Mac users are embracing AI apps, study finds, with 42% using AI apps daily

Mac users are embracing AI apps, study finds, with 42% using AI apps daily

AI adoption among Mac app users is booming, according to a new report from app subscription service Setapp that found that 42% of Mac users today report using AI-based apps on a daily basis, and 63% claim to believe that AI apps are more beneficial than those without AI. In addition, Mac app developers are embracing AI, with 44% having already implemented either AI or machine learning models in their apps while another 28% say they’re working on doing so.

The survey is part of an annual report on the state of Mac apps put out by the company, whose business involves a subscription service that provides access to more than 230 Mac apps. This year, its survey included responses from 1,241 Mac users, mostly in the U.S., so it does not necessarily provide insights into the adoption of AI-based apps on a more global basis. However, the report highlights the interest in AI apps among this portion of the Mac user base, noting that top AI apps included those that aren’t only native to macOS — like Google’s AI Bard and Bing, which integrated AI technology from OpenAI.

Image Credits: Setapp

In addition, other top AI apps users mentioned using include TypingMind, Elephas, Spark, Notion, Grammarly, Craft, Luminar Neo, MacGPT, Asana, Raycast and MacWhisper. Some of these leverage AI to augment their existing apps, as opposed to being an app that’s solely focused on interacting with AI.

“We see how AI is transforming the app’s usage experience by providing additional user assistance,” said Mykola Savin, product lead of Setapp, in an announcement. “At Setapp, we also witness a great adoption of AI tools and the features we implement on the platform. Maybe not everyone succeeds with AI on the first try. But when they do, they tend to use those features repeatedly.”

This is the first year Setapp has asked in its annual survey about AI app adoption, so it’s not possible to quantify how many more Mac users are now using AI apps daily, compared with years past. But AI apps’ slice of users’ daily workflows is significant, it seems. Out of an average of 51 installed apps on their Mac, users access up to 15 daily. And as 42% say they’re using AI apps daily, that means AI is now a large part of users’ daily workflows.

Other often-used apps include browser apps, Microsoft and Google Office tools (both of which are integrating AI technologies, as well), and Adobe software — the latter which has embraced generative AI across a range of apps, including Photoshop, and other Creative Cloud apps. So users’ true exposure to AI-powered apps may be even higher.

The survey also reports on other general findings about Mac app adoption and discovery, noting that subscriptions are more popular than one-time purchases, and the top means of app discovery include the Mac App store, YouTube and social media. In addition, 70% of the survey respondents report having a Mac with either an M1 or M2 chip, among other highlights. 

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