Google Bard got off to a rocky start with many missing features, such as the support for plugins, something which OpenAI’s ChatGPT offers. Luckily, the Bard AI has gotten better ever since its launch (Link1, Link2), and it’s increasingly likely that the trend will continue, with Google adding more functionality to it. One of the features coming to the Bard AI is support for extensions, and they come sooner than you think.
At Google I/O 2023, Google announced that it’s working on extension support for Bard, but we haven’t heard anything from Google since then. We may soon, though. Folks over at 9to5google have unearthed the UI of what looks to be an “early preview” of the Bard’s “Extensions” capability. The extensions are not currently working as they should, though. However, the leak seems to suggest that Google is closer than ever to launching a preview of the Extensions feature for Bard AI.
The leaked UI also suggests that the Bard AI will have as many as nine extensions available at launch, including Instacart, Kayak, Google Maps, Google Flights, Google Hotels, OpenTable, Zillow, YouTube, and Redfin.
Just like how plugins enhance the capabilities of ChatGPT, Extensions will do the same to Bard AI. You’ll be able to cross-check a piece of information given by Bard with the help of an extension to be absolutely sure about something. They can also find and book restaurants, which is what OpenTable and Google Hotels do.
While Bard users are ready to welcome extensions, the overall experience may not be as good as that of ChatGPT. The reason for that is some notable names such as Wikipedia, Expedia, and Zapier are missing from the list of extensions expected to be available at launch. However, Google could turn the table by making extensions available without users needing to get a subscription, unlike ChatGPT.