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The four best AI writing apps worth a try

Whatever the industry, more and more people are using artificial intelligence to assist with their work, especially since the launch of ChatGPT. Many workers and students now use the tool to write documents, essays, and more. It often speeds up the process of creating content and managing the mundane aspects of work. While they aren’t taking over the world yet, they are quickly evolving and have reached a stage where they can be useful, at least in the right circumstances.

Of course, all AI writing software requires some level of human oversight to achieve the best results. Without it, the software can generate content that is rather generic or even hallucinate facts, even though it may appear to be written by a human. As AI tools gain popularity, people are becoming more adept at recognizing the often bland nature of AI-generated content and are likely to either identify it or at least be suspicious of content that seems to lack a human touch.

How do AI writing tools work?

Predictive text on a smartphone or keyboard works in a similar way to AI. It essentially provides an “educated” guess as to what a user might say next based on their history of typing in a specific app. The difference is that it will rely on what other people have said as well, and find some level of commonality.

For example, if typing the sentence “The cat sat on the,” the model predicts the word “mat” based on the input sequence. It’s a simplistic illustration, but in reality, the model considers a vast number of possible continuations based on its training data and selects the most likely one.

Some large language models (LLMs) now use internet searches to gather information relevant to their writing prompts, which they then integrate into their responses. While earlier versions tended to produce stiff and robotic output, developments in algorithms and programming have allowed AI writers to produce more human-like responses. These days, most are using OpenAI’s ChatGPT models to power their tools.

Which is the best free AI app for writing?

ReadWrite decided to ask AI itself for a text prompt to assess how well it would fare:

Write a 250-word short story about a character who discovers a hidden world within their favorite childhood book. The story should include:

  • A vivid description of the hidden world, including its unique features and inhabitants.
  • The character’s emotional journey as they explore this new world and confront their own nostalgia.
  • A surprising twist or revelation that changes their perspective on the book and their childhood.

Copy.ai

Copy.ai’s free trial uses ChatGPT-3.5, hence it is limited in terms of vocabulary and sophistication. Using the given prompt, it managed to create a story about a woman named Evelyn who discovered a magical library hidden in a garden.

Free AI writing app Copy.ai: As she dusted off the old, weathered copy of The Secret Garden, Evelyn never expected to be transported into a brand new realm. She found herself standing in an enchanting garden blanketed in a soft, golden glow. Flowers of every color bloomed in abundance, emitting a sweet, intoxicating aroma that danced upon the air. Ethereal creatures fluttered between the vibrant blossoms, resembling a blend of butterflies and tiny fairies. Their laughter filled the air like a melodious symphony.Evelyn couldn’t help but be overcome by a wave of nostalgia as she wandered through the garden, the fond memories of her childhood flooding back to her. Yet with each step, she felt her heart swell with a longing for the innocence and wonder of youth that had since slipped away. As she continued exploring, Evelyn soon stumbled upon a hidden library nestled within the garden. The shelves were adorned with stories she had long forgotten, tales that had once fueled her imagination. The books now seemed to hold a whisper of magic, urging her to uncover the truths hidden within their pages. The surprising twist came when Evelyn realized that the characters from her favorite childhood tales were alive within this secret world, existing beyond the confines of their stories. She had the power to free them from their scripted lives and grant them the autonomy to live as they wished. The revelation changed Evelyn’s perspective on her beloved book and her childhood aspirations. She realized that the magic of childhood could be carried into adulthood, that nostalgia could be a guiding force rather than a tether to the past. And with a newfound sense of purpose, she vowed to preserve the magic of the garden and the stories held within its walls for generations to come. Free AI writing app Copy.ai: As she dusted off the old, weathered copy of The Secret Garden, Evelyn never expected to be transported into a brand new realm. She found herself standing in an enchanting garden blanketed in a soft, golden glow. Flowers of every color bloomed in abundance, emitting a sweet, intoxicating aroma that danced upon the air. Ethereal creatures fluttered between the vibrant blossoms, resembling a blend of butterflies and tiny fairies. Their laughter filled the air like a melodious symphony.Evelyn couldn’t help but be overcome by a wave of nostalgia as she wandered through the garden, the fond memories of her childhood flooding back to her. Yet with each step, she felt her heart swell with a longing for the innocence and wonder of youth that had since slipped away. As she continued exploring, Evelyn soon stumbled upon a hidden library nestled within the garden. The shelves were adorned with stories she had long forgotten, tales that had once fueled her imagination. The books now seemed to hold a whisper of magic, urging her to uncover the truths hidden within their pages. The surprising twist came when Evelyn realized that the characters from her favorite childhood tales were alive within this secret world, existing beyond the confines of their stories. She had the power to free them from their scripted lives and grant them the autonomy to live as they wished. The revelation changed Evelyn’s perspective on her beloved book and her childhood aspirations. She realized that the magic of childhood could be carried into adulthood, that nostalgia could be a guiding force rather than a tether to the past. And with a newfound sense of purpose, she vowed to preserve the magic of the garden and the stories held within its walls for generations to come.
Copy.ai went with the classic “The Secret Garden” as its nostalgic read

