I’ve replaced Siri with the ChatGPT AI on my iPhone thanks to this simple shortcut

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, 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 to help with a section in Metroid Prime Remastered when playing it over the weekend.

Finding Metroid Prime

ChatGPT iPhone Shortcut request

(Image credit: iMore)

Setting everything up felt easy – 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 got back in 2011 when Siri first debuted with the iPhone 4S.

ChatGPT on Apple Watch

(Image credit: iMore)

This isn’t restricted to my iPhone- while I could do the same on my Mac as the Shortcuts app is on there, alongside MacGPT, I was more impressed in being able to use ChatGPT on my Apple Watch. I can speak or swipe in a request and see the result on my wrist.

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.

Metroid Prime guide in MacGPT

(Image credit: iMore)

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 thousands 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.

These AI platforms are going to be a sophisticated guide for you,  but if someone does attempt to write an essay or a book with it, these uses will be restricted pretty quick, due to the potential plagiarism that could occur from this.

Using ChatGPT on my iPhone only proves one thing to me – Apple was already behind with Siri before this AI boom occurred, and now the assistant feels ancient – almost 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 complete a 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 – a roadmap and a way of being clearer with developers in how the assistant could help with their apps more, beyond Siri Shortcuts, would be a great start.

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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