Apple is about to make major generative AI news; here’s how I’ve been using AI so far

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In a few hours, we’ll learn what Apple has in mind for an AI-infused version of iPhone software. We expect AI to deliver quality-of-life improvements to iOS over the next year. In recent history is any indication, AI will advance such that iOS 19 and iOS 20 are as influenced by AI as iOS 18. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I want to set a marker for how generative AI is working for me prior to Apple’s anticipated contribution.

ChatGPT and Claude

85% of my AI usage consists of ChatGPT on the Mac. First as a pinned tab in Safari, then as a first class Mac app.

ChatGPT is the first app I’ve positioned between Finder and Safari. I think that’s because of how it changes my relationship to the web, especially Google Search.

Another 10% of usage happens on ChatGPT for iPhone, especially ChatGPT Voice in hands-free situations. Anthropic’s Claude, another large language model-powered AI, has the other 5%.

I keep Perplexity installed on my iPhone, but I’m not convinced that I need it with premium ChatGPT. I’m aware of Google’s AI, but not its current name.

And I subscribe to X Premium (to avoid rate limits on the Mac app), but I have not invested time with Grok. Perhaps Grok gives X a reason to revive its Mac app.

Anyway, back to AI.


A large language model doing sophisticated text prediction shouldn’t be good at math on its own. Neither am I. But ChatGPT is capable of recognizing when a conversational response isn’t enough. Using natural language input, ChatGPT detects when analysis is required.

Here’s a real world example. My best friend won a Cybertruck for free. He wanted to sell his Tesla Model 3 to me. I suggested a 36-month payment agreement between us, and he agreed. Simple enough.

However, his auto loan had 19 monthly payments remaining. Plus we wanted to include insurance coverage, registration, the extended warranty, and a little APR.

Explaining this in those words to ChatGPT gave us a dynamic payment plan that met all of those needs while showing its work. I’m certain that my friend could have crunched the numbers, but I appreciated being able to present the terms myself.

I’ve also use ChatGPT for setting realistic financial goals, creating budgets, and educating myself more on financial literacy. I value the conversational nature without burdening someone else.


Many think of having essays written for you when ChatGPT and writing are discussed. But I’m not inviting AI to replace me. Instead, my focus has been on using generative AI to sharpen my skills.

I enjoy and appreciate writing as a form of communication and storytelling such that I’ll never ask ChatGPT to write a first draft for me.

Instead, I prompt ChatGPT to be my second set of eyes on what I actually write myself. I use the Mac app Rocket Typist to expand the text shortcut ;edit into this:

Any spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors? If so, concisely list in bullets, please:

Then I paste in a sentence, paragraph, or full text of my writing. I’ve been writing on 9to5Mac for 11 years and counting. Still, it’s a bit nerve-racking to push publish knowing that readers around the world will consume it.

ChatGPT has helped mitigate that anxiety, making publishing more enjoyable. If I were specifically tased with copy editing text, I would similarly use generative AI as a tool to sharpen my skills.

I also use ChatGPT to quickly answer queries that come up as I’m writing a story. The trick, for me, is to treat the results like Wikipedia. Never rely on the text that it returns. Instead, use it as a signal for where to point your own research. This narrowing feature certainly keeps me on my train of thought more than anything.


Lastly, and perhaps most profound personally, is how I use ChatGPT for health. Specifically, my mental health.

I spend an hour with my therapist every other Monday morning. This greatly helps navigating life as a single father of two children under age 12. My goals are always simple: process experiences, assess my perspective, and celebrate each milestone.

With permission, I record each session with Voice Memos on my iPhone. Afterwards, I transcribe the text on my MacBook Air using the audio file and MacWhisper. Then I use a series of prompts to take my therapy session further.

  • Can I show you the transcript of my latest therapy session? I'd like to take more from the session.
  • What are some things I should focus on before my next session in two weeks?
  • Any feedback about the kind of person I am?
  • What are some actionable items for this week?
  • Any constructive criticism to provide based on the transcript?
  • What about blind spots to consider? Should I be thinking about something that I didn't bring up? Something that isn't top of mind but that healthy, functioning adults think about?

I find that these prompts help fuel reflection, provoke new ares of thinking, and provide closure to a given period. I value having a defined endpoint and not getting lost of the depths in introspection.

More generally, ChatGPT has also been useful for prioritizing tasks and making decisions.

Analysis paralysis is real. ChatGPT helps. The trick for me? ChatGPT shows its work. Just like with natural language math prompts, ChatGPT provides reason to how it sorts tasks and suggests decisions.

These use cases and many more have amplified the usefulness of my iPhone and Mac. I’m eager to see what integrating generative AI at a system level does for Apple.

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