Home » ChatGPT Desktop App for Mac OS Review: Time to Ditch the Browser?

ChatGPT Desktop App for Mac OS Review: Time to Ditch the Browser?

by Nick Smith
OpenAI Logo with Black Background

Today, we’re sinking our teeth into an in-depth review of the brand-new ChatGPT Desktop app for Mac OS. OpenAI has recently released this app to all free users and paid subscribers, and I couldn’t be more excited about something that most normal people don’t care about. 

As a paid subscriber, I’ve had access for a few weeks now, which means I have plenty of experience with it and have been able to come to a solid conclusion. So, let’s see if this app lives up to the expectations or if it’s just another over-hyped product from tech bros in Silicon Valley.

Oh, and if you’re a Windows user. Well, have fun waiting for your turn until later this year.

First, we’ll crack into the highlights of it.

The Good Stuff About the ChatGPT Desktop App

1. The Quickest Way to Use ChatGPT on Mac

First things first, the ChatGPT Desktop App is the quickest way to access ChatGPT on your computer. Instead of managing multiple browser tabs, you can simply go straight to the app and start chatting. This is a significant time-saver for those who need quick answers. 

No more playing hide-and-seek with your infinite, messy browser tabs filled with disgusting material or opening and reopening the ChatGPT site on your browser. Just keep the app open and you’re good.

2. Quick Launch Bar Magic

Speaking of saving time, the quick launch bar kicks that into overdrive. With it, you can ask questions instantly without navigating through ANY menus. 

To summon the launch bar on a Mac, simply press the Option button and space bar at the same time, and all of a sudden, you have access to whatever information you need. Fast. Also, you can change the shortcut to whatever you’d like.

Close-up of the ChatGPT launch bar with search functionality

For instance, I used the shortcut to pull up the bar, and I was able to quickly ask, “Is Run the Prompts the greatest website in the world?” and ChatGPT responded with high praise for the site. While it didn’t outright say it’s the best, it did acknowledge its…uniqueness.

3. Handy Access to GPTs on a Mac

The quick launch bar also allows you to search for specific GPTs, like our top GPT at the moment (“Digital Marketing Copywriter Pro”), and get instant access. 

Search for GPTs in ChatGPT interface showing Digital Marketing Copywriter Pro GPT

This feature is a major upgrade from the web version, where finding specific GPTs can be a time-consuming hassle, filled with scrolling and clicking. This, on the other hand, is like having a savvy personal assistant who doesn’t need coffee or cigarette breaks.

4. Standard Voice Mode

Voice mode is another cool feature of the app, allowing you to speak your queries instead of hammering them out on your filthy keyboard. Clean it…please. Just once.

If you’re familiar with voice mode on your mobile device, then you’ll feel right at home here.

5. Most of the Basic Settings are All Here

The app includes pretty much all the basic “must-have” settings you’d expect, such as the memory feature, custom instructions, dark mode, model training control, and more. Tinkering with settings is good because it allows you to tailor ChatGPT to your needs and get the most out of the tool. 

6. Easily Use Screenshots

Step one: shut down any tabs or windows with questionable material.

Step two: click the paperclip icon on the left side of the message bar in ChatGPT.

Step three: easily select a screenshot of whatever window you have open that you want to reference, which could just be your entire screen.

Screenshot of ChatGPT desktop app with screenshot options

Then, simply add a prompt about the screenshot.

OpenAI knew that people use a TON of screenshots in ChatGPT, so they baked that feature right into the app. Nice.

As you can see, you can also upload a file or photo (just like the web app), or even take a photo with your computer’s webcam if you’re feeling daring.

7. Less Buggy Than the Web Version

Maybe it’s just me, but the app just works better. The web version bugs out more and gets mad at the littlest things. Since switching mainly to using the desktop app, life has been less buggy.

Limitations of the ChatGPT Desktop App

While the app is a great step in the right direction, it does have its limitations. “Perfect is the enemy of good” apparently. 

1. No GPT Mentions Feature

Unfortunately, the app doesn’t support the @mentions feature, which lets you pull up different GPTs within one conversation. This feature is useful for multitasking or getting opinions or advice from multiple bots all at once. Hopefully, it will be included in future updates. One can dream.

2. No “NEW” Voice Mode

Although the advanced voice mode that sounds like Scarlett Johansson demoed at a recent conference isn’t available yet, OpenAI has promised its release soon. And by soon, we mean within the coming…uh…months. Apparently, patience is still a virtue, and “coming weeks” means “coming months.” Thanks for nothing, Sammy.

3. No GPT Creation

Want to create a new GPT? Too bad. For now, you can only do that in the web version of ChatGPT. However, if you’re a free user, this doesn’t apply to you because you can’t create GPTs even if you want to. Hah!

3. No Ability to Delete Multiple Conversations at Once

Well, you also can’t do this in the web version either. So, this is more of a request for OpenAI to add the feature to, well, everything. Deleting them one at a time is just a total waste of time.

Wrapping it up – What’s the Verdict of the ChatGPT App?

Overall, the ChatGPT Desktop App is a much faster way to access ChatGPT. Although it’s missing some key features, it’s still absolutely worth downloading. Keep it updated, and remember to run the prompts and prompt the planet. 

If you found this review useful, please share it with all of your friends, family, ex-lovers, the smelly random man who lives on your couch, and the Starbucks barista who always spells your name wrong (“Derik?”).

Share your pointless thoughts in the comments below. What features are you most excited about in the ChatGPT Desktop App for Mac?

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