This app lets you video chat with a ChatGPT-based AI avatar on your iPhone

The Call Annie iPhone app puts a ChatGPT-based AI friend with which you can video chat in real-time with surprisingly low latency into your pocket.

Three iPhone screenshots showing the ChatGPT-based AI avatar in the Call Annie app
This AI runs locally on your iPhone | Image: Christian Zibreg/iDB

Wouldn’t it be great if you could talk to OpenAI’s ChatGPT bot instead of typing? A new free app dubbed Call Annie lets you conduct “video calls” with an AI-powered avatar, which is much faster and feels more natural than typing and reading text.

If you’ve used ChatGPT before, you’ll know what to expect. Video conversations are pretty fluent, and you can ask some rather complex questions.

The app uses Apple’s Neural engine, but text-to-voice could use some work and facial expressions could be more realistic. On the other hand, you can complain about her robotic voice all you want, but you can’t deny that Annie is smart.

Meet Annie, your new ChatGPT-based AI friend

Developers have provided several interesting conversation suggestions for some compelling results, including the following ideas:

  • Learn about any topic
  • Ask Annie to make a story for you on the spot
  • Talk through your new business ideas
  • Ask Annie to help you compose your personal gratitude journal
  • Perform a mock interview in the car on your way to the real interview

In short, anything that ChatGPT accepts should work in this app.

For example, Annie can learn a new language, understand complex subjects or improve your skills. Remembering that Call Annie is a ChatGPT-based video avatar helps determine the kinds of questions you can throw at this AI.

“I can be your travel buddy, providing information about your destination, local customs, and must-see attractions—all while keeping you company on your journey,” reads the App Store description.

Ways to use the Call Annie app

You can use Annie without an account. It’s not entirely clear whether the company uses your exchanges with Annie to train and tweak the algorithm.

Developer Animato.AI says Call Annie keeps all your conversations with the AI confidential. Voice recordings are turned into text using on-device processing, with only the transcription forwarded to ChatGPT to get all the dialogue.

No user data is sold to third parties.

Developers said on Reddit Annie will “soon” become even smarter as they’ll give her memory. A web version is currently out of the question due to performance reasons—Apple doesn’t permit web apps to access its etremely speedy Neural engine.

How to download Call Annie

Developed by Animato.Ai, Call Annie is available for the iPhone (you can download and use the iPhone version if you have an Apple silicon Mac.)

View Call Annie on the App Store

Using Apple’s Neural engine hardware dedicated to machine learning tasks (iPhone 12 or later is required), Call Annie runs entirely on the device and doesn’t rely on the cloud for AI processing. Owners of older iPhones can save Annie’s phone number listed in the app and call it to talk with the AI via an audio-only connection.

The App Store is home to some quality ChatGPT-based apps and other AI software, like Draw Things which lets you run the popular Stable Diffusion AI image generator. However, watch out for copycat ChatGPT apps that have flooded the App Store.