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Google makes one of its iOS apps available on the Mac App Store

While Apple Silicon-powered Macs can run most iOS apps, the vast majority of developers have opted out. Google did that in late 2020, though it recently made its AI Test Kitchen iPhone/iPad app available on the Mac App Store.

Google announced AI Test Kitchen as a way for the public to “learn about, experience, and give feedback on emerging AI technology” at I/O 2022 in May. Availability opened up in recent months with three demos to test three experiences powered by LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications):

  • Imagine It: Name a place and LaMDA will offer paths to explore your imagination.
  • List It: Name a goal or topic and see how much LaMDA can break it down into multiple lists of subtasks.
  • Talk About It (Dogs Edition): Roll with the conversation and see where it goes. It’s just a fun, kinda-weird, open-ended chat.

The app requires Google Account sign-in and has a very simple UI with no bottom bar or navigation drawer. There’s just a carousel where you swipe to select (by double-tapping, curiously) the demo you want to launch.

AI Test Kitchen then explains what you should do and what feedback can be provided. After that, it’s just a text field to interact with with each generative AI/text synthesis experience. The overflow menu in the top-right lets you Share transcript, Send feedback, and Delete session data. 

Launched on a Mac, the app leverages an iPad UI that can be expanded to take up your entire screen. It’s available in English for users in Australia, Canada, Kenya, New Zealand, the UK, and US. “Season 2” of AI Test Kitchen is coming soon with demos that showcase text-to-image generation. 

AI Test Kitchen’s presence on the Mac App Store is most likely a one-off occurrence, if not accidental, as the web allows Google services to do more. The YouTube app is an ever-popular request, and the company now allows YouTube Premium subscribers to download videos for offline playback on the desktop web through Chrome, Edge, and Opera. The company’s most recent native Mac app is for the Google One VPN, while there’s of course Chrome and Drive for desktop.

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