Microsoft launches standalone Copilot app on Android

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Microsoft launches standalone Copilot app on Android
Source: Google Play Store

It looks like Microsoft gifted many Android users this year with a standalone build of its Copilot A.I. chat application.

And it kind of also seems like Microsoft isn't quite sure just yet where its artificial intelligence platform, Copilot, will make its home. Currently, you can chat with the application over on its standalone webpage as well as on your Windows desktop, if you have the latest and greatest system updates that is.

And now, almost out of left field, you can also take the chat application with you on the go with the latest Android Copilot app.

So far, it seems like the news hasn't quite hit the masses just yet as downloads sit around 5k+. Though that will most definitely pick up in the coming weeks as news and awareness spreads across the internet.

I've gone ahead and installed it and took it for a test run and so far, I have more questions than answers.

For starters, the UI/UX is essentially the same as the one found in the Android Bing application (if you use Bing as your search engine). You can select a pre-written prompt, or you can write your own and you can also toggle on or off whether you would like to use GPT-4 for the model.

The benefit here over something like ChatGPT, is that it's essentially free to use the GPT-4 version, and currently only Plus subscribers are able to use that version of the model over on ChatGPT, at least for the time being.

Whether there are any limitations to the number of prompts allowed in the mobile app version is yet to be seen however. After some back and forth with the app model, I didn't notice any such limitations, but further testing is needed in that regard.

Outside of that, the experience is also pretty identical to the web version as well. You can use the app to generate images, provide your images for analysis and even leverage your voice for prompting.

Is it a worthy competitor to the ChatGPT mobile application? Well, it is definitely still missing a few features that ChatGPT includes out of the box, such as the conversation models and the more advanced Turbo model. It also still has the inherent issues that we see with pretty much every A.I. chat application, mainly the speed. It definitely takes some time to generate a full response, and if you're using GPT-4, it's almost too long for our short attention spans.

The UI also needs a tad bit of work, as getting to your chat history isn't really intuitive and at the forefront like it is on ChatGPT. Not that Microsoft is trying to become that in any way. It seems like Copilot is more trying to find its home as an improved search engine, more so than a chat companion that you can have philosophical arguments with.

Hopefully Microsoft continues to refine and add features in the coming months as so far, ChatGPT doesn't really have much in terms of competition when it comes to usability and adoption.

Walter Guevara is a software engineer, startup founder and currently teaches programming for a coding bootcamp. He is currently building things that don't yet exist.


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