OpenAI recently reintroduced the web browsing feature for ChatGPT Plus, aiming to enhance its capabilities by providing real-time web access. However, this feature, dubbed Browse with Bing, may not live up to the expectations.
Enabling Browse with Bing
To utilize this feature, users need to have a ChatGPT Plus subscription. Within the settings, under the beta features tab, the Browse with Bing option can be activated. Upon starting a new session, users choose whether to operate Browse with Bing, Advanced Data Analysis, or plugins. Unfortunately, the interaction is confined to one option per session, requiring a new session for any switch.
Functionality of Browse with Bing
The Browse with Bing feature should ideally construct search strings based on the user’s prompt, passing these strings to Bing to scan its index of the internet, and returning relevant results. Despite the theoretical simplicity, the execution seems to be lacking. During tests, oddities like the simulation of a mouse click or page scroll were noted, which seems like an unnecessary attempt to simplify the user interface, potentially confusing users instead.
Comparison with WebPilot Plugin
On comparison with the WebPilot plugin, Browse with Bing fell significantly short. Various tests demonstrated WebPilot’s superior ability in finding references, comparing writing contexts, and briefing on current news. For instance, in one test, while Browse with Bing struggled to locate a referenced term, WebPilot managed to find it quickly. In another, Browse with Bing couldn't compare the writing styles of two authors, whereas WebPilot did a commendable job.
The Browse with Bing feature, although in beta, disappoints in its current state. Its performance is overshadowed by the existing WebPilot plugin, which offers a more reliable and comprehensive web browsing experience within ChatGPT Plus. Users seeking an effective way to browse the web while using ChatGPT Plus might find WebPilot to be a better alternative until significant improvements are made to Browse with Bing.
- How do I enable Browse with Bing in ChatGPT Plus?
- Go to the settings, choose beta features, and turn on Browse with Bing.
- Is Browse with Bing available to all ChatGPT users?
- No, only ChatGPT Plus subscribers can access this feature.
- What makes WebPilot a better alternative?
- WebPilot showed better performance in tests, including finding references, comparing writing contexts, and briefing on current news.
- Will the functionality of Browse with Bing improve?
- It's still in beta, so there's potential for improvement, but as of now, it lags behind other solutions like WebPilot.
- Can I use other plugins alongside Browse with Bing?
- No, you can only run one option at a time and would need to start a new session to switch.