While the story was quite pleasant to read, several noticeable AI traits appeared. For one, it used the main character’s name in every paragraph. Several words seem to be commonly used by ChatGPT, such as “nostalgia,” “abundance,” and “vibrant.” Combined with the repetitiveness, it seemed rather obvious that AI was used.

The pro version of Copy.ai uses ChatGPT-4, so it may produce better results. It’s unclear whether the app will incorporate new versions of the LLM, as OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman revealed that ChatGPT-5 is on its way.

Copy.ai is also compatible with a variety of other AI models including Azure and Anthropic, which makes it more flexible for delivering results. Another piece of good news is that the company has a zero-retention data policy.

Like OpenAI, Copy.ai has a free version with limited words, while the Pro version starts from $36 per month for five users, and has unlimited capacity.

Anyword

Anyword is a little bit more complicated to use as it doesn’t bring the user directly to the writing app. It offers a variety of writing options, including 1,000-word SEO-friendly blog articles, social media posts, and ad campaigns. If you just need a simple text prompt box, you can find it under “general prompt” on the dashboard.

Free AI writing app Anyword: Elara's fingertips brushed against the tattered spine of The Enchanted Forest, her favorite book from childhood. It had been a gift from her grandmother, a portal to a magical world where animals talked, and trees whispered secrets. As she opened the cover, a gust of wind spun the pages until it stopped abruptly on a sketch she had never seen before: a small, intricately drawn door in the trunk of the ancient Heartwood Tree.Compelled by an inexplicable urge, Elara pressed her finger against the door in the drawing. To her astonishment, the paper absorbed her finger like water soaking into dry earth, pulling her into a vortex of colors and sounds. Elara landed softly on a bed of moss at the base of the Heartwood Tree, now towering above her, its branches a canopy of glowing leaves. This hidden world was vibrant, more vivid than she remembered from the stories. Creatures of all shapes and sizes flitted through the air, and flowers hummed with a strange, harmonious music. As she wandered, a wave of nostalgia washed over Elara. Memories of her grandmother reading to her, their laughter mingling with the turning pages, enveloped her in warmth. But as she ventured deeper, a realization dawned upon her: this world wasn't just a figment of her imagination or her grandmother's tales—it was their shared dream, a realm shaped by their collective hopes and fantasies. Approaching the Heartwood Tree once more, Elara found an engraving she had missed before: her name, intertwined with her grandmother's, etched into the bark. Tears filled her eyes as she understood—this magical world was a gift, a secret place where they could always meet, even if only in spirit. With a heart full of love and a newfound connection to her past, Elara knew she could never see the book, or her childhood, the same way again. The Enchanted Forest, alive with the legacy of her grandmother's imagination, would forever be a sanctuary for her soul, a hidden world where every leaf and whisper echoed with the magic of their unbreakable bond. Free AI writing app Anyword: Elara's fingertips brushed against the tattered spine of The Enchanted Forest, her favorite book from childhood. It had been a gift from her grandmother, a portal to a magical world where animals talked, and trees whispered secrets. As she opened the cover, a gust of wind spun the pages until it stopped abruptly on a sketch she had never seen before: a small, intricately drawn door in the trunk of the ancient Heartwood Tree.Compelled by an inexplicable urge, Elara pressed her finger against the door in the drawing. To her astonishment, the paper absorbed her finger like water soaking into dry earth, pulling her into a vortex of colors and sounds. Elara landed softly on a bed of moss at the base of the Heartwood Tree, now towering above her, its branches a canopy of glowing leaves. This hidden world was vibrant, more vivid than she remembered from the stories. Creatures of all shapes and sizes flitted through the air, and flowers hummed with a strange, harmonious music. As she wandered, a wave of nostalgia washed over Elara. Memories of her grandmother reading to her, their laughter mingling with the turning pages, enveloped her in warmth. But as she ventured deeper, a realization dawned upon her: this world wasn't just a figment of her imagination or her grandmother's tales—it was their shared dream, a realm shaped by their collective hopes and fantasies. Approaching the Heartwood Tree once more, Elara found an engraving she had missed before: her name, intertwined with her grandmother's, etched into the bark. Tears filled her eyes as she understood—this magical world was a gift, a secret place where they could always meet, even if only in spirit. With a heart full of love and a newfound connection to her past, Elara knew she could never see the book, or her childhood, the same way again. The Enchanted Forest, alive with the legacy of her grandmother's imagination, would forever be a sanctuary for her soul, a hidden world where every leaf and whisper echoed with the magic of their unbreakable bond.
“The Enchanted Forest” seems to be a common feature with these AI tales

