How to use ChatGPT 4o immediately on your phone, MacBook, and the Web

Open AI's chatbot ChatGPT logo on green background
(Image credit: Laptop Mag / Rael Hornby)

The latest version of OpenAI's generative AI software, ChatGPT 4o, was released on Monday and is now available for all users.

ChatGPT's current flagship iteration — GPT-4o codename "omni" — improves on the speed and capabilities of the previous GPT-4 large language model.

OpenAI claims GPT-4o is "much better than any existing model at understanding and discussing the images you share. For example, you can now take a picture of a menu in a different language and talk to GPT-4o to translate it, learn about the food's history and significance, and get recommendations," the company writes in an introductory blog post.

These innovations will make GPT-4o a stronger competitor against Google's Gemini AI. On Tuesday, Google leaders revealed plans to expand AI capabilities across various Google products including the Gemini AI assistant. Google's plans were explained in detail at its annual I/O conference.

How to enable GPT-4o on your phone

GPT-4o is currently only available to subscribers of ChatGPT Plus, a $20/month model that debuted in February 2023.

While the latest version of the chatbot will also be available to free users, OpenAI is rolling out GPT-4o in phases, with paying users getting early access to the new software.

Free ChatGPT users will gain access to GPT-4o in the coming weeks, as detailed in OpenAI's initial announcement on Monday: 

"GPT-4o’s text and image capabilities are starting to roll out today in ChatGPT. We are making GPT-4o available in the free tier and to Plus users with up to 5x higher message limits. We'll roll out a new version of Voice Mode with GPT-4o in alpha within ChatGPT Plus in the coming weeks."

  • Install the ChatGPT app on your phone from the App Store or Google Play Store
  • Sign in to your OpenAI account
  • Tap on the menu in the top-left corner (iOS) or top-right (Android)
  • Choose "GPT-4o"

ChatGPT 4o

(Image credit: Future)

For those without a ChatGPT Plus subscription, you won't be able to change your version of GPT as seen above. 

When GPT-4o launches on the free tier, the same steps will apply to activate GPT-4o (logging in with your OpenAI account, then selecting GPT-4o from the dropdown).

Paid users will instead see a dropdown menu like the one below (via Beebom).

ChatGPT 4o on Android

(Image credit: Beebom)

How to use GPT-4o on

Much like the Android and iOS versions of ChatGPT, the web edition of GPT-4o is not yet available for free users. ChatGPT Plus users can enable GPT-4o on the browser edition of ChatGPT already, while free users must wait a few weeks to enable GPT-4o.

  • Open
  • Sign in with your OpenAI account
  • Click the drop-down menu on the top-left corner
  • Select "GPT-4o"

ChatGPT 4o

(Image credit: Future)

Chat GPT will prompt free users to upgrade to GPT-4 with a ChatGPT Plus subscription, giving them the option to switch between GPT-4 and GPT-4o.

How to use GPT-4o on OpenAI Playground

While free access to GPT-4o is not yet available on or through the ChatGPT apps, it is theoretically available on OpenAI Playground.

To access GPT-4o on the OpenAI Playground, the steps are pretty simple.

  • Boot up OpenAI Playground in your web browser
  • Sign in with your OpenAI account
  • Click the drop-down menu on the top-left corner
  • Select the "gpt-4o" model

ChatGPT 4o

(Image credit: Future)

While the OpenAI Playground version of GPT-4o is supposed to be available to free users, as you can see above I was unable to replicate this workaround. I was able to change between different editions of GPT-3.5, but I could not access GPT-4 or GPT-4o. 

How to use GPT-4o on macOS

ChatGPT is now available as a desktop app for macOS. Unfortunately, much like the web and smartphone versions of ChatGPT, the macOS version is also experiencing a staged roll-out process for GPT-4o, with paid users getting early access to the latest iteration of the AI.

For those with a ChatGPT Plus subscription, the process is slightly different for macOS than for the web or smartphone apps.

  • Download the ChatGPT macOS app from the App Store
  • Install the DMG file to your desktop
  • Open the ChatGPT app
  • Log in to your OpenAI account
  • Access to GPT-4o should be granted on login, though you may need to wait for app access approval, as the macOS desktop app is also being rolled out in a staged process similar to GPT-4o.

How much does ChatGPT cost?

ChatGPT is free, but if you want immediate access to the best version of OpenAI's software it will require a ChatGPT Plus subscription.

  • How much will GPT-4o cost?  GPT-4o will be available for free but is currently only available with the GPT-4 Plus subscription.
  • How much does GPT-4 cost now? $20 per month ($240 per year).
  • How much does 3 cost now? GPT-3 and GPT-3.5 are free.
  • How much did 3 cost at debut? $20 per month ($240 per year).

You can also opt for a more flexible pricing scheme using BatchAPI, which is geared for developer use. 

While plenty of people find various reasons to use generative AI for personal use, GPT-4o carries greater weight as a development tool designed to be incorporated into other systems. For an idea of the development cost for using GPT-4o, the cost listed on the OpenAI site as of Tuesday is $5 for 1 million tokens (one token being 4 characters) of input, while receiving 1 million tokens of output will cost $15. 

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Madeline Ricchiuto
Staff Writer

A former lab gremlin for Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Tom's Hardware, and Tech Radar; Madeline has escaped the labs to join Laptop Mag as a Staff Writer. With over a decade of experience writing about tech and gaming, she may actually know a thing or two. Sometimes. When she isn't writing about the latest laptops and AI software, Madeline likes to throw herself into the ocean as a PADI scuba diving instructor and underwater photography enthusiast.