OpenAI is releasing a ChatGPT app for Mac first, well ahead of Windows

Posted:
in Mac Software edited May 13

OpenAI is debuting its own app for ChatGPT generative text for macOS users, and it will be released very shortly after the release event is over.

ChatGPT logo centered on a green background
ChatGPT is in the App Store now



To date, ChatGPT has been available for Mac through third party apps. That is about to change.

In its series of Monday announcements, the company declared that it will release a first-party Mac app on Monday. This will make the service constantly available to macOS users.

A ChatGPT-generated bar graph displaying major Roman Empire building projects by several emperors on a computer screen.
Example of ChatGPT's interface for Mac



The app includes a "Voice Mode" that utilizes the new GPT-4o model's audio features when they are fully deployed.

Paid subscribers can get the macOS app on May 13. It will eventually come to free GPT users in the next few weeks. A Windows version has been promised to arrive at some point in 2024.

The release doesn't appear to be related to a reported deal that is developing between Apple and OpenAI. A report on Friday claimed that a deal between the pair is close -- but not yet finished.

Beyond that deal, there has also been considerable discussion about a deal with Google. And, Apple is said to be working on Ajax, an LLM that can cover many different functions that Siri can theoretically perform.

With Ajax, Apple is expected to offer text summarization analyzing whether contacts are involved, and providing more intelligent results to Spotlight.

Beyond generative AI, Apple is also working on summaritive applications. We broke news of a similar technology that is expected to be included system-wide to assist in summarizing voice notes, and other audio sources. This too is expected to be on-device.

Updated May 13 1:43 PM ET - updated with release timing, and the lack of a Windows version.



Read on AppleInsider

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    What will you be able to do with the app that you can’t in a browser window?
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 24
    mpantonempantone Posts: 2,101member
    What will you be able to do with the app that you can’t in a browser window?
    After reading the posts by OpenAI (linked in the article above) it appears the new desktop app will have wider awareness of things happening on your computer, beyond the confines of a web browser. The example provided by OpenAI showed ChatGPT writing a document. We'll see in the upcoming days if that's the tip of the iceberg. 

    Presumably this could expand to tasks such as photo, audio, and video editing, composing e-mails, maybe sending text messages. I wouldn't expect version 1.0 to the last version. It would seem like more functionality is on the way.

    However the usage cases and tasks that ChatGPT 3.5 currently handle will expand. I expect deeper integration when iOS 18 and macOS 15 release this fall.

    It would be an error to expect that whatever people are doing with ChatGPT right now will be the only things they will ever do with AI. This is still very much in its infancy and it is moving incredibly fast primarily for enterprise usage cases but this will trickle very quickly to consumer usage.

    I expect much more with WWDC next month. Undoubtedly Apple will have APIs for much of this for developers to use whether it be harnessing OpenAI's technologies or Apple's in-house AI technologies.

    Remember when Apple puts something like a Neural Engine core on a semiconductor it's really about 70% software and 30% hardware. The software is coming. You can't change the hardware on an Apple device but year after year we've seen iOS/macOS/iPadOS, etc. add new functionality to existing devices.

    Moreoever much of what Chat-GPT's functionality comes from cloud-based AI servers doing the heavy lifting. That means there can be new functions and usages without upgrading the client device. I don't if you've used any cloud services but GeForce NOW is an example: Nvidia periodically upgrades the hardware in their datacenters to improve graphics capabilities.

    Just like the Internet it would be foolish to expect AI technology to be fully developed and instantly deployed over the course of a few weeks. Like Rome the Internet wasn't built in a day.

    I look forward to trying ChatGPT on my Mac, hopefully it will run on slightly older versions of macOS. I'm running nine months behind and I'll install Sonoma next month. However when I start, I'll create a new non-admin user account (a local account not registered with iCloud/AppleID) and run ChatGPT from there. There is no chance in hell I'd run ChatGPT on my real personal account in the beginning. We already know OpenAI trains its AI models using content that it does not ask permission from the copyright holders.
    edited May 13 muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 24
    SerqetrySerqetry Posts: 8member
    Still can't download it...

