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back to article Apple tells Siri rival Evi: Get a facelift and you can stay

A British voice-recognition app that works like Siri may be allowed to stay in Apple's App Store, if it makes some changes, says a report in The Verge. Information app Evi was approved and launched in the iTunes store on 23 January 2012. But on Friday it seemed that Apple's App Store arbitrators had changed their minds and were …

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Bronze badge

really?

".....Evi was too good to pull...."

Just had a quick look at it on the appstore, and was more than slightly put of by the raft of 1* reviews....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: really?

Think the biggest problem is with the servers that keep falling over.

The recent surge in popularity caused by the rumours didn't really help with that (but probably made the business side much more interesting..)

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Anonymous Coward

SiriFail

"Siri, text my wife, tell her I'll be late"

Wifey receives a one line message - "ovulate".

Still, turned out good \o/

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Happy

Easy fix

Just remove compatibility with the iPhone 4S. Then it'll be exactly the opposite of Siri.

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Stop

Re: Easy fix

BUT if it does British stuff better, I as a soon to be 4S owner would want that. Question is how it performs for me as a driver (that's main attraction, as my bluetooth headset has an update that'll make it talk properly to Siri so I don't have to shout at the phone in its cradle at the wheel).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Easy fix

As if apple cared what it's customers want, you get what they give you.

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Silver badge

I'm trying to figure out if these voice controlled apps (including Siri) are better or worse than the non-native-speaking outsourced call centres I get lumbered with when attempting to contact what passes for an intelligent human when calling my bank, broadband technical support or some other faceless corporation.

The delay in response, lack of understanding of basic language (at least I don't have a strong regional accent) and inability to shift off script makes them seem worryingly similar at times.

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Silver badge

ah, the Telephone Automaton

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Bronze badge

Ah but can it answer the following?

Location of test: Local pub

Test equipment: 1x iPhone 4S with Siri, 1x HTC Desire Z running Speaktoit Assistant 0.3.6.1, 3x pints of Stella.

Question 1: What are the benefits of Jailbreaking my iPhone?

Siri: For information on your Apple product please go to the Apple website.*

STI Assistant: "Let me check that for you." provides link to "Benefits of Jailbreaking iphone - Hacking - iPhone" forum thread

Question 2: Why can't I run Siri on my iPhone 4?

Siri: For information on your Apple product please go to the Apple website.

STI Assistant: provides link to ZDNet article: "Siri, will you ever come to my iPhone 4?"

Question 3: When will the iPad 3 come out?

Siri: For information on your Apple product please go to the Apple website.

STI Assistant: provides search results including "Next iPad Coming March, But "Real iPad 3" Not Until Q3 2012"

Yes, I know that STI is basically doing a google search but I found it amusing that Apple have a list of verboten questions regarding Apple products that, basically, redirects to their website, closing the information loop.

Impressive, though, was that both assistant apps correctly parsed what three slightly wobbly blokes were asking them in a busy pub background.

*Paraphrasing as several pints had already been consumed in preparation for this scientifically rigorous test.

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Thumb Up

Re: Ah but can it answer the following?

Thanks for the heads up on this one Apple, never heard of it before today.

And what a fantastic experiment, I am going to see how it handles Captain Morgan and some fuzzed out stoner rock later.

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Re: Ah but can it answer the following?

Those are not "verboten questions," they just don't have a default behaviour with Siri. You can always ask Siri to search the web for those questions, like "Search the web for the benefits of jailbreaking my iPhone."

The main difference is that most other voice-control applications are just a front-end to a search engine. Siri, on the other hand, tries to integrate with other parts of the system, and presumably these parts will grow in the future.

The reason it doesn't respond to those questions directly is because it detects the question as related to an Apple product, and so it directs you to their web site. Searching the Web is not the default behaviour, since (contrary to what many think) the Web is not the actual One True (Accurate) Repository Of All Knowledge.

-dZ.

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Re: Re: Ah but can it answer the following?

DeeZed-Jay, I'm trying very hard to read your reply as some form of subtle irony but like those old Magic Eye 3d pictures I'm strugging to sufficiently defocus my brain...

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Re: Re: Ah but can it answer the following?

As any fule nose the web is not the oracle[1], however your post seems to imply that orchard of fruity PR IS One True (Accurate) Seposotory[2] Of All Knowledge.

[1] Not the database

[2] No, not a typo,

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Pint

Re: Ah but can it answer the following?

"Impressive, though, was that both assistant apps correctly parsed what three slightly wobbly blokes were asking them in a busy pub background"

That I think can be said of STI based on your anecdote.

Siri though .. ? Are you sure ?

Try saying a meaningless bunch of words at Siri which happen to include the names of Apple products, something like "stumble iPad 3 waft weave" or "cucumber iPhone salad". My bet is that it will still "correctly parse" what you say and direct you to the Apple web site.

Siri is actually pretty damned dumb - it just behaves in a way that give the impression of being clever to those who are easily impressed.

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Anonymous Coward

A pedant writes...

"...One True (Accurate) Seposotory[2] Of All Knowledge.

[2] No, not a typo..."

Er... Nice try, but I wouldn't be too sure about that. [Methinks you meant "suppository"]

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Silver badge
Mushroom

Antitrust??

In what way is this: "Replicating the functions of native iOS apps contravenes the rules of the App Store." different from MS bundling IE and Windows Media Player in Windows? In fact it's worse, since technically I could still install firefox or realplayer on windows if I wanted to

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Anonymous Coward

Well...

If they're fed up with the on/off/on approval, they could always release it for Android. I'm sure that would finalise its status on the iShop.

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Well...

I found Evi (on Android) useful for looking up facts but useless for operating my phone

The stock Google voice does that brilliantly though

Not like Iris who is useless

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A long way to go...

I installed EVI on my iPhone 4 and tried a few simple questions like 'where can I get a curry near here?'. EVI didn't have any knowledge of my small Dorset town whatsoever and suggested three online web sites which were equally useless. It was, however, able to tell me how many inches were in a metre from a spoken question – but I didn't really want to know that. If an app can't point you to a ruby, what good is it?

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Angel

Maybe they are being nice to Evi

becaise they're thinking about buying them. Apple does like buying small companies that are really good in a niche Apple is interested in. That's how they got Siri. If the Evi people suddenly grow silent and quit updating their app, look for its technology in an enhanced Siri in time for iOS 6 and iPhone 5 this fall :)

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