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IVR - No One Puts Siri in a Corner - Apple Decides to Pull Rival Evi from the App Store
February 28, 2012

No One Puts Siri in a Corner - Apple Decides to Pull Rival Evi from the App Store

By Jacqueline Lee, Contributing Writer

Siri, the voice recognition program released with the iPhone (News - Alert) 4S, has found herself in competition with a new girl named Evi.

Evi, developed by app maker True Knowledge, can run on older editions of the iPhone as well as on the iPad and on Android (News - Alert) devices. As the new voice app has grown in popularity, rising to Number One on the UK App Store Chart and to Number Five in the United States, Apple (News - Alert) has decided to take action. According to William Tunstall-Pedoe, CEO of True Knowledge, an Apple representative called to say that Apple planned to pull Evi from the App store. Apparently, Siri doesn’t like being challenged.

The Apple representative who spoke to Tunstall-Pedoe cited Apple’s regulation 8.3, which gives it permission to withdraw apps that are confusingly similar to existing Apple products or advertising themes. “I don’t think it takes too much of a leap of the imagination to realize that ‘confusingly similar’ is code for ‘competitive with,’” said Tunstall-Pedoe. “All the user and press reviews along the lines of ‘now you don’t need to buy a 4S, you can download Evi,’ ‘better than Siri’ etc. have resulted in a change of heart from Apple about allowing its users to get the app.”

Many reviewers have praised Evi for voice recognition but have found that its servers could use an upgrade. Evi tended to answer questions, for instance, after users had left the app, gone on to another app, and then reopened Evi. If the question was, “What time is it?” then Evi’s answer would be 20 minutes off.

However, many users say that Evi is more personable than Siri. “She knows what she looks like, she knows what she can and can't do,” says user Motoleo in the MacRumors forum. “She reacts to what you say better than Siri. She's very smart and very nice. For me, she's better than Siri. Siri's mean. And stern. And not too bright.”

When asked what she thinks of Siri, Evi replies, “Siri is a great product.” Siri, however, is not quite as generous. Both products use Nuance voice recognition technology, although Evi accepts text input as well as voice input.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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