In a move bereft of fanfare, Microsoft has introduced a standalone Copilot app for Android, iOS, and iPad devices.
Operating like OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the Microsoft Copilot app will see users have an AI companion not intertwined with other Microsoft applications and services.
According to Microsoft’s official description on Play Store, Copilot is a “pioneering chat assistant from Microsoft powered by the latest OpenAI models, GPT-4 and DALL·E 3.
“These advanced AI technologies provide fast, complex, and precise responses and the ability to create breathtaking visuals from simple text descriptions. Chat and create all in one place—for free!”
That exclamation mark may be justified, with Microsoft bringing tools that are usually only available to paid users of ChatGPT direct to smartphones for free.
And while it may be dwarfed next to how short a runway ChatGPT needed to get to 100m users, a million downloads in a week for an app that arrived with little marketing shows the appetite for AI in our pockets.
Features and Capabilities
The app’s versatility extends beyond mere text-based interactions, as it can help users draft emails, compose stories or scripts, summarize complex texts, and even create personalized travel itineraries in seconds.
Depending on user preference, input or prompts can be text, audio, or image-based. The app introduces an Image Creator feature that leverages the capabilities of DALL·E 3, where users can do things like generate brand motifs, logo designs, custom backgrounds, and visualize film and video storyboards.
Copilot for Android and iOS mirrors many of the features already available on its desktop counterpart and Bing app. Users can toggle between light and dark themes for a personalized experience. It also allows users to run the app on GPT-3.5 or GPT-4.
The Evolution from Bing Chat to Copilot
The introduction of Copilot on mobile devices follows Microsoft’s rebranding of Bing Chat to Copilot last November. While Bing Chat offers similar functionality, the dedicated Copilot app for mobile devices is more focused and takes a standalone approach to AI-powered conversations and creative tasks.
Before the mobile launch of Copilot, users could access similar features through the Bing Chat functionality within the Bing app. Given the similarities in both brands, speculation looms regarding the potential replacement of the Bing app with the Copilot app, but Microsoft has not provided official clarification on this matter.
Since its quiet debut over the holidays, Copilot has already garnered significant attention, with downloads exceeding 1 million on Android platforms worldwide. This may show a huge demand for advanced AI-powered tools that enhance creativity and productivity on mobile devices.
GPT-4 and DALL·E 3 to Drive Copilot’s Significance
The Copilot app is built on the foundation of OpenAI’s GPT-4 technology – a significant advancement over its predecessor, GPT-3.5.
The decision to offer GPT-4 for free to Copilot users strengthens the app’s appeal, positioning it as a valuable resource for individuals and professionals seeking advanced AI capabilities without the financial barrier presented by GPT-4 on OpenAI’s ChatGPT and other Microsoft Copilot Offerings.
More so, integrating DALL·E 3 in Copilot’s Image Creator feature opens up new frontiers for creativity.
Given these advanced AI integrations in one app, there is a possibility that Copilot on mobile devices will continue to gain traction, evolve with more features, and potentially record huge successes on mobile platforms.
While bringing all these advanced features under one umbrella for free may suit Microsoft’s push to expand its mobile customer base, it leaves the fate of the Bing App hanging in the balance.
In addition, with Copilot offering GPT-4 and DALL·E 3 capabilities for free — capabilities that customers pay for under OpenAI — it is fair to say that OpenAI may be forced to reconsider their strategies as there is a likelihood that customers may want to get these advanced capabilities and features free under Copilot.
Microsoft’s entry into the mobile AI assistant space sends a strong message about its ambitions and aligns with the broader industry trend of integrating AI seamlessly into daily tasks. Copilot’s capabilities and cross-platform accessibility have the potential to reshape how we work and interact with technology on our mobile devices.
It remains to be seen how other players like Google, Meta, and Anthropic will respond and whether Copilot can genuinely live up to its promise of making us more productive and efficient. Regardless, one thing is clear: the landscape of mobile AI is getting more exciting, and the battle for our attention is far from over.