Will ‘Hey Google’ ever become ‘Hey Gemini’ | Phones

Google Gemini Android 5.jpg

My reservations about Google calling all of its AI features “Gemini” remain, but most users seem to like the branding change. One thing I’ve seen people speculate about is a “Hey Gemini” hotword in the future.


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“Hey Google” – and “Ok Google” before that – was a strategic branding choice for the company. It was never “Hey Assistant” because people’s primary relationship is supposed to be with Google rather than any one product. This strategy has shades of how “Google” is the de facto verb for searching the web and ingrained into the modern lexicon. Hey Google was an attempt to continue that legacy and ubiquity to voice searches.

That previous approach is why I was so surprised Google decided to elevate “Gemini” this much. (The other reason is that I think Google is pigeonholing itself if the model approach/naming ever changes.)  Historically, Google names its products after the primary function, like Search, Gmail, Drive, Docs, Calendar, Tasks, Chat, Home, TV, Messages, News, Photos, Translate, and Wallet.

The big exceptions – Chrome, Android, and YouTube – to that naming scheme are rare, with the latter two being acquisitions.

Gemini does not naturally convey a product or action. (It could if more people became aware that it’s Latin for twin and Gemini gained more agent-like capabilities.) This means Google has to do a lot of advertising and awareness raising, with Gemini being…

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