Siri’s 11-year reign may be drawing to a close as a new generative AI rival called Perplexity has just landed on the Apple App Store.
Note that Perplexity is not based on ChatGPT and has its own AI. However, it does function in a similar manner to ChatGPT. You ask it a question, like who designed the Golden Gate Bridge, and it’ll churn out a response in a few seconds. From there, you can either type in a follow-up question, use the voice command feature to verbally ask questions, or choose one from the generated selection. Responses can then be shared via a messaging app or social media platform. It’ll even save “your thread history so you can pick up where you left off,” according to the App Store listing. But unlike ChatGPT, Perplexity actually provides the sources it used to generate content. Underneath, you will see citations from Wikipedia, local news sites, and national newspapers like NPR accompanied by a brief piece of text providing context.
To use Perplexity, you will need an iPhone supporting iOS 16 or later to install the app or an M1 Mac sporting macOS 13.0 or later.
As for an Android version, it doesn’t appear the developers behind Perplexity have any plans to make one at the time of this writing. We reached out to the team via the official PerplexityAI Discord channel, but haven’t heard back yet. The closest thing you can do is use the AI through a web browser on your Android device or Windows computer. There’s also a Chrome extension available if you prefer more direct access.
With the introduction of Perplexity on iPhone, you essentially have some form of ChatGPT-like AI on every Apple platform and we don’t mean accessing the generative AI through a web browser. Mac computers have MacGPT, a native app offering quick access on desktops that saw a big update recently. A couple of weeks ago, the Apple Watch got Petey as an easily accessible, on-device assistant to replace Siri.
So we can’t help but wonder what’s cooking behind the scenes at Apple Inc. The company has been suspiciously quiet, allowing the likes of ChatGPT to roam on its platform unfettered as third-party apps. It's unlike Apple to just leave this new trend in the tech industry alone so it must be up to something. The closest indication we currently have is Apple enacting some new rules on its App Store for generative AI. According to a report by CNBC, it recently rejected an update to the BlueMail app due to concerns about the software’s ChatGPT feature not including a filter to protect minors from inappropriate content.
The date for Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference 2023 has been set for June 5. We’re looking forward to seeing what changes, if any, Siri may get. It'll be interesting to see if the long-standing virtual assistant will get a revamp allowing it to go toe-to-toe with its newfound rivals or be thrown out for a brand new AI model.
Until then, be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best virtual assistants for 2023.