Siri rival Evi looks set to be pulled from App Store

siri rival evi looks set to be pulled from app storeA personal assistant app called Evi may soon be pulled from Apple’s App Store because the Cupertino company says it’s too similar to Siri, the Apple-owned app found on iPhone 4S handsets. Evi, which costs 99c (69p), can run on earlier versions of the iPhone too, as well as the iPad, and also works on Android-powered devices.

Submitted to the App Store by its maker, True Knowledge, Apple appeared to have no difficulty in clearing Evi for launch last month, but as its popularity has grown — it’s currently at number one in the UK App Store chart and number five in the US — the company looks to have changed its tune. “Perhaps it’s the fact that Evi is pretty damn good, and doesn’t look a million miles away from Siri,” suggests TechCrunch’s Mike Butcher, who spoke to William Tunstall-Pedoe, CEO of True Knowledge, about the issue.

Tunstall-Pedoe said that on Friday evening he had a call from an Apple representative informing him that Apple was “going to pull Evi from the App Store” under rule 8.3 of the App Store’s terms and conditions. This states that “apps which appear confusingly similar to an existing Apple product or advertising theme will be rejected.”

“I don’t think it takes too much of a leap of the imagination to realise that ‘confusingly similar’ is code for ‘competitive with,’” Tunstall-Pedoe told Butcher, “and that 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.”

siri rival evi looks set to be pulled from app storeAlthough Siri and Evi both license Nuance’s voice recognition technology and on the face of it function in a similar way, Evi uses its own technology to deal with requests from users. Unlike Siri, the app also allows text input, besides voice.

If Evi is pulled any time soon, more than 200,000 iOS users of the app will be unable to get updates.

Ask Evi what she thinks of Siri and, in light of recent developments, her reply is rather diplomatic. “Siri is a great product,” she says generously. As for her future in the App Store, she’s not so sure. “I don’t know right now — try asking it again next week,” comes the reply.

It would be great to see Apple embrace a bit of competition and allow Evi to run alongside Siri to see which triumphs in the quest to become the supreme voice-activated virtual assistant app, but going by the content of the company’s recent phone call to True Knowledge, it looks unlikely that’s ever going to happen. What does Apple have to fear here? Does it really think that consumers consider Siri a deal clincher when shopping for a smartphone, and that having this rival product in the App Store might affect sales?

Social Media

GIF almost anywhere with Giphy’s new keyboard and sticker maker

We all love GIFs, but not every app supports them. Fortunately, the new Giphy' keyboard brings GIFs to any iOS app that supports multimedia. The update also comes with a new tool for creating animated stickers.
Mobile

Walk, run, and stretch with these handy iPhone fitness apps

Working out and getting yourself in shape isn't easy, but it's easier with the right set of apps. These best iPhone fitness apps will help you to track your calories, monitor your sleep, and achieve your fitness goals.
Mobile

Is somebody watching you? How to stop apps from tracking your location

If you don't like the idea of your every movement being tracked by apps on the phone in your pocket, then you may want to turn location tracking off. We take a look at how to do it on an iPhone or Android phone in this easy guide.
Mobile

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.
Mobile

Ditch your smartphone for a year and win $100k from Vitaminwater

Vitaminwater is willing to part with $100,000 if you're willing to part with your smartphone partner for a year. Could you last for a year armed with only a 1996-era phone? Here's your chance to find out.
Deals

The best Apple Watch deals for December 2018

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Deals

The best MacBook deals for December 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Deals

The best iPhone deals for December 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for December 2018.
Deals

The best iPad deals for December 2018

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.
Computing

How to connect AirPods to your MacBook

If you have new AirPods, you may be looking forward to pairing them with your MacBook. Our guide will show you exactly how to connect AirPods to MacBook, what to do if they are already paired with a device, and more.
Mobile

How to switch from iPhone to Android: The ultimate guide

If you've decided to bridge the great tech divide and leave Apple's walled garden for the unknown shores of Android, then you'll find all the tips and advice you need to begin switching from an iPhone to an Android device.
Mobile

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.
Computing

Which Macs are compatible with MacOS Mojave?

Is your computer ready for Apple's big Mojave update? Here's what you need to know about MacOS Mojave compatibility, what Macs can successful download Mojave, and the requirements you need to know about.
Computing

MacBook Pro battery replacement: Everything you need to know

Looking for a new battery for your MacBook Pro? It's important you know what to look for, what model you have, and what options Apple gives you! We'll cover everything you need to know about Apple MacBook Pro battery replacement.