ChatGPT’s app for iPhone makes sense as chatbot finally connects to the internet - Hindustan Times
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ChatGPT’s app for iPhone makes sense as chatbot finally connects to the internet

May 19, 2023 10:40 AM IST

The new ChatGPT app for iPhones rolls out in just the US for now, but OpenAI promises more countries will see it on the App Store in the coming weeks

OpenAI has launched the first smartphone app for the ChatGPT bot, and it’s for the Apple iPhone. Alongside, there is a promise that an Android app is “coming soon”. The timing sits perfectly, in a way, because the app arrives at a time when ChatGPT is getting a crucial update that rolls out web browsing integration and plug-ins, which allows ChatGPT Plus users (at a $20 per month subscription) access to the internet for potentially richer responses to queries.

A chatbot app for Android phones is also in the works. (Image: OpenAI)
A chatbot app for Android phones is also in the works. (Image: OpenAI)

Before you get all worked up (and understandably so) and search for the ChatGPT app, note that its availability thus far is only for the US. For now. “We’re starting our roll out in the US and will expand to additional countries in the coming weeks,” OpenAI said in an official statement.

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This should stop many iPhone and Android users (in due course of time) from signing up for the burgeoning range of third-party smartphone apps which often promise access to the ChatGPT bot – these are mostly fake apps, and best avoided, for the sake of your data and privacy.

OpenAI had previously not hinted that work was in progress for apps for iPhone and Android. But this makes sense, considering the popularity of the chatbot. Between November last year, when it was made available to the general public, and January this year, it is believed to have clocked 100 million users already.

A GPT-4 powered ChatGPT chatbot mobile app had to happen at some point. Microsoft has seamlessly integrated the Bing AI chatbot within the Bing browser app across devices, including iPhone, Android phones, Windows and Mac. Google, which unlocked doors to the Bard AI chatbot last week, has already confirmed that a Bard widget for Android phones is arriving soon.

OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman appeared before the US Congress this week, opining that powerful AI tools will need regulation, including licensing and testing requirements for AI models, as the underliers.

The highlights of the iOS app include the fact that it is free to use and there is no mandatory subscription for mobile apps, it’ll sync your history across devices (web and mobile) and integrates Whisper which is OpenAI’s open-source speech-recognition system for enabling voice input. ChatGPT Plus subscribers will get the extra layer of GPT-4’s exclusives, including early access to features and faster response times for queries.

As for easing the worries of Android phone users, OpenAI says, “Android users, you’re next! ChatGPT will be coming to your devices soon.”

Also Read:Apple restricts use of OpenAI’s ChatGPT for employees

Since earlier this month, ChatGPT Plus users have gained access to the internet to answer queries which will likely include relevant information and latest data. That said, if anyone was using the Bing AI chatbot already, that was in a ChatGPT with access to the internet – OpenAI’s chatbot is the foundation for Bing’s chatbot. In a way, ChatGPT’s tryst with real-time information on the internet isn’t new, but the responses that ChatGPT and Bing AI provide, have a different tone and focus. Bing’s more focused on search-esque responses, while ChatGPT can be more conversational.

What doesn’t change between ChatGPT on the web and the iPhone app (this will also apply to Android) is the information that is provided as a response to user queries. The risk of misinformation, confusing responses and the need for you to double-check important data, don’t change.

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