Beware of shady knockoff ChatGPT apps

For those who’re searching for ChatGPT-style apps on the App Retailer, proceed with warning.

ChatGPT’s huge reputation has led to an increase in copycats that mislead customers. Ever since OpenAI launched an API for ChatGPT, builders have been in a position to construct their very own apps and merchandise utilizing the massive language mannequin (LLM). However builders have flooded the App Retailer with lookalikes that use shady techniques to garner subscriptions and scores. Safety researcher Alex Kleber found(opens in a brand new tab) cases of a number of clone apps created by the identical developer. So customers may suppose they’re selecting between competing chatbot apps, when in truth they’re simply choosing between two apps with an identical code however simply barely totally different names and interfaces.

For the report, ChatGPT is free and would not have a cell app. For $20 per thirty days you’ll be able to pay for a ChatGPT Plus subscription which supplies you availability even throughout peak hours and quicker response instances. However apart from that, anybody can entry ChatGPT’s core options. Additionally, whereas there is not an app, you too can simply apply it to your telephone’s browser.

For those who’ve been on OpenAI’s official ChatGPT web site, then many of those third-party apps will look fairly acquainted to you. Many of those apps that present up in search outcomes on the App Retailer have a inexperienced shade scheme and brand much like OpenAI’s. It is as if they’re trying to pose as the actual deal for customers searching for out a nonexistent official app.

There are reputable AI chatbot apps using OpenAI’s API and offering worth. And, maybe, these sort of value-adding apps are of curiosity to you. So should you’re available in the market for an app like this, this is what to look out for should you do not like the thought of sketchy, ChatGPT-style app knockoffs.

Paywall home windows with no shut button

“AI Chat Bot- Writing Assistant” and “ChatBot Powered by GPT-4” are each desktop apps which have a free model and a paid model, charging $5.99 per week and $4.99 per week respectively. However the apps intentionally conceal use of the free model by not offering an apparent shut button for the paywall that pops up when one downloads the apps. (AI Chat Bot- Writing Assistant has a tiny grey “Skip Supply” button on the backside of the display.) Screenshots offered by Kleber present how there isn’t any technique to shut the window, forcing the person to both subscribe or stop the app.

Screenshot of ChatGPT-style app without a paywall close button

AI Chat Bot- Writing Assistant would not have a detailed button for its paywall window.
Credit score: Alex Kleber

Screenshot of ChatBot Powered by GPT-4 without a paywall close button

ChatBot Powered by GPT-4 additionally would not have a detailed button.
Credit score: Alex Kleber

Mashable discovered one other instance of this with a cell app referred to as “AI Chat – Chatbot AI Assistant.” The paywall instantly pops up upon downloading the app, however the “X” button would not seem for a number of seconds. This might lead customers to suppose their solely possibility is to faucet the “Begin Free Trial” button, which begins charging the person after three days.

Screenshot of iOS app Al Chat - Chatbot Al Assistant without a close button on its paywall window

Al Chat – Chatbot Al Assistant’s shut button solely reveals up after a number of seconds.
Credit score: Mashable

Sketchy technique of getting a ranking

This identical app (AI Chat – Chatbot AI Assistant) requests that the person assessment the app instantly after putting in it. That is dangerous observe in line with App Retailer pointers(opens in a brand new tab), which say “Keep away from exhibiting a request for a assessment instantly when a person launches your app, even when it isn’t the primary time that it launches.”

Screenshot of iOS app Al Chat - Chatbot Al Assistant requesting a rating

Al Chat – Chatbot Al Assistant requested a ranking instantly after Mashable opened it.
Credit score: Mashable

The desktop apps that Kleber seemed into additionally did this, and in addition prompted the person to price the app each time they requested a query within the chat. Instantly asking for a assessment when the person hasn’t even tried the app but is a tactic sometimes utilized by scammers to shortly obtain larger rankings within the App Retailer. Customers are compelled to price the app simply to allow them to begin utilizing it.

The ChatGPT copycats have all or principally five-star scores, which is a purple flag. Certain, loads of nice apps have appropriately nice scores, but when each assessment is 5 stars with emphatic-yet-generic feedback, the feedback are probably pretend.

Identical developer, totally different apps

Many of those apps had been created by the identical developer utilizing a mess of various developer accounts. In Kleber’s report, he observed that one developer particularly had deployed ChatGPT clones throughout eight separate developer accounts.

Why does this matter? It is not towards Apple’s phrases of service to have multiple developer account, and there are reputable causes to take action. Say, for instance, a developer created each a social networking app and a distinct segment e-commerce platform, and needed to make them two distinct entities.

However in lots of circumstances these ChatGPT apps weren’t distinct. They had been cloned, possibly with slight alterations, handled as separate apps, and revealed within the App Retailer beneath separate names. A developer doing this might fill the App Retailer with a number of variations of the identical app as a way to dominate search outcomes for AI chat functions, stifling any potential competitors. Shoppers are left with false selections, not figuring out that the AI chatbot apps they’re making an attempt to select from are literally carbon copies with the very same developer behind them.

And dishonest the system in methods like that is towards(opens in a brand new tab) Apple’s App Retailer insurance policies.

Lower and dried scams? Not so quick.

More often than not, any AI chatbot or writing app you see will likely be powered by OpenAI. OpenAI makes its APIs obtainable and pretty low-cost in order that builders can use them to construct issues. And so long as these builders do not declare to be affiliated with OpenAI or label their merchandise, say, “The Official ChatGPT App,” they’re in all probability within the clear by way of legality and app retailer guidelines.

And simply recreating a free expertise within the type of an app would not make a product shady. Some builders have created apps that present language mannequin entry, however with a extra streamlined UI or varied totally different immediate templates. There is a value-add there.

However on the whole, those that obtain these ChatGPT copycats do not seem like getting a lot if something that is not already obtainable on the ChatGPT cell website. And people who pay cash to make use of these apps probably simply have not learn the superb print.

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Malik Tanveer

Malik Tanveer, a dedicated blogger and AI enthusiast, explores the world of ChatGPT AI on CHATGPT OAI. Discover the latest advancements, practical applications, and intriguing insights into the realm of conversational artificial intelligence. Let's Unleash the Power of AI with ChatGPT

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