Microsoft has quietly launched a dedicated app for its AI-powered Copilot assistant on the Google Play Store. The launch comes just months after Copilot debuted as a feature integrated into Microsoft Edge and other Microsoft 365 apps. With the standalone Android app, Microsoft is aiming to directly compete with the wildly popular ChatGPT chatbot from OpenAI.
Copilot App Provides ChatGPT-Style Capabilities for Free
The new Copilot app for Android works very similarly to ChatGPT, allowing users to have conversations with the AI and ask it questions or request it to perform tasks like writing emails or code.
“Copilot draws on the knowledge from codebase GitHub to suggest potential completions as users type out code. It can explain code, generate comments, identify and fill gaps, and recommend alternative ways to approach coding problems.” [Source: MakeUseOf]
Key features of the Copilot assistant include:
- Conversational AI to answer questions and have discussions
- Writing assistance for emails, documents, and more
- Coding help such as explanations, recommendations, and autocomplete suggestions
- Available completely free without need for Microsoft account
The launch on Android also comes ahead of Copilot’s planned expansion to iOS devices in the near future.
Underlying AI Architecture Based on GPT-4
The conversational abilities of Copilot rely on an advanced natural language AI model developed by Anthropic called Claude. There has been some speculation that Claude is built on or related to GPT-4, the latest generation AI architecture produced by Anthropic in collaboration with Microsoft.
“Copilot is powered by Claude, which seems to be a custom version of GPT-4, displaying many similarities with OpenAI’s famous ChatGPT.” [Source: Android Police]
Claude and GPT-4 represent state-of-the-art natural language AI with significantly improved reasoning and judgment capabilities compared to previous models.
Integration With Microsoft 365 and Edge Provides Advantages
Although now available as standalone app, Copilot originated as an integrated feature within Microsoft 365 apps like Word, Outlook and Excel earlier in 2022. Tight integration with Microsoft’s productivity suite gives Copilot some unique advantages in assisting with document, email, and spreadsheet creation.
The assistant is also deeply embedded within the mobile Microsoft Edge browser on Android and iOS. Surfacing Copilot suggestions and information while browsing websites provides additional user value.
“Microsoft Edge for Android and iOS is receiving a major update to further enhance the Copilot experience while browsing the web on mobile devices.” [BNN Breaking]
Battling ChatGPT for Mobile AI Dominance
The launch of a free standalone Copilot app directly takes on ChatGPT which has seen tremendous growth since its debut in November 2022. Microsoft had previously required users to access Copilot features through Edge or Microsoft 365.
ChatGPT’s viral popularity likely prompted Microsoft to accelerate Copilot’s availability as a separate Android app. Now users can choose between the two AI companions for mobile conversations and assistance.
“This launch will also heat up the competition between ChatGPT and Copilot in the AI space.” [Source: Analytics Insight]
|Underlying AI model
|Claude (possibly GPT-4)
|Mobile app availability
|Now available for Android, coming soon to iOS
|No mobile app, requires web access
|Currently free but may require paid subscription in future
|Deep integration with Microsoft 365, Edge provides additional capabilities
|Can only be accessed through website
|General questions/conversations, writing assistance, coding help, explanations and recommendations based on web content while browsing
|General questions/conversations, writing assistance
The Copilot app also does not require any sign-in or Microsoft account. This removes any friction for new users to start accessing the advanced AI capabilities.
What Comes Next: iOS Launch and Turno Integration
In the near future Microsoft is planning to launch Copilot apps for iPhone and iPad devices to complement the new Android availability.
“Microsoft’s new AI chatbot app is now available on the Google Play store for Android devices, with an iOS version ‘coming soon.'” [Source: TechRadar]
There are also reports that Microsoft may integrate some components of its latest natural language AI model, Turno, into Bing search and potentially Copilot itself. Turno is meant to power more complex conversational scenarios compared to Claude.
“Microsoft has reportedly started testing its GPT-4-based Turno model within the Bing chat experience.” [Source: Times of India]
Over time we may see Copilot’s capabilities expand to handle more advanced dialog and take on additional specialized skills.
Conclusion: Microsoft Gets Serious About AI Assistance
With the launch of a standalone Android app, Microsoft has positioned Copilot as a direct alternative and competitor to ChatGPT in the red hot AI assistant category. Making Copilot accessible without any logins or subscriptions makes adoption frictionless while also gathering valuable data to improve the AI models behind it.
The integration with Microsoft’s productivity software and Edge browser still provides some differentiation from ChatGPT. But the two assistants now squarely battle for mindshare as Microsoft charges ahead in the AI space. Interesting times lie ahead as these conversational AI models continue rapidly advancing!
To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.