However, it allows you to change the tone of voice from neutral to rebellious, or even to a multi-tonal style incorporating three dimensions. There is also the capability to target specific audiences, whether they are nostalgic readers or creative writers. When kept neutral with a broad audience, it produced a similar copy, characterized by the repetition of names and overly flowery language. Nevertheless, the story was creative but seemed to heavily favor the fantasy genre.

Using other filters, it generated a tale almost identical to the first, including the same phrases such as “The Enchanted Forest,” “newfound,” “intertwining,” and “grandmother.” It’s quite apparent that it has a defined notion of what constitutes a childhood book.

Amelia had always found solace in the faded pages of The Enchanted Forest, a book her grandmother gifted her on her seventh birthday. As years passed, the spine cracked, and pages yellowed, but the stories held within remained vibrant in Amelia's heart. Now, at twenty-five, she stumbled upon the book in her attic, a wave of nostalgia washing over her.Opening the book to her favorite tale, Amelia was stunned as a soft, radiant glow enveloped her, pulling her into the world she had only ever visited in her dreams. She found herself in the very forest she had imagined countless times, only it was more vivid than she could have fathomed. The trees whispered secrets of ancient magic in the breeze, and mythical creatures roamed freely. Unicorns grazed near crystal-clear and fairies danced under the moonlight, their laughter as musical as the wind through the leaves. As Amelia wandered, awe-struck, she experienced an overwhelming sense of belonging. This hidden world, nestled within the confines of her cherished book, was as familiar to her as it was fantastical. However, her wonder was laced with a tinge of sorrow, realizing that her younger self had clung to these tales as an escape from loneliness. Exploring further, Amelia stumbled upon a cottage that bore an uncanny resemblance to her grandmother's house. Inside, she discovered a note addressed to her in her grandmother's handwriting, revealing that she had once ventured into this magical world herself. The realization hit Amelia; the stories weren't just tales, they were memories, passed down through generations. This hidden world didn't change Amelia's perspective on the book; it deepened it, intertwining her own experiences with those of her grandmother's. The book was no longer an escape but a bridge connecting her to her past, reminding her that magic existed in her reality, not just in the pages of The Enchanted Forest. She emerged from the adventure with a newfound appreciation for her childhood, understanding that the magic she longed for had been within her all along, inherited and shared in stories told from one generation to the next. Amelia had always found solace in the faded pages of The Enchanted Forest, a book her grandmother gifted her on her seventh birthday. As years passed, the spine cracked, and pages yellowed, but the stories held within remained vibrant in Amelia's heart. Now, at twenty-five, she stumbled upon the book in her attic, a wave of nostalgia washing over her.Opening the book to her favorite tale, Amelia was stunned as a soft, radiant glow enveloped her, pulling her into the world she had only ever visited in her dreams. She found herself in the very forest she had imagined countless times, only it was more vivid than she could have fathomed. The trees whispered secrets of ancient magic in the breeze, and mythical creatures roamed freely. Unicorns grazed near crystal-clear and fairies danced under the moonlight, their laughter as musical as the wind through the leaves. As Amelia wandered, awe-struck, she experienced an overwhelming sense of belonging. This hidden world, nestled within the confines of her cherished book, was as familiar to her as it was fantastical. However, her wonder was laced with a tinge of sorrow, realizing that her younger self had clung to these tales as an escape from loneliness. Exploring further, Amelia stumbled upon a cottage that bore an uncanny resemblance to her grandmother's house. Inside, she discovered a note addressed to her in her grandmother's handwriting, revealing that she had once ventured into this magical world herself. The realization hit Amelia; the stories weren't just tales, they were memories, passed down through generations. This hidden world didn't change Amelia's perspective on the book; it deepened it, intertwining her own experiences with those of her grandmother's. The book was no longer an escape but a bridge connecting her to her past, reminding her that magic existed in her reality, not just in the pages of The Enchanted Forest. She emerged from the adventure with a newfound appreciation for her childhood, understanding that the magic she longed for had been within her all along, inherited and shared in stories told from one generation to the next.
ChatGPT-3 is known to repeat certain words such as ‘intertwine’ and ‘realm’

