Now Available for iPhones: ChatGPT App

Clones have surfaced in the five months since release by OpenAI
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 18, 2023 4:55 PM CDT
OpenAI Releases iPhone Version of ChatGPT
The OpenAI logo is seen on a mobile phone in front of a computer screen displaying output from ChatGPT last month in Boston.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

ChatGPT is now a smartphone app, which could be good news for people who like to use the artificial intelligence chatbot and bad news for all the clone apps that have tried to profit off the technology. The free app became available on iPhones in the US on Thursday and will later be coming to Android phones. Unlike with the web version, you can also ask it questions using your voice with the app. The company that makes it, OpenAI, said it will remain ad-free but "syncs your history across devices." A blog post announcing the new app, which is described in the App Store as the "official app" by OpenAI, said, "We're starting our rollout in the US and will expand to additional countries in the coming weeks."

It's been more than five months since OpenAI released ChatGPT to the public, sparking excitement and alarm at its ability to generate convincingly human-like essays, poems, form letters, and conversational answers to almost any question. But the San Francisco startup never seemed to be in a hurry to get it onto phones—where most people access the internet. "We're not trying to get people to use it more and more," OpenAI CEO Sam Altman told US senators this week in a hearing over how to regulate AI systems such as those built by his company. But the delay in getting the product on phones helped fuel a rise of clones built on similar technology, some of which the security firm Sophos described as "fleeceware" in a report this week because they push unsuspecting users toward enrolling in a free trial that converts into a recurring subscription, or use intrusive advertising techniques.

Another privacy researcher, Simon Migliano, said the official ChatGPT app might eventually starve similar-sounding apps of new users, but that could take a while because many of those apps were given names deliberately intended to confuse people into thinking they already have the official app. They were also "hyper-optimized" to rank highly in Apple's App Store search results, said Migliano, head of research at "For many of those who have already downloaded a clone, it's likely they will simply stick with the ChatGPT apps they already have and continue to have their personal data harvested and sold," Migliano said.

(More ChatGPT stories.)

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