    It's not in the App Store.  But if it was, you'd never be able to find it.
    Go ahead and search for "chatgpt" in the App Store.  Lol.
    The walled garden is full of weeds.

    edited May 13 williamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 24
    ad0niramad0niram Posts: 2member
    Weird because open ai is part owned by Microsoft. You’d think Mac would come later.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 24
    alandailalandail Posts: 757member
    ad0niram said:
    Weird because open ai is part owned by Microsoft. You’d think Mac would come later.
    It’s likely doing the voice to text on device to reduce latency, so need the neural net processing in Apple’s chips. It only works on the M series Mac’s.
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 24
    michelb76michelb76 Posts: 652member
    alandail said:
    ad0niram said:
    Weird because open ai is part owned by Microsoft. You’d think Mac would come later.
    It’s likely doing the voice to text on device to reduce latency, so need the neural net processing in Apple’s chips. It only works on the M series Mac’s.
    It's not. It's just site wrapper in swift. And it doesn't have all the features of the web version even.  It can't access my screen or do anything that the browser version can't.
    If this was uploaded to the App Store it would have been refused.
    gatorguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 24
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,360member
    ad0niram said:
    Weird because open ai is part owned by Microsoft. You’d think Mac would come later.
    I would assume there's been a significant donation to them from Apple. 
  • Reply 8 of 24
    mpantonempantone Posts: 2,101member
    OpenAI CTO Mirati said that they were bringing the ChatGPT desktop app to Macs first because "that's where the users are." Apparently more people at OpenAI use Macs than Windows machines.

    My belief is that the primary target audience for the initial rolloff of this tool is actually programmers. The desktop app can see everything on the desktop once the user has given this approval. This could mean the ChatGPT app would be able to view anything in like an Xcode window and be able to interact without requiring the user to feed questions and lines of code into a web browser.

    The timing of yesterday's OpenAI announcement plus the subsequent rollout ("next few weeks") is curious. With Apple WWDC less than one month away, this would give developers on Xcode some time to play with the new tools before the WWDC sessions. While the publicly facing marketing brings up consumer usage scenarios, it's very likely -- just like Apple's first AVP ads -- that ChatGTP for Mac desktop is really aimed at developers at this stage.

    Consumer usage cases will eventually materialize but the people who will use generative AI the best at the beginning will actually be other programmers.

    I suspect a week after WWDC has passed we will have a better idea of where generative AI stands in mid-2024.
    edited May 14 watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 24
    ctt_zhctt_zh Posts: 83member
    ad0niram said:
    Weird because open ai is part owned by Microsoft. You’d think Mac would come later.
    I think Microsoft is probably far more interested in baking this tech into their MS branded Copilot tools, rather than having a separate app under a non-MS brand name. Regarding reading / reacting to what is on the Windows desktop, Microsoft will likely want its own MS365 office Copilots  / GitHub Copilot to work with email / office documents / programming code etc..
    edited May 14 watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 24
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,065member
    Serqetry said:
    Still can't download it...

    It's not in the App Store.  But if it was, you'd never be able to find it.
    Go ahead and search for "chatgpt" in the App Store.  Lol.
    The walled garden is full of weeds.


    Try these sites there is no walled garden.....Apple has a developers site setup for the latest releases, also there is plenty of help from third party sites. The Apple Store isn't the place to look and probably never will be.

    https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=40140675 Hacker News
    https://github.com/apple/corenet
    https://huggingface.co/apple/OpenELM
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bp2eev21Qfo
    edited May 14
  • Reply 11 of 24
    mpantonempantone Posts: 2,101member
    ctt_zh said:
    ad0niram said:
    Weird because open ai is part owned by Microsoft. You’d think Mac would come later.
    I think Microsoft is probably far more interested in baking this tech into their MS branded Copilot tools, rather than having a separate app under a non-MS brand name. Regarding reading / reacting to what is on the Windows desktop, Microsoft will likely want its own MS365 office Copilots  / GitHub Copilot to work with email / office documents / programming code etc..
    That is likely the case. Again I'm willing to guess that Microsoft's initial target audience will be programmers using Visual Studio rather than consumers. Sure, Copilot could help with a lot of Office 365 tasks but the people who will best harness generative AI initially will be programmers.

