The artificial intelligence boom shows no signs of slowing down, and OpenAI today announced that it is releasing an Android version of its popular ChatGPT chatbot next week. This AI sidekick will now be available 24/7 in your pocket if you wield an Android phone—just as it has been for iOS users since May.
ChatGPT took the world by storm with its ability to generate coherent, thoughtful responses to natural language prompts. Starting next week, Android users will get a chance to ask it to explain quantum physics or compose a haiku on the go. Pre-registrations are open right now via the Google Play Store.
When OpenAI released a ChatGPT app for the iPhone in May, it promised that Android users will get theirs soon. Now, the company has announced that ChatGPT for Android is rolling out to users sometime next week. Moreover, its Google Play listing is already up, and users can pre-register to get it as soon as it becomes available.
It’s unclear if the app will initially only be available in the US like the iPhone app, but I was able to pre-order it from Asia. OpenAI expanded the iOS app’s reach to more regions just a few days after it was released, so the Android app will most likely be accessible in other countries soon even if it does launch only in the US.
People can already access ChatGPT on Android through a browser, but the interface, while not exactly difficult to navigate, isn’t ideal for mobile devices. A dedicated app means an interface optimized for mobile, as well as features tailored for users on the platform. iOS users, for instance, got support for Siri and Shortcuts in June. They can create a ChatGPT prompt in Shortcuts and save it as a link to send to friends, and they can ask Siri to fire up the app or create those Shortcuts, among other things.
This release coincides with Google’s announcement of its own Bard chatbot and other tech giants venturing into the AI space. Startups like Anthropic have also emerged, offering chatbot assistants that surpass the limits set by OpenAI’s paid version of ChatGPT. However, OpenAI’s chatbot saw a decrease in traffic this month for the first time since its launch.
By launching native Android and iOS apps, OpenAI is directly competing with Microsoft’s Bing Chat, which also utilizes OpenAI’s GPT-4 technology. This expansion reflects the increasing adoption of AI as a business tool, with applications in various fields such as writing, coding, and religious services. The societal impact of this AI boom raises concerns about privacy and bias, necessitating stronger oversight.