s Gemini AI was made available on some smartphones via an Android app in early 2024, but surprisingly one of Google’s latest phone models was not on the list of devices compatible with Gemini.

At the MWC event, it was revealed that Gemini Nano cannot be run on the Pixel 8 due to hardware limitations, and now we know that this limitation is related to the device’s low RAM (although Google reversed its initial decision a few days ago).

In an episode of the Made by Google podcast, Sang Chao, vice president of Google’s device software and services unit, said that the Pixel 8 Pro with 12GB of RAM is a great platform for running Gemini Nano.

Apparently, Google has imposed a restriction on running AI on phones with less than 12GB of RAM.

Google has changed its policy slightly. A recent update to the Pixel phone support website states that Gemini Nano will be offered to Pixel 8 users as a Developer Mode option in a future software update.

In another part of the Made by Google podcast, Chao explained that Google wants to run some AI-based features, such as Smart Reply, on the device’s RAM. This means that AI features will permanently occupy a portion of the RAM so that they are always ready to use.

Google says that none of the Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro models currently keep Gemini Nano on RAM, and you will need to enable one of the developer flags to do so.

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