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OpenAI launches free ChatGPT app for iOS

OpenAI launches free ChatGPT app for iOS


An Android app is coming ‘soon.’

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An image of OpenAI’s logo, which looks like a stylized and symmetrical braid.
Image: OpenAI

OpenAI has launched an iOS app for ChatGPT, promising that an Android version is coming “soon.” The app is free to use, syncs chat history with the web, and features voice input, supported by OpenAI’s open-source speech recognition model Whisper. The app works on both iPhones and iPads and can be downloaded from the App Store here. OpenAI says it’s rolling out the app in the US first and will expand to other countries “in the coming weeks.”

OpenAI didn’t previously hint that a mobile app was coming, but it makes sense given the incredible popularity of ChatGPT. The AI chatbot launched last November but rocketed in use. Some outside estimates suggest the app attracted 100 million users by January this year, though OpenAI has never confirmed these figures.

A screenshot of the ChatGPT app homescreen.
The welcome screen for the ChatGPT app warns users not to trust the system’s answers or share sensitive information.
Image: The Verge

The app’s launch is interesting, considering OpenAI’s somewhat ambivalent approach to positioning ChatGPT in the market. Although the chatbot launched as an experiment, it rapidly found a consumer audience who use the bot for everything from cheating on college essays to business applications. In February, OpenAI launched a premium subscription for the app, ChatGPT Plus, which offers priority access and responses generated using the company’s latest language model, GPT-4. It costs $20 a month.

To date, the best way to access OpenAI’s language models on mobile has been to use Microsoft’s Bing app, which offers access to the company’s GPT-4-powered chatbot. An official app from ChatGPT will likely attract some of these users away from Microsoft, which has been using access to its chatbot as a way to lure people toward Bing and Edge. The launch of an official ChatGPT should also, hopefully, stop people from signing up for the countless spam and fake apps that purport to offer access to the chatbot on mobile.

Of course, ChatGPT has the same issues on mobile as it does on the web. These include the bot’s tendency to fabricate information with complete confidence, and privacy fears. OpenAI only recently gave users the option to make conversations private, and the app’s homescreen (as seen above) still warns users not to share “sensitive info” on the app.