ChatGPT’s Major Mobile Upgrade: Talk While Multitasking




Smartphone showing ChatGPT app with user multitasking: messaging, browsing, and note-taking icons around.

OpenAI has rolled out a significant update to its ChatGPT mobile app, allowing users to continue voice conversations with the AI while using other apps or even when the screen is off. This enhancement brings ChatGPT closer to being a versatile digital assistant on mobile devices.

Key Takeaways

  • Background Conversations: Users can now chat with ChatGPT while using other apps or when the screen is off.
  • Manual Activation: The feature needs to be manually enabled in the app settings.
  • Upcoming Features: The update is likely in preparation for the launch of GPT-4o Voice, which will offer direct speech-to-speech interaction.

Background Conversations: A New Era of Multitasking

The latest update to the ChatGPT mobile app introduces a feature called Background Conversations. This allows users to continue their voice interactions with ChatGPT even when they switch to other apps or when their phone screen is off. To enable this feature, users need to update their app to the latest version, go into settings, and turn on Background Conversations.

This new capability is a game-changer for multitasking, making ChatGPT more akin to a digital assistant like Siri. Users can now ask questions, get word suggestions, or even seek help with translations while working on other tasks on their phones.

How to Enable Background Conversations

  1. Update the ChatGPT app to the latest version.
  2. Open the app’s settings by tapping your name at the bottom of the sidebar.
  3. Scroll down and switch on Background Conversations.

Real-World Applications

The potential uses for Background Conversations are vast. Here are a few scenarios where this feature can be particularly useful:

  • Work and Productivity: Ask ChatGPT questions, check spelling, or brainstorm ideas while working on a document.
  • Gaming: Get tips and walkthroughs without pausing your game.
  • Travel: Use ChatGPT for translations while navigating with a map app.

Preparing for GPT-4o Voice

This update is likely a precursor to the upcoming GPT-4o Voice, which will offer direct speech-to-speech interaction. Unlike the current system that converts speech to text and back to speech, GPT-4o Voice will enable more natural and faster conversations. This feature will also allow for video sharing and can be interrupted without needing to tap the screen.

The Future of Digital Assistants

The introduction of Background Conversations is a significant step towards making ChatGPT a more integrated and useful digital assistant. With the anticipated launch of GPT-4o Voice, users can expect even more seamless and natural interactions. This update not only enhances the user experience but also sets the stage for future innovations in AI-driven mobile assistance.

As OpenAI continues to improve ChatGPT, the line between traditional digital assistants and AI-driven conversational agents is becoming increasingly blurred. This latest update is a testament to the rapid advancements in AI technology and its growing role in our daily lives.


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