All the buzz of ChatGPT's Voice Mode from OpenAI's Spring Update is going down the drain

The Microsoft-backed company is delaying the feature's launch

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Key notes

  • OpenAI delays the launch of Voice Mode on ChatGPT for Plus users “for one more month.”
  • The company says that they need to first enhance content detection, user experience, and scaling infrastructure.
  • A ChatGPT desktop app for macOS also arrived this week.
OpenAI Spring Update

OpenAI arrived with a promising update a little while ago. The Microsoft-backed company announced during its Spring Update event that it’s launching GPT-4o, its latest, yet most capable model, a ChatGPT desktop app, and a Voice Mode that sounds too much like Samantha from Spike Jonze’s “Her.”

In other words, it’s extremely conversational and natural. It picks up natural and emotional cues just like how humans are talking. Or, at least that’s what it appears like during the demo.

But it seems like all that hype is going down the drain. Despite plans of testing this feature for small, selected users of paid ChatGPT Plus in late June, OpenAI has recently announced that it’s postponing the alpha testing “for one more month.”

The reason? OpenAI says on X (formerly Twitter) that, “We’re improving the model’s ability to detect and refuse certain content. We’re also working on improving the user experience and preparing our infrastructure to scale to millions while maintaining real-time responses.”

The company still, however, promises that all paid users will get their hands on this feature in the fall, but no clear month release window just yet because the “exact timelines depend on meeting our high safety and reliability bar.” Disappointed folks are saying that they’re canceling their Plus subscription due to this. Ouch.

“As part of our iterative deployment strategy, we’ll start the alpha with a small group of users to gather feedback and expand based on what we learn,” OpenAI says further.

The ChatGPT mobile app also arrived today for macOS, which has been an interesting business choice by OpenAI despites billions of dollars investment from Microsoft. Given Google hasn’t secured the Gemini deal on iPhones and Apple is now turning to OpenAI to power AI on their devices, it makes perfect sense for OpenAI and Microsoft to prioritize Apple devices instead.