The Starter plan with one seat costs $39 per month paid annually. The Data-Driven plan costs $79/month, and the Business plan is $349 per month.

Writesonic

Writesonic is another free AI writing tool, with an interface comparable to ChatGPT as it has a dark left-hand side panel. Like Copy.ai, the unpaid version is powered by ChatGPT-3.5 among others, but has better billing options than OpenAI. The company states that it is “agnostic” about using a variety of LLMs.

“Our proprietary AI Model Gateway, called GPT Router dynamically routes between multiple AI models, thus speeding up responses and ensuring the best quality output as well as non-stop reliability,” it says on its website. These include Meta’s LLama and Google’s Gemini models.

Free AI writing app Writesonic: A Nostalgic Journey to WhimsydaleIn the quiet corner of an old, musty attic, nestled among a sea of forgotten treasures, Sam stumbled upon the tattered remains of his favorite childhood book, "The Adventures of Whimsydale." Its pages, once vibrant with life, were now frayed at the edges, but to Sam, they still whispered promises of the magical world within. As he opened the book, a kaleidoscope of colors burst forth, enveloping him in a whirlwind that danced to the rhythm of his childhood laughter. When the colors settled, Sam found himself standing in the heart of Whimsydale, a realm more vivid than any dream. Glistening meadows stretched towards the horizon, where trees bore fruits of every imaginable flavor. The sky was painted with the soft light of twin suns, casting a perpetual golden hour over the land. The inhabitants, a collection of whimsical creatures – talking animals in waistcoats, fairies with iridescent wings, and sentient clouds – welcomed him with open arms as if he had never left. Sam's heart swelled with a cocktail of nostalgia and wonder as he frolicked with his once-imaginary friends. But as he ventured deeper, he discovered a hidden chapter, pages he never remembered. It revealed that Whimsydale was not just a figment of fiction, but a reflection of his inner child's creativity and hope. Sam realized his childhood innocence had crafted this world, and with age, he had unknowingly sealed it away within the book. The revelation shattered the walls between his past and present, merging them in a beautiful symphony. With a renewed sense of purpose, Sam vowed to keep the whimsy of Whimsydale alive, not just within the worn pages but in every step he took in the 'real' world, embracing the childlike wonder he had thought lost forever. Free AI writing app Writesonic: A Nostalgic Journey to WhimsydaleIn the quiet corner of an old, musty attic, nestled among a sea of forgotten treasures, Sam stumbled upon the tattered remains of his favorite childhood book, "The Adventures of Whimsydale." Its pages, once vibrant with life, were now frayed at the edges, but to Sam, they still whispered promises of the magical world within. As he opened the book, a kaleidoscope of colors burst forth, enveloping him in a whirlwind that danced to the rhythm of his childhood laughter. When the colors settled, Sam found himself standing in the heart of Whimsydale, a realm more vivid than any dream. Glistening meadows stretched towards the horizon, where trees bore fruits of every imaginable flavor. The sky was painted with the soft light of twin suns, casting a perpetual golden hour over the land. The inhabitants, a collection of whimsical creatures – talking animals in waistcoats, fairies with iridescent wings, and sentient clouds – welcomed him with open arms as if he had never left. Sam's heart swelled with a cocktail of nostalgia and wonder as he frolicked with his once-imaginary friends. But as he ventured deeper, he discovered a hidden chapter, pages he never remembered. It revealed that Whimsydale was not just a figment of fiction, but a reflection of his inner child's creativity and hope. Sam realized his childhood innocence had crafted this world, and with age, he had unknowingly sealed it away within the book. The revelation shattered the walls between his past and present, merging them in a beautiful symphony. With a renewed sense of purpose, Sam vowed to keep the whimsy of Whimsydale alive, not just within the worn pages but in every step he took in the 'real' world, embracing the childlike wonder he had thought lost forever.
Writesonic has an almost identical interface to ChatGPT bar the brand colors

The AI article writer can create long-form content pieces and includes a chatbot assistant named Chatsonic. When tested with a text prompt, it produced a slightly more imaginative story, making it more reliable than other tools.

