Google Pixel 9 could offer its own version of Apple’s Genmoji

 Pixel 9 render.
Credit: TT Technology / YouTube

It appears Google is working on a new feature that could challenge Apple's Genmojis feature by allowing users to use AI to generate stickers and emojis on the upcoming Pixel 9 or Pixel 9 Pro phones.

This news comes from Mishaal Rahman from Android Authority, who reports Google is working on the new feature in Android 15 Beta 3 which may be dubbed "Creative Assistant". Interestingly, that same package name indicates it will likely be a Pixel-exclusive app, which could mean it's a headline feature for the Pixel 9 series upon launch, and hopefully appear on older models like the Pixel 8 or Pixel 8 Pro as an update.

So far we don’t know exactly what the feature will do, but certain lines of code give us some idea of what it might include. The Creative Assistant app isn't present in the beta, but references are made to it in other apps. Case in point, the Markup app suggests the implementation of a "remix" button that will launch an activity in Creative Assistant. Rahman theorizes that you will likely be able to create a sticker using generative AI and paste it on top of a screenshot, or any other image you're editing.

Pixel Markup app remix button
Pixel Markup app remix button

However, one question that remains is if the Creative app will be capable of generating these images on-device or whether it'll require cloud input. But it's worth noting that the upgraded Tensor G4 chip likely to feature in the Pixel 9 combined with Gemini Nano would make sticker generation relatively easy considering their smaller size and resolution.

Mishaal sees the Creative Assistant app as a natural expansion of the Gboard app, which includes the Emoji kitchen. This feature allowed users to combine emojis and, as such, it wouldn't be a stretch to imagine the Creative Assistant offering generative features to create new Emojis. The question of whether it can compete with Apple's Genmoji featured at WWDC is more complicated.

There is plenty to be excited about in the Pixel 9 series, and the possibility of AI-exclusive features could be enough to compel customers to try them over other Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S24. However, it would be disappointing if the feature was only available on the flagship phone. So far we know Genmoji will allow users to quickly generate emojis in the messenger app, including using the memojis of themselves and the person they are speaking to. Hopefully, Google will allow something similar.

If this prospect has pushed you further into wanting Google's next smartphone then check out our hubs for the Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 Pro for all the news and rumors as we hear them.

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