Update as of May 25, 2023:
OpenAI is bringing its ChatGPT app to 11 more countries, including major EU countries such as Germany and France. More countries are expected to follow soon.
Will there be a tipping point where people will start the ChatGPT app instead of Google when they pick up their smartphone to search for something? OpenAI is working hard to get there first.
Original article dated May 18, 2023:
OpenAI begins rolling out its own ChatGPT app on iOS, including voice control via Whisper.
OpenAI’s plans for its own ChatGPT app have been known for some time, and now the company is releasing the first version for iOS. The ChatGPT app is designed to synchronize conversations, be voice controlled, and bring the latest AI models like GPT-4 directly to iOS users via the app.
Like the basic version of ChatGPT, the app is free to use and synchronizes chat history across all of a user’s devices. The app also comes with OpenAI’s Whisper speech recognition model, which is designed to provide reliable voice input. ChatGPT-Plus subscribers also get access to GPT-4, as they do with the desktop version, as well as first access to new features and faster response times.
The ChatGPT iOS app is compatible with:
- Hardware: iPhone 8 or later.
- Software: iPhone iOS 16.1 or later.
- Other devices: iPads in iPhone compatibility mode.
ChatGPT app as Google competition?
OpenAI mentions possible uses for the application:
- Instant answers: Get precise information without sifting through ads or multiple results.
- Tailored advice: Seek guidance on cooking, travel plans, or crafting thoughtful messages.
- Creative inspiration: Generate gift ideas, outline presentations, or write the perfect poem.
- Professional input: Boost productivity with idea feedback, note summarization, and technical topic assistance.
- Learning opportunities: Explore new languages, modern history, and more at your own pace.
The first point in particular makes it clear that OpenAI intends to use the app to compete directly with Google Search – with the plugins and web browsing capabilities currently being rolled out, this is already the case in the browser, and with a widely available app, the user base could grow even further. It can be assumed that OpenAI will make plugins and web browsing available through the app – however, they are not explicitly mentioned in the app description at the moment.
The app is initially available in the U.S. and is expected to be rolled out to other countries in the coming weeks. With user feedback, OpenAI plans to continually improve the features and security of ChatGPT.
ChatGPT for iOS is available in Apple’s App Store, with an Android version coming soon. OpenAI has also released a FAQ for the iOS app.