    I'm not familiar with Microsoft's development environment to know if there's a separate developer ecosystem for Azure but if there is, I'd also wager that their own in-house AI will show up in those tools sooner rather than later.

    As a major investor in OpenAI Microsoft has a vested interest in seeing the former succeed. For their own branding purposes they will push Copilot. It's possible they could integrate some OpenAI technology underneath the hood but it's unlikely they will want to slap a ChatGPT logo on a product with a Microsoft name.

    So far Apple has shown no aspirations to give AI a marketable identity beyond Siri. They would rather bury AI capabilities and just let it be part of the operating system. In the end, that's probably the best approach for consumers. Joe Consumer really doesn't want to know if any given task is using CPU cores, GPU cores, ML cores, RT cores, media engine cores, whatever. It just needs to do a good job. That's what Apple has done ever since they debuted the Neural Engine with the iPhone X/iPhone 8 series.

    For Apple, it's Center Stage not Center Stage with ML or Center Stage with AI even if the software uses machine learning. They focus on the functions not the underlying technology behind it. This is not new for Apple. There are decades of customer-facing bland release notes that really prove this philosophy. Technical detail is for WWDC sessions and developer documentation.
    edited May 14 watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 24
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,065member

    mpantone said:
    OpenAI CTO Mirati said that they were bringing the ChatGPT desktop app to Macs first because "that's where the users are." Apparently more people at OpenAI use Macs than Windows machines.

    My belief is that the primary target audience for the initial rolloff of this tool is actually programmers. The desktop app can see everything on the desktop once the user has given this approval. This could mean the ChatGPT app would be able to view anything in like an Xcode window and be able to interact without requiring the user to feed questions and lines of code into a web browser.

    The timing of yesterday's OpenAI announcement plus the subsequent rollout ("next few weeks") is curious. With Apple WWDC less than one month away, this would give developers on Xcode some time to play with the new tools before the WWDC sessions. While the publicly facing marketing brings up consumer usage scenarios, it's very likely -- just like Apple's first AVP ads -- that ChatGTP for Mac desktop is really aimed at developers at this stage.

    Consumer usage cases will eventually materialize but the people who will use generative AI the best at the beginning will actually be other programmers.

    I suspect a week after WWDC has passed we will have a better idea of where generative AI stands in mid-2024.

    Apple Silicon UMA memory/bandwidth plays a small part, the next Mac M4 Ultra Studio, and the MacBook Pro M4 Max will be beasts for development particularly for very smart people between 16-25 coming up in this relatively new area.

    I don't think Apple is behind (whatever that means) they seem to have the combo of hardware and software that can be very useable to many smart young people who have a interest in this field of computing.

    What is really good is that appears Apple is building the bridge/support software (ecosystem) behind the scenes for developers to use and it also appears they are not wasting time leveraging their hardware to do it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bp2eev21Qfo Good YouTube channel if you are starting out or just want to learn want the big deal is.
    edited May 14 williamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 24
    mpantonempantone Posts: 2,101member
    danox said:


    I don't think Apple is behind (whatever that means) they seem to have the combo of hardware and software that can be very useable to many smart young people who have a interest in this field of computing.

    What is really good is that appears Apple is building the bridge/support software (ecosystem) behind the scenes for developers to use and it also appears they are not wasting time leveraging their hardware to do it.

    Some people say these systems are 30% hardware and 70% software. I tend to agree with this. As we know Apple themselves see themselves primarily as a software company whose software runs best on their proprietary hardware.

    We've seen this over 15+ years now of smartphone software history. Apple's iOS App Store crushes Google's Android app store in terms of quality software despite the larger Android audience and the fact that many Samsung Galaxy phones have better hardware specs on paper. This has been going on since the early days. I remember reading an interview with the mobile game studio Gameloft (makers of the popular Asphalt series): they said they made 10x more from the iOS App Store than the Android store.

    An even more blatant example is the videogame console business. While Xbox Series X has the best technical specs, it is by far the worst platform of the three. With their wimpy Switch Nintendo is crushing both Sony and Microsoft because of software.