Although there is a free version, Chatsonic costs $12 per month when paid annually and claims to offer output quality comparable to GPT-4 and Claude 3 Opus. The individual plan costs $16 and includes additional features such as an SEO optimizer, plagiarism checker, and a tool for facts and citations.

Rytr

Rytr, with a name that phonetically resembles “writer,” adopts a no-nonsense approach by featuring a straightforward interface like that of a writing pad. That being said, it still allows users to select the tone and use case of the output. Using the “story plot” function, it produced a tale almost identical to one by Anyword.

Rytr: As Amelia traced the worn pages of her dog-eared copy of "The Enchanted Forest," a strange sensation overcame her. The familiar illustrations seemed to shimmer, the colors becoming richer and more vibrant. Suddenly, the binding cracked open, and Amelia found herself tumbling headfirst into the pages.She landed with a thud on a lush, mossy forest floor, the scent of pine and wildflowers filling the air. Towering trees stretched up toward a brilliant azure sky, their branches rustling gently. In the distance, Amelia could hear the babbling of a creek and the chirping of unseen birds. Amelia's heart raced as she took in her surroundings, a potent mix of wonder and nostalgia washing over her. This was the world she had so vividly imagined as a child, the one she had escaped to when reality became too much to bear. And now, she was actually here, her fingers running over the velvety petals of flowers she had once only seen on the page. As Amelia ventured deeper into the forest, she encountered a cast of peculiar characters - a wise old owl, a mischievous fox, and a family of friendly woodland sprites. Each interaction stirred up a flurry of memories, both joyful and bittersweet. Had these characters been there all along, waiting for her to return? Just as Amelia began to lose herself in the magic of this hidden realm, a brilliant flash of light drew her gaze upward. There, suspended in the air, was the book she had entered, its pages fluttering as if beckoning her back. With a heavy heart, Amelia knew her time in this enchanted world had come to an end. But as she stepped back through the binding, she carried with her a renewed appreciation for the power of imagination - and the enduring magic of childhood. Rytr: As Amelia traced the worn pages of her dog-eared copy of "The Enchanted Forest," a strange sensation overcame her. The familiar illustrations seemed to shimmer, the colors becoming richer and more vibrant. Suddenly, the binding cracked open, and Amelia found herself tumbling headfirst into the pages.She landed with a thud on a lush, mossy forest floor, the scent of pine and wildflowers filling the air. Towering trees stretched up toward a brilliant azure sky, their branches rustling gently. In the distance, Amelia could hear the babbling of a creek and the chirping of unseen birds. Amelia's heart raced as she took in her surroundings, a potent mix of wonder and nostalgia washing over her. This was the world she had so vividly imagined as a child, the one she had escaped to when reality became too much to bear. And now, she was actually here, her fingers running over the velvety petals of flowers she had once only seen on the page. As Amelia ventured deeper into the forest, she encountered a cast of peculiar characters - a wise old owl, a mischievous fox, and a family of friendly woodland sprites. Each interaction stirred up a flurry of memories, both joyful and bittersweet. Had these characters been there all along, waiting for her to return? Just as Amelia began to lose herself in the magic of this hidden realm, a brilliant flash of light drew her gaze upward. There, suspended in the air, was the book she had entered, its pages fluttering as if beckoning her back. With a heavy heart, Amelia knew her time in this enchanted world had come to an end. But as she stepped back through the binding, she carried with her a renewed appreciation for the power of imagination - and the enduring magic of childhood.
Amelia and “The Enchanted Forest” made a comeback with Rytr

Not only did “Amelia” have a copy of “The Enchanted Forest,” but she also showed a penchant for streams and creeks. Hence, it is obvious that Rytr also uses ChatGPT-3 for its content writing.

Rytr is free to use, with unlimited queries available for $7.50 per month. In comparison, ChatGPT-4 costs $20 per month currently. The difference is that Rytr offers other features such as a plagiarism checker and SEO toolkit.

Featured image: Canva

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