MindMac - A Native AI Client Experience

  • December 23, 2023

AI is everywhere! …but in another sense, it’s everywhere. Meaning, it’s all over the place. By that I mean, I have to go to 10 different websites to experiment with the various models via their developer playgrounds.

It’s a pain.

So I went in search for a native client on macOS that could at least interact with OpenAI’s API, and I found MindMac.

There a few of these clients out there, but MindMac checked a lot of boxes for me:

  • Native.
  • Used my API key.
  • Allowed for multiple models (Google, Bing, OpenAI, Anthropic, …)
  • Free or low cost.

At $29, and they seem to always have an active coupon code, it was definitely worth a try and I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now.

Here’s the short review: It’s good. Definitely $20 good, but there are some bugs, the settings are a little finicky, and there are a bunch of features that I won’t use. However, if you want to be able to test a bunch of models in one place, and you want that place to be a native Mac app, MindMac is a great choice.

A couple of key features is that you can keep your chats, which the history is retained for you and handled automatically, in folders in a sidebar. Each conversation is tied to a different model and I keep folders for each model and then different folders for work, personal projects, etc. Largely that’s it. I have a series of conversations and I type in to them, occasionally exporting a picture or two. There are loads of other features like quick access from any other app on your system, a prompt library, keyboard shortcuts, and conversation exporting options that I never use, but I’m sure someone might.

I’ve also run in to a few bugs, such as the notifications (I’m not entirely sure why this app needs it’s own notifications pane rather than just using the system notifications) and the new conversation buttons don’t work unless their toolbar buttons are exposed by having a very wide window. While the patches I’ve received are relatively frequent, they seem more focused on adding new AI platforms rather than fixing UX bugs, but whether or not that’s the right priority is an open question.

The upshot is, MindMac is worth a shot if you’re an AI power user that has moved beyond ChatGPT Plus and created their own API keys, or if you’re someone like me that has light usage, but needs to try out all of these different services and really doesn’t want to have 30 Chrome tabs open to do it.

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