    For the very first time, I might tune in to today's Google I/O keynote. It will be interesting to see how they position themselves for the next year, what sort of tools they will give to their developers. I will wager a buffalo nickel that generative AI will be mentioned at least once.

     :) 

    I'm not a programmer myself but someday if generative AI tools make programming a fairly mundane task, I might just try it out sort of like planting some herbs in pots rather than starting a farm.
    edited May 14 watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 24
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 4,270member
    Regarding programmers and AI tools, a few weeks ago we got a company-wide notice not to use any AI-generated code in our projects until further notice. I assume this is because of questions regarding how "exposed" our IP is if we use AI tools, as well as how to legally cover ourselves if we use AI-generated code for commercial purposes.

    I am sure CoPilot will make its way to Visual Studio and I am equally sure that we won't be using it in the near future, despite being impressed with the few coding examples I have seen from ChatGPT. It still is a legal quagmire.
  • Reply 15 of 24
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,360member
    At launch, the ChatGPT Mac app allows manually capturing a screenshot or uploading a file that allows ChatGPT to comment and answer questions about.  In the near future, you’ll be able to click a button that gives the app access to anything and everything on your display the entire time the app is active. If you type it or view it Chat GPT will know it. The Mac, iOS and iPad apps will all have the feature. 
    edited May 15
  • Reply 16 of 24
    dinoonedinoone Posts: 74member
    I bet this new OpenAI app will be set to require the latest Apple silicon iterations, despite not being an Edge AI deployment. A clever push for widespread Mac and iPhone hardware upgrade. That could be the real deal behind the Apple-OpenAI agreement ;)
    edited May 15
  • Reply 17 of 24
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,065member
    dinoone said:
    I bet this new OpenAI app will be set to require the latest Apple silicon iterations, despite not being an Edge AI deployment. A clever push for widespread Mac and iPhone hardware upgrade. That could be the real deal behind the Apple-OpenAI agreement ;)

    The real deal was Apple is behind the other tech companies according to the tech/financial media but turns out they are not. Apparently Apple can deploy across a wide range of Apple devices that were made from 2020 on. Nice to have Apple Silicon and LiDAR built in to deploy AI (ML learning) accessibility features to the public.....
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 24
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,778member
    gatorguy said:
    ad0niram said:
    Weird because open ai is part owned by Microsoft. You’d think Mac would come later.
    I would assume there's been a significant donation to them from Apple. 
    Or the other way around.  It aint free!  I am not sure how it works, but it is on Apple's App Store and a subscription system, so does MS / OpenAI pay 30% to Apple?  I'll stick with Bard for now which I am sure will please you :)
    edited May 17
  • Reply 19 of 24
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,778member
    I see it is trained on MacOS troubleshooting. I also see it is another subscription service, folks.

    "As an AI trained specifically for Mac-related tasks, I am optimized to provide the most relevant and accurate information regarding Mac products, features, troubleshooting tips, and more. While both Chat GPT-4 and I share similar underlying technology, I am tailored to cater specifically to Mac-related queries and provide more contextually relevant responses for Mac users. 

    In addition to answering questions and providing guidance on Mac-related topics, I can also assist you with tasks such as setting up your Mac, troubleshooting common issues, recommending software or accessories, explaining macOS features, guiding you through system preferences, and much more. Just let me know how I can help you today!"

  • Reply 20 of 24
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,360member
    MacPro said:
    I see it is trained on MacOS troubleshooting. I also see it is another subscription service, folks.

    "As an AI trained specifically for Mac-related tasks, I am optimized to provide the most relevant and accurate information regarding Mac products, features, troubleshooting tips, and more. While both Chat GPT-4 and I share similar underlying technology, I am tailored to cater specifically to Mac-related queries and provide more contextually relevant responses for Mac users. 

    In addition to answering questions and providing guidance on Mac-related topics, I can also assist you with tasks such as setting up your Mac, troubleshooting common issues, recommending software or accessories, explaining macOS features, guiding you through system preferences, and much more. Just let me know how I can help you today!"

    I thought Apple was using it's own Ajax GenAI for that? 
    Thanks for updating everyone though. The presumption had been ChatGPT would be used more extensively in this initial Mac rollout. :)
    edited May 17
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