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Should you upgrade to Google One AI Premium? Its AI features and pricing explained

 Google Gemini.
Google Gemini.

Google has been busy revamping its AI offerings, renaming Bard to Gemini, pushing out a dedicated Android app, and lots more besides. There's also now a paid tier for Google's generative AI engine for the first time, which means another digital subscription for you to weigh up.

You can read our Google Gemini explained explainer for a broad overview of Google's AI tools. But here we'll be breaking down the Google Gemini Advanced features that come as part of the new Google One AI Premium tier.

We'll be exploring how much this new cloud tier costs, plus all the AI features and benefits it brings, so you can decide whether or not you'd like to sign up. It's been added as one of the Google One plans, so you get some digital storage in the cloud included, too. Here's how Google One AI Premium is shaping up so far...

Google One AI Premium: price and availability

The Google One AI Premium plan is available to buy now and will cost you $19.99 / £18.99 / AU$32.99 a month. Unlike some other Google One plans, you can't pay annually to get a discount on the overall price, but you can cancel whenever you like.

At the time of writing, Google is offering free two-month trials of Google One AI Premium, so you won't have to pay anything for the first two months. You can sign up and compare plans on the Google One site.

Google One AI Premium: features and benefits

First of all, you get 2TB of storage to use across your Google services: Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Photos. If you've been hitting the limits of the free storage plan – a measly 15GB – then that's another reason to upgrade.

You'll notice a variety of other Google One plans are available, offering storage from 2TB to 30TB, but it's only the Google One AI Premium plan that comes with all of the Gemini Advanced features.

Besides the actual storage space, all Google One plans include priority support, 10% back in the Google Store, extra Google Photos editing features (including Magic Eraser), a dark web monitoring service that'll look for any leaks of your personal information, and use of the Google One VPN.

Google Gemini Advanced on the web
Google Gemini Advanced on the web

It's the AI features that you're here for though, and the key part of Google One AI Premium is that you get access to Gemini Advanced: that means the "most capable" version of Google's Gemini model, known as Ultra 1.0. You can think of it a bit like paying for ChatGPT Plus compared to sticking on the free ChatGPT plan.

Google describes Gemini Ultra 1.0 as offering "state-of-the-art performance" that's capable of handling "highly complex tasks" – tasks that can involve text, images, and code. Longer conversations are possible with Gemini Advanced, and it understands context better too. If you want the most powerful AI that Google has to offer, this is it.

Google Gemini app
Google Gemini app

"The largest model Ultra 1.0 is the first to outperform human experts on MMLU (massive multitask language understanding), which uses a combination of 57 subjects — including math, physics, history, law, medicine and ethics — to test knowledge and problem-solving abilities," writes Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

The dedicated Google Gemini app for Android, and the Gemini features built into the Google app for iOS, are available to everyone, whether they pay for a subscription or not – and it's the same with the web interface. However, if you're on the premium plan, you'll get the superior Ultra 1.0 model in all these places.

By the way, a standard 2TB Google One plan – with everything from the photo editing tricks to the VPN, but without the AI – will cost you $9.99 / £7.99 / AU$19.99 a month, so you're effectively paying $10 / £11 / AU$13 for Gemini Advanced.

A laptop on an orange background showing Gmail with Google Gemini
A laptop on an orange background showing Gmail with Google Gemini

Gemini integration with Google's productivity apps – including Gmail, Google Docs, Google Meet, and Google Slides – is going to be "available soon", Google says, and when it does become available, you'll get it as part of a Google One AI Premium plan. It'll give you help in composing your emails, designing your slideshows, and so on.

This is a rebranding of the Duet AI features that Google has previously rolled out for users of its apps, and it's now known as Gemini for Workspace. Whether you're an individual or a business user though, you'll be able to get these integrated AI tools if you sign up for the Google One AI Premium plan.

So there you have it: beyond the standard 2TB Google One plan, the main takeaway is that you get access to the latest and greatest Gemini AI features from Google, and the company is promising that there will be plenty more on the way in the future, too.

Google One AI Premium early verdict

On one hand, Google's free two-month trial of the One AI Premium Plan (which contains Gemini Advanced) feels like a no-brainer for those who want to tinker with some of the most powerful AI tools available right now. As long as you're fairly disciplined about canceling unwanted free trials, of course.

But it's also still very early days for Gemini Advanced. We haven't yet been able to put it through its paces or compare it to the likes of ChatGPT Plus. Its integration with Google's productivity apps is also only "available soon", so it's not yet clear when that will happen.

The Google Gemini logo on a laptop screen that's on an orange background
The Google Gemini logo on a laptop screen that's on an orange background

If you want to deep dive into the performance of Google's latest AI models – including Gemini Advanced – you can read the company's Gemini benchmarking report. Some lucky testers like AI professor Ethan Mollick have also been tinkering with Gemini Advanced for some time after getting advanced access.

The early impressions seem to be that Gemini Advanced is shaping up to be a GPT-4 class AI contender that's capable of competing with ChatGPT Plus for demanding tasks like coding and advanced problem-solving. It also promises to integrate nicely with Google's apps. How well it does that in reality is something we'll have to wait a little while to find out, but that free trial is there for early adopters who want to dive straight in.

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