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Why spend AI gadgets when these AI apps can do anything

The Humane AI pin, Rabbit R1, and Meta sunglasses were thought to usher in a new era of AI devices. However, their launch was not a success due to their unfinished state, with key features expected to arrive “soon”. This begs the question – do we really need AI gadgets? Can’t we use AI from our smartphones instead? So I took up the challenge to answer this question and tried to recreate the functions of these AI gadgets using AI applications that are already available for smartphones.

For this comparison, I’ll walk you through some of the features these dedicated AI gadgets offer and see which AI apps can simulate similar experiences on your phone. I will also pay attention to how well they are doing at certain activities.

Ask questions using voice commands

The main use case for these AI devices is that you can use your voice to ask them anything you can think of and get almost exact answers to them. The AI ​​applications we used here can also do the same. Apps like Gemini, ChatGPT and Copilot support voice commands, so you won’t have to use your phone’s keyboard. ChatGPT Voice even lets you choose from different voice models.

Generative answers from Gemini, ChatGPT and Copilot

Gemini on Android maybe even set reminders, timers, read the latest emails, send messages and make calls. This is something that is only available on Android devices for now and cannot be done on iOS devices or other AI apps. As you can see in the screenshots below, in some cases Gemini launches Android’s Google Assistant to automatically perform certain actions.

Since we are in the early stages of artificial intelligence development, they tend to hallucinate and give wrong answers sometimes too confidently. This problem is also common in AI hardware devices. The apps also record every conversation you have with them, so you can go back and revisit them whenever you want, just like with the Humane AI pin.

Conducting visual searches

Like AI gadgets, I can too visually search my surroundings using the camera tool in AI apps. It is present on Gemini and Copilot. All you need to do is tap the camera icon, click a photo and ask a question. You can also upload photos from your device’s library for visual search. In my use, Gemini and Copilot offered good answers. Meanwhile, ChatGPT requires a ChatGPT Plus subscription to run.

Visual search with Gemini, ChatGPT 4 and Copilot

Both Gemini and Copilot are available on iOS, so iPhone users can perform visual searches without any problems.

Real-time conversation translation

Humane AI Pin and Rabbit R1 offer live translation services for several languages. While the AI ​​applications mentioned above have the ability to translate words, phrases or texts, they cannot translate a conversation in real time.

Phrase translation using ChatGPT

This is also they are not easy to translate. For example, ChatGPT will recognize the language you speak and respond to you in the same language. The conversation transcript will also appear in this language. For the translation to work, you must enable the “Translate x to English” option to get reasonably accurate results.

AI Live Translate feature on Galaxy S24
Live AI translation on Galaxy S24

Samsung devices recently added artificial intelligence features for live translation during calls, but they proved to be a hit or miss, as seen in the strange conversation transcript above. Besides, you can use Google Translate and the Translate app on your iPhone for reliable translations of images and texts. Google Gemini may gain support for Translator Mode later.

Working with third-party applications

Rabbit R1 allows you to interact with several services such as Spotify, Doordash, Uber and Midjourney. However, instead of direct integration, Rabbit visits a website with your login details and then does the work for you. Credit where it’s due, none of the AI ​​applications can interact with third-party services.

Gemini working with Google services using extensions
Google service extensions in Gemini

ChatGPT supports plugins, but there is no easy way to run them on mobile devices. Apart from that only Gemini has extensions that connect it to other Google services. You can request details about your Google Drive data, summarize your emails or YouTube videos. It recently got the YouTube Music extension, which lets you play music and make recommendations based on your mood.

AI graphics creation

Midjourney integration in Rabbit R1 allows you to create AI images using voice commands. Pretty cool, right? However, you will need to visit Discord to download the image, rather than doing it from the device itself. Don’t forget that you’ll need a Midjourney subscription to get started. I can do the same with all three AI applications and download images instantly.

Image generation using AI applications

Both Copilot and ChatGPT generate images using DALL E 3, while Gemini does it on its own. All these apps support voice commands, so you can create photos without touching your phone screen. Copilot and Gemini allow you to generate images even in the free version, but you need a ChatGPT subscription to use this feature.

I noticed that free image generation produces slightly blurry and unrealistic results compared to the paid version. The results from ChatGPT and Gemini Advanced came out sharper and with more detail than what I got from Copilot and the free version of Gemini. It’s important to note that Gemini will not be creating images of people due to this whole various image debacle.

Instant access to artificial intelligence

Since these gadgets were built solely with artificial intelligence in mind, using any of them means that it will instant access to the AI ​​chatbot at the touch of a button. You don’t have to unlock your phone and then open the AI ​​app of your choice, which is difficult to copy. However, there are a few ways I’ve found to instantly launch AI apps on your phone.

Some Android devices have a back tap gesture that allows you to open any app on your phone. Use back tap gesture to quickly launch AI app. Samsung devices allow you to customize the side key to launch a specific app, so if you have a Samsung phone, give it a try. iPhone users can create a shortcut with a back tap to launch the AI ​​app instantly. We’ve added an iCloud link to the ChatGPT voice launcher shortcut that you can try for yourself.

Prices and subscription

The biggest problem people have with them is the additional costs that need to be incurred for AI devices. The Humane AI pin starts with $700 and requires a separate monthly subscription. While the Rabbit R1 only costs 200 dollars it also needs its own data plan outside of Wi-Fi to work.

You save all this money by using your phone. All the apps we list are available for free. Most AI features are available in the free version, such as:

  • Object detection and scene analysis (Gemini and Copilot only)
  • Generative answers
  • Real-time data access (Gemini and Copilot only)
  • AI image generation (Gemini and Copilot only)
  • Voice command support
  • Conversation history

You can purchase their premium subscriptions to unlock the full potential of these apps, including access to the latest models, priority access during peak hours, faster responses, and upcoming features. For this, you will have to pay $20 for GPT Plus and Copilot Premium. Gemini Advanced also costs the same, and with it you get 2TB of Google Cloud storage.

Do we really need AI gadgets?

The idea of ​​these AI devices sounds great at first glance, but in practice it doesn’t make much sense outside of some niche situations. How often do you see people using voice commands in public places? No, because your phone may not work properly and trying again is not worth the embarrassment.

me too omitted, how long it takes for these devices to answer your question or complete a task. You may be waiting nervously for a minute or two while the device translates what you say or generates an image. And in the end it can be wrong. In touch, AI applications take less time and are more accurate. Except for the co-pilot, who may take some time to respond.

Yes, AI gadgets eliminate the distractions of your smartphone. But instead, I’d like to have AI integration built into existing devices like headphones or smartwatches. Nic recently added ChatGPT support to its latest Ear and Ear(a) headphones, which allows you to trigger ChatGPT voice without waking the device. I would like to see more devices adopt this option. I’ve shown you before that you can achieve anything they say on your phone with artificial intelligence.