A Siri alternative that works on most Apple devices and speaks multiple different accents, Evi, is on Apple’s radar for imminent removal from the App Store. The reason? It’s too similar to Siri, Apple’s own speech-capable assistant that only comes with the iPhone 4S and boasts lesser language skills.
Speaking to a British news outlet on Monday, William Tunstall-Pedoe, chief executive of True Knowledge
an Apple representative had contacted him last week to inform him that “a decision had been made and that the app would be removed imminently.”
The Apple rep, Richard Chipman, reportedly indicated to Tunstall-Pedoe that Evi was being reviewed under condition 8.3 of the App Store's terms and conditions
This particular section talks about apps that are too similar to an existing Apple product. So similar, that they may confuse customers, according to Apple’s guidelines.
“Apps which appear confusingly similar to an existing Apple product or advertising theme will be rejected,” reads the document.
At the time of this writing, the 1 dollar app (or €0.79 in European territories) was still available for download through Apple’s digital distribution system for iOS devices.
It would be a shame to have the app pulled, especially since hundreds of thousands of people have bought it fair and square, after Apple’s initial approval.
To be noted that Evi is free on the Android Market, and it stands almost no chance of getting discontinued there. Apple wouldn’t be doing itself a favor by banning the paid version of the app from its own App Store. Then again, the Cupertino giant does have its priorities to consider.
Siri is one of the high marketing points for the iPhone 4S, if not the highest, considering that the phone has an identical appearance to the iPhone 4.
The hardware upgrades on the 4S (newer CPU, better camera) are big selling points too, but these may not be not enough to convince the masses to upgrade from an almost identical version handset.