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The free version of ChatGPT just got much more powerful

OpenAI developer using GPT-4o.

While OpenAI continues to add new features to ChatGPT Plus, the free version of ChatGPT has remained relatively stagnant since its release. But not anymore.

One of the best features that’s been exclusive to ChatGPT Plus — custom GPTs — is now available to use for free. The feature is exactly what it sounds like — customized versions of ChatGPT that users can create to fulfill a specific task. You can give them extra knowledge and direct their behavior with custom prompts, all without needing to code.

People have been making GPTs since last year, and, as you can imagine, there’s now a GPT for everything: travel guides, song makers, presentation makers, coloring book generators, logo creators — anything you can think of.

The GPT store advertises the most popular models, making the best custom GPTs easy to find. It also has a featured section and a “By ChatGPT” section full of GPTs made by the OpenAI team.

All of this is available with the free version now — the only limitations are that you can’t make a GPT yourself, and you don’t have access to image generation. This means GPTs like DALL·E won’t work for you.

In addition to custom GPTs, OpenAI announced GPT-4o on May 13, and is already extending a few of its features to users of the free version. One example is sending photos — the new model is so good at understanding images that it can translate a menu just by seeing a picture of it. An example video on the OpenAI website also shows someone sending a photo of a croissant and asking for its nutritional information.

It’s not all about 4o features, though. Paid users have been able to get information from the web for a while, for example, and now free users can too. You’ll also be able to upload files for ChatGPT to summarize, translate, or even analyze. This means that when you send a spreadsheet, you can ask it to analyze a certain element and create a chart with the results. And while you’re chatting away, ChatGPT will be using its memory feature to store snippets of information you share about yourself and use them in future chats.

It’s important to note, however, that many of these features are listed as “limited” for free users, so you will hit a cap at some point. When that happens, you’ll automatically go back to GPT-3.5.

Although it will be limited to paid users at first, in future updates you’ll also be able to video call with ChatGPT and enjoy almost seamless voice chatting — though you will have to put up with its fake laughter.

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Willow Roberts
Willow Roberts is a contributor at Digital Trends, specialising in computing topics. She has a particular interest in Apple…
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