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Macs just got a huge AI boost

The ChatGPT desktop app open in a window next to some code.

We’re all waiting for Apple’s big push into AI, but Macs just got their own boost of AI capabilities thanks to OpenAI. As part of its big spring update, OpenAI announced that its ChatGPT Mac desktop app would soon launch with some AI capabilities that are eerily similar to Microsoft’s ambitions with Copilot.

Living in a browser, ChatGPT doesn’t have context of anything else happening on your computer. But with a desktop app, the chatbot can have access to other things on the screen. In the demo, it opened the desktop app alongside another piece of software. Not unlike Copilot, ChatGPT could be asked what else was on the screen. This makes ChatGPT a bit more capable and contextually aware.

It’s worth mentioning that as of now, this desktop app will only be available on the Mac, presumably because Windows already has Copilot.

Copilot, of course, takes things further with the Copilot Pro suite, which has been integrated into many of Microsoft’s first-party apps, whether that’s Edge, Word, or PowerPoint. While ChatGPT can’t do that, its ability to interact with other things on the screen makes it far more powerful. Add in the announcement around the updated GTP-4o model that will be accessible for free, and you have a significant boost in the AI capabilities of the Mac as a platform.

The announcement comes just a week after the launch of the M4 chip in the iPad Pro. Apple claims the new neural engine in the M4 is more powerful than the NPUs available in the current Windows AI PCs. While the M4 isn’t on Macs yet, Apple is clearly interested in investing more in on-device AI hardware in the future.

Of course, this is only the beginning for AI on Macs. Rumor has it that Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) next month will be focusing primarily on AI, and that AI-related updates to macOS will be take the spotlight. Reports by Bloomberg say that Apple is nearing a deal with OpenAI on ChatGPT integration, but we’re yet to see the fruit of these talks just yet.

The ChatGPT Mac app will be available starting today to ChatGPT Plus subscribers, but it will be opening up to a larger launch “in the coming weeks.”

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Luke Larsen
Luke Larsen is the Senior editor of computing, managing all content covering laptops, monitors, PC hardware, Macs, and more.
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