Trying out ChatGPT on iOS

Trying out ChatGPT on iOS: a reader asks…

I’ve been reading about ChatGPT and other new artificial intelligence technologies, and was wondering if you had any thoughts about how I might setup and use it on my iPhone? has been working in the artificial intelligence (AI) field for a long time. As a a leading AI research and deployment company, they released ChatGPT last November and allowed the public to start testing it out for free. Since then they’ve released updates (currently version 4 which is not free to the public). These “chatbots” are of the generative pre-trained transformer (GPT) family of language models.

You start your experience with ChatGPT by creating a free account with – go to and click the Sign Up link at the top-right. Once you have an account you can log in and go to and start writing “prompts”. A prompt is a question or request that you send to the chatbot that will generate a response.

Before you jump in though, I’d suggest you spend a few minutes learning how to construct a good prompt. gives you tips on how to construct a prompt, and there are some examples at

Now to get you started using it on your iPhone, here are three methods:

  • The simplest method is to open your web browser to and log into your account. Write your prompt in the box provided and see what is delivered. This works on iPhone or Android, or any computer or device that uses a web browser. It works on Safari, Chrome, Firefox or Edge or any web browser.
  • A simple but less-satisfying (imo) method is to download a chatbot app that uses ChatGPT, such as AI Chat – Ask Anything (free with limitations, $20/month without). There are dozens of chatbot apps available and more keep popping up every day.
  • Right now, my favorite method is to use your iPhone’s Siri along with the Apple Shortcuts applet. First you need to create an API in your account, and then follow the instructions at to create a shortcut that you can invoke and give prompts. One nice thing about this is that you can invoke it using your voice and Siri, and it will read out the response to you. You can also use it in text mode where you tap-type the query and it displays the text response to you.

I setup that last method on my iPhone and it works pretty well. I also downloaded the AI Chat – Ask Anything app. After quitting the app when it pushed me to the in-app purchase, I opened it again and it started up in the free mode, which works ok, albeit slowly and with shorter answers. Which method you use depends on how easy and simple you want: The first example is the simplest, the second usually involves a fee, and the 3rd is free but requires the most work on your part to set things up.


I should mention that the apps and Yue-Yang method make use of ChatGPT 3.5 turbo, not the latest version GPT-4. There is a waiting list you can sign up to for version GPT-4, but I should warn you that there is a somewhat complicated structure for how much it will cost you, based on usage. Also, you can upgrade your free use of ChatGPT 3.5 Turbo to the ChatGPT Plus service which is $20/month and provides faster and more reliable responses. The free version often gets bogged down and doesn’t always complete requests. I should note that as of this moment in time, OpenAI has paused upgrades to ChatGPT Plus.

Just for fun, I asked my free ChatGPT (this is version 3.5 turbo) “Can you write me an article about how to use ChatGPT on an iPhone?” This is what it said (after many attempts that timed out):

As an AI language model, ChatGPT can be accessed on various devices, including iPhones. In this article, we will walk you through the steps on how to use ChatGPT on your iPhone.

Step 1: Download a compatible messaging app To use ChatGPT on your iPhone, you need to download a messaging app that supports the use of chatbots. Some popular messaging apps that support chatbots include Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Slack. Once you have downloaded and installed the app, proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Add ChatGPT as a contact The next step is to add ChatGPT as a contact in the messaging app you have downloaded. To do this, search for ChatGPT in the app and add it as a contact. Once you have added ChatGPT as a contact, you can begin interacting with it.

Step 3: Start a conversation with ChatGPT To start a conversation with ChatGPT, simply select ChatGPT from your contacts list and send it a message. You can ask ChatGPT any question, and it will respond with an answer. ChatGPT uses natural language processing to understand your questions and provide accurate responses.

Step 4: Continue the conversation Once you receive a response from ChatGPT, you can continue the conversation by asking follow-up questions or providing more information. ChatGPT will use the information you provide to generate a response.

Step 5: End the conversation To end the conversation, simply say goodbye or thank you to ChatGPT. If you want to start a new conversation, you can simply send ChatGPT another message.

In conclusion, using ChatGPT on your iPhone is a straightforward process. You just need to download a compatible messaging app, add ChatGPT as a contact, start a conversation, continue the conversation, and end the conversation. With ChatGPT, you can get quick answers to your questions and have natural language conversations.
Actual ChatGPT response

Well, that was fun – but not all that useful (actual steps are way more complicated). I’ve asked ChatGPT the same question and got a different answer each time. I should mention that ChatGPT is built on a language model that’s more limited than you may think. It’s not tied to the internet, but uses a language model that has limited knowledge of any events that occurred after September 2021.

I should also mention that everybody’s jumping on the AI bandwagon. Google has released their version, called Bard (sign up to the waitlist here). Microsoft is building AI into their Microsoft 365/Office apps and has already built it directly into Bing and the Microsoft Edge browser (look at the top-right corner of Edge for a blue chat bubble icon). Since November 2022 we’ve seen an explosion of AI chatbots and AI functionalities across the internet, and this explosion is just getting started.

And finally, I’ll leave you with what ChatGPT told me is why it’s the best chatbot out there:

ChatGPT is the best chatbot on the internet because it has been trained on a massive amount of diverse data and uses a state-of-the-art language model that allows it to generate human-like responses with high accuracy and fluency.

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