Google Rolled Out Gemini in a Weird Way

Ariel Ariel
2 minute read Mar. 1

This is a single insight from This Week in Apps - AI, Again.. Check out the full article for more insights.


A few weeks ago, Google (finally) jumped into the AI app race after renaming its AI from Bard to Gemini. A much better name if you ask me.

But Google's rollout of Gemini on mobile has been weird... See, Google released a standalone Gemini app for Android but not for iOS. You can still get Gemini on iOS but you'll have to download the Google app for that.

That sounds like Google is hiding Gemini on iOS which is kind of weird.

But! I think Google chose this strategy for a completely different reason which becomes very obvious when you look at downloads.

To understand Google's strategy we first have to look at downloads for its competition, which is currently ChatGPT and Microsoft's Copilot.

According to our App Intelligence, ChatGPT gets about 3.5M new downloads per week from the App Store and Google Play. New entrant Copilot launched strong with a million weekly downloads which declined to about 400K fairly quickly.

With the help of a massive Apple Search Ads campaign, Copilot's downloads are back above a million, but that campaign is one of the biggest and least targeted I've ever seen. According to our Search Ads Insights, the campaign has more than 18K keywords, including popular app names, generic intents, and otherwise useless letter combinations.

Needless to say, don't try this at home unless you have a ton of cash to burn.

The main challenge is that there's a lot of talk about ChatGPT but no talk about Copilot, so it has to be "shoved" in people's faces to get them until there's enough momentum.

If Gemini launched as a standalone app it'd be in the same situation. And we can see by looking at downloads of Gemini on Google Play, where it was launched as a standalone app - and they're very small - averaging 100K downloads per week, according to our estimates.

But! The Google app gets about 2M downloads per week already. Not as big as ChatGPT but much closer than Copilot and without any extra spend. So by putting Gemini into the Google app, they're getting free visibility and millions of downloads.

I initially didn't think this made any sense, but looking at the numbers I changed my mind. It doesn't mean this strategy will make Gemini competitive, but it now has a much better shot.

There is one temporary issue with this strategy...

Attack of the Gemini Clones

According to Explorer, there are already 13 apps on the App Store that have Gemini and AI in their name.

Why? Because there are people who saw Google's announcement and are looking for Gemini in the App Store expecting it to be there. Not enough for Google to beat ChatGPT but enough for smaller developers to feast on.

I'm sure Google considered it and I'm sure the takedown notices are coming, just like they did with ChatGPT last year, but for a short time, Google created a great opportunity for developers who will likely keep those users subscribed even after they rename their app.

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The insights in this report come right out of our App Intelligence platform, which offers access to download and revenue estimates, installed SDKs, and more! Learn more about the tools or schedule a demo with our team to get started.

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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.

Tagged: #ai

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