Microsoft releases its Copilot chatbot as a smartphone app. This gives users free access to GPT-4, the most capable language model from OpenAI, and DALL-E 3.
Without any official announcement, Microsoft uploaded a Copilot app to the Android store just before Christmas. The app offers the same functionality as the Bing web app: you can ask the chatbot questions or give it instructions and receive the corresponding text or image in return.
It is also possible to upload images or take pictures with the camera and chat about the image content. Unlike OpenAI’s ChatGPT, the Bing chatbot provides sources for most answers by default – or at least tries to.
According to the chatbot, you can have up to six messages in 60 chats with a Microsoft login. Within a chat, the message limit is 30 messages, after which older messages are deleted. Microsoft’s chatbot cites a “technical limitation that will hopefully be resolved soon.” You can also use the chatbot without a Microsoft login, but text generation will be limited to a few messages.
Microsoft puts GPT-4 front and center
The most interesting thing about the smartphone app is that Microsoft explicitly offers a switch to use GPT-4.
In the desktop version, and previously in Bing Chat, pure GPT-4 usage was hidden behind “Creative” and “Precise” modes. In “Balanced” mode, Microsoft used a mix of LLMs with GPT-4 and its proprietary language models.
When this switch is enabled, the chatbot will automatically switch to “Creative” mode. You can use a menu setting to switch to “Precise” or “Balanced” mode. GPT-4 provides the highest text quality.
Apparently GPT-4 is now so well known as a brand that Microsoft sees it as a unique selling point. The free use of GPT-4 and the DALL-E 3 image generator are also the two biggest advantages of the Copilot app.
Direct access to GPT-4 and DALL-E 3 via OpenAI costs 20 US dollars per month. However, the OpenAI ChatGPT application also offers a chat history, a voice interface, and more.
The Microsoft Copilot app is available for Android here. An iOS version is not yet available, but the iOS Bing Chat app offers the same features. Copilot can be used on the web at copilot.microsoft.com.