I've replaced Siri with the ChatGPT AI on my iPhone thanks to this simple shortcut
Opinion: Bye Siri.
Apple's restrictions of the App Store on iPhone are well known, and there have already been a bunch of apps using ChatGPT that have been banned. But after using a workaround to bring the AI knowledge base to iPhone, it's already replaced Siri for me.
The Shortcuts app allows you to create small automation commands that can save you time, such as converting a video to a GIF file, or enabling Low Power Mode on your iPhone when it reaches a certain percentage of battery.
There's a lot of power in this app that allows you to go beyond what Apple offers in its own Shortcuts Gallery - this is where a ChatGPT Shortcut (opens in new tab) comes in.
After creating an OpenAI account (opens in new tab) and copying in an API key to the shortcut, I was quickly launching the AI from my home screen. Instantly I was able to get excellent AI-driven responses from the AI, from simple facts to even complex gaming walkthroughs, helping me with a section of the recent Metroid Prime Remastered edition when playing it over the weekend.
If you want to try it yourself, we've created a handy guide to have ChatGPT on your own iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad.
Finding what you need
Setting everything up felt easy — perhaps too easy in retrospect when you consider how powerful ChatGPT has already become. For example, I typed in a request on how to get the Varia suit in Metroid Prime, and it came back with a step-by-step guide, which led me to easily find it and progress further in the game.
However, when I asked Siri the same question, it came up with a column of web searches relating to my query, a result that I could have got back in 2011 when Siri first debuted with the iPhone 4S.
This isn't restricted to my iPhone. While I could do the same on my Mac as the Shortcuts app is delivering on iPhone by using the desktop MacGPT app, I was more impressed in being able to use ChatGPT on my mobile devices — and that includes Apple Watch. I can speak or swipe in a request and see the result on my wrist, using the same Shortcuts command.
This alone felt like a game changer for me, and while I don't believe that AI is the end-game for chat assistants like Siri, it does showcase how disappointing the results Siri gives in 2023 remain.
AI is a tool, not a replacement for curation
If you look on social platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn, it wouldn't be a surprise to read impressions on how AI is the end of curated content as a whole, and for some, it's the next big thing.
But I take issue with this. These AI platforms are based on millions of human interactions that have been corrected and refined over months and years. There's never going to be a replacement for a human being's imagination, and the same applies to ChatGPT. It's the next step of the search engine. I got the same bewilderment when I looked up something on Google and Ask Jeeves back in 1998 — it's a nifty tool, but still can't hold a candle to a human interaction.
These AI platforms are going to be a sophisticated guide for you, but if someone does attempt to write an essay or a book solely using it, these uses will be restricted pretty quickly, due to the potential plagiarism that could occur from this.
Using ChatGPT on my iPhone proves one thing to me — Apple was already behind with Siri before this AI boom occurred, and now the assistant feels ancient, like the Grandpa Simpson of search assistants.
Instead of reminiscing about wearing an onion on its belt (opens in new tab) in a series of web results, it's giving you disappointing results in a world where I can rely on ChatGPT to help me complete a complicated video game.
Siri doesn’t need AI to be better than ChatGPT, it simply needs more attention by Apple to be refined and made more reliable. Currently, we see new updates announced every June at WWDC, followed by minor updates until the following year for everything that Apple brings out. For Siri, that needs to change, perhaps with an ongoing public-facing features roadmap. A way of being clearer with developers in how the assistant could help with their apps more, beyond Siri Shortcuts, would be a great addition too.
Apple can do far better in this area, but for now, I'm completely happy in using this AI as a shortcut to help me progress further in Metroid Prime. It's the 2023 equivalent of a game guide, and I'm more than happy to use AI for that, rather than expecting it to be JARVIS from the Iron Man films.
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Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.
Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider (opens in new tab)', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.