iPhone owners who use Opera will be able to chat with AI the next time they fire up the browser. On Wednesday, Opera the company announced that its iPhone (and iPad) app is now home to Aria, its AI chatbot. Already available on the desktop and Android flavors of Opera, Aria works like a traditional generative AI bot to help you find information and create content.
Aria taps into Opera’s Composer architecture, which means it’s capable of delivering the latest real-time results. For instance, ask it for the name of the current president of the US, and it will correctly answer Joe Biden. This contrasts with OpenAI’s ChatGPT GPT-3.5, which can provide information only up to its last training date of September 2021 and therefore won’t answer questions about current events.
AI in Opera is also an opt-in experience. You can choose to enable or disable it depending on your preferences. Your chats are saved for 30 days, allowing you to access and resume a previous conversation. You can also manually delete any chat you don’t want stored in your history.
Like any AI chatbot, Aria learns by scraping data across the web. Based on its training methods, Aria can make mistakes, just like other AI bots. In its FAQ, Opera notes that Aria might generate biased or harmful content and misleading or inaccurate information. But the service can still be useful and helpful, especially if you need to generate content.
By integrating AI into its desktop and mobile browsers, Opera joins other companies, most notably Microsoft, which offers the Bing AI through its Edge browser. Google is getting into the act by adding AI features from its Search Generative Experience, or SGE, to Chrome.
Compared with major players like Chrome, Edge, and Safari, Opera has traditionally eked out a tiny portion of the browser market. But it continues to advance and innovate to stay relevant and appeal to its existing users.
If you don’t already use Opera on your iPhone or iPad, download the app from Apple’s App Store. After firing up the browser, tap the hamburger icon at the bottom and select Aria Browser AI from the menu. You’ll need to create a free account before you can use Aria. Afterwards, return to the Aria chat screen and you can then enter a request by keyboard or microphone. The AI then displays its response. To start a new chat, tap the plus icon at the top.
Tapping the menu icon in the upper right gives you access to your chat history. Here, you can select a previous chat to view it or tap the Delete button to remove it. Beyond its use of AI, Opera provides several privacy-minded benefits, including a VPN, ad blocker, privacy consent controls, and an easy way to clear your browsing history.