The latest ChatGPT feature rolling out brings it closer to Bing Chat at last

OpenAI and ChatGPT
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • ChatGPT's long awaited browsing functionality is finally beginning to roll out widely. 
  • The feature connects the OpenAI chatbot to the internet unlocking access to more current information as is already available in Bing Chat. 
  • It's still in alpha and is initially being rolled out gradually to ChatGPT Plus subscribers. 

One of the major reasons you should use Bing Chat over ChatGPT right now, especially if you're a new or more casual user, is that the former is connected to the Bing search engine. This allows for current information to be pulled from the web and mixed in with the GPT-4 AI goodness when producing its responses. 

ChatGPT has been promising a similar feature and now, finally, it's beginning to roll out. The catch is that you'll need to be on the $20 a month ChatGPT Plus subscription, and even then, you'll get it whenever OpenAI feels like it. Browsing is still in alpha, but when you have access to it a new model will be available "GPT-3.5 with browsing." 

Since I can't show you it first-hand, I'll instead refer to @VisualVichaar on Twitter, who has written a thread of first impressions. 

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A few things of note. The first is that it's not using Google search, instead referring to Bing (as you would expect). So that definitely makes it comparable to Bing Chat, albeit right now using GPT-3.5 and not GPT-4 as Microsoft has behind its own chatbot. 

The other is that you don't have to use browsing. If you'd rather keep ChatGPT disconnected, you can, you simply change to one of the models without the browsing feature for your session. This will revert to the regular ChatGPT where its information is only current up to late 2021.

ChatGPT will intelligently go and search the Internet as part of your query, but it's also got a range of advanced features that users can implement to very specifically tailor the type of searches they want carried out. 

Bing Chat producing a table comparing the XPS 13 and Lenovo X1 Carbon

Bing Chat already has full browsing capabilities to provide you up to date information. (Image credit: Windows Central)

The Twitter thread above also suggests that to get yourself in line for this feature, signing up for the plugins waitlist and selecting browsing as your primary focus could be a good idea.

In any case, it is coming, and gradually it's now starting to roll out to more users. I'd still argue Bing Chat is more user-friendly, especially for casual users, and right now at least you don't have to pay 20 bucks a month for the privilege. But ChatGPT is the darling of the space and this is a really exciting feature to see added.

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at