Just yesterday we talked about the official ChatGPT Android app arriving in the Play Store as “coming soon” for anyone interested. While I thought the turnaround on that availbility would happen in the coming week or so, rollout has begun far faster than that. About 30 minutes ago I received a notification on both my phone and my Chromebook that the app was ready to be installed, so I got right to it.
ChatGPT on Chromebooks makes more sense on the web
I can see some benefits of having the ChatGPT app on my phone for quick queries and tasks that won’t require me to open Chrome, navigate to the website, and utilize the web interface for ChatGPT on the smaller screen. It’s a small increase in convenience, but worth it if you leverage the AI chatbot on the go frequently.
For Chromebooks, though, I’m already not impressed with the app. I’m glad it installs just fine on ChromeOS via the Play Store, but I can’t see a reason I’d use it over the simple and straightforward experience of the website. I have the web version pinned on my shelf to open as a window and the entire experience already feels quite app-like on my Chromebook as-is.
The app doesn’t add any native functionality and simple tasks like copy/paste are less simple with the Android app on a Chromebook because they follow the Android protocols for all of those activities. Where I can copy text from ChatGPT on the web just like any other text in a browser, the Android app version requires an awkward long-press of the mouse, choosing to “select text”, followed by another long press to actually grab any results I want to share.
It’s impractical and a bit silly to even consider in light of how well the web version already works on a Chromebook. Either bookmark or save chat.openai.com in Chrome and I promise you’ll have a far better experience with ChatGPT on your Chromebook than you will using the new Android app.
Now, in the future, if these large language AI models can start interacting with features on our devices, I’ll be far more interested in an app that can do those sorts of things. But for now, the ChatGPT app can’t even set an alarm for you, so having the app itself installed on your Chromebook just doesn’t make any sense. Not yet, at least.