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Will Apple pull a Siri competitor from the app store?

Mel Martin

It might. Evi, a Siri knock-off, has apparently turned some heads at Apple. I took a look at Evi a few weeks ago. After a rocky start with overloaded servers, the app settled down and has gotten more reliable, but still has a lot of bad reviews in the App Store. Evi is attractive because unlike Siri, it does not require an iPhone 4S. Evi also uses the Nuance speech-recognition engine, just like Siri. Unlike Siri, Evi can't interact with Mail, Calendar or the Reminders app.

TechCrunch reports that William Tunstall-Pedoe, CEO of Evi developer True Knowledge, received a phone call Friday from Richard Chipman of Apple. According to the published report, Tunstall-Pedoe was told Apple was going to remove Evi from the app store because it was very similar to Siri. Apple is citing section 8.3 of the App Store Terms and Conditions: "Apps which appear confusingly similar to an existing Apple product or advertising theme will be rejected."

The controversy has caused lots of people to download Evi, probably not what Apple was hoping for. Late today there were some indications that the two companies are negotiating some ways to keep the app alive. We've reached out to True Knowledge for comment.

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