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Google Bard drops ‘Assistant’ in possible rebrand

During the Pixel 8 event, “Assistant with Bard” was announced for 2024. Before it launches on Android, Google might be dropping the “Assistant” moniker and rebrand to just “Bard.”

About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.

We’ve already shown off the Assistant with Bard UI and how Google has optimized for mobile. A few weeks ago, the initial set-up process had the following greeting screen: “Ні! I’m Assistant with Bard…”

With Google app 15.2, that friendly introduction has been reworded: “Hi! I’m Bard…”

Old vs. new

As of today, the vast majority of “Assistant with Bard” mentions have been updated to just “Bard.” This very much suggests that Google is no longer calling its next-generation voice offering “Assistant with Bard.” 

Old New
Try Assistant with Bard Try Bard
Assistant with Bard is temporarily unavailable Bard is temporarily unavailable
Assistant with Bard Settings Bard Settings
How conversations improve Assistant with Bard How conversations improve Bard
Learn more about the differences between Assistant versions Learn more about the differences between digital assistants from Google.

Furthermore, the company is directly referring to “Bard” as a “digital assistant” instead of being just another version of Google Assistant.

Additional evidence in support of that is how “classic” is no longer used as a modifier to discuss the old Google Assistant.

Old New
The classic version of Google Assistant that can help you get things done Google Assistant that can help you get things done
Google Assistant (classic) Google Assistant
Classic Assistant features Features powered by Google Assistant

This rebrand elevates “Bard” a significant deal, while greatly diminishing the relevance of Assistant.

In removing several Assistant features last week, Google said it wants to focus on “focus on quality and reliability — ultimately making it easier to use Assistant across devices.” The writing on the wall was that the future of Assistant is Bard. With this possible branding change, what’s next for “Assistant” is not as obvious as it once was.

It’s possible that when Bard becomes more stable and less experimental that the “Google Assistant” name will return in another rebrand, though that would be confusing for end users. However, at launch, this next-generation offering very much seems like it won’t be called “Assistant with Bard.” 

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, from which some APK Insight teardowns benefit.

Kyle Bradshaw contributed to this article.

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