Ever keen to slap down rival products that may eclipse its own, Cupertino-based giant Apple is moving to kick the impressive Evi personal assistant off the virtual shelves of its official App Store.
The app in question, which has been crafted by Cambridge-based True Knowledge, doesn’t boast the same wealth of functionality as the Siri platform running on the iPhone 4S, but evidently it’s similar enough, and good enough, to bother Cook & Co.
Similar enough insofar as it recognizes regional user voice commands—apparently better than Siri—and can be used to perform information retrieval by executing swift Internet searches.
Speaking with UK newspaper The Guardian, True Knowledge chief executive William Tunstall-Pedoe confirmed that Apple has informed the company that Evi will soon be yanked from its download portal.
According to Tunstall-Pedoe, Apple’s decision has come about in light of point 8.3 of the App Store’s official Terms & Conditions, which states apps that appear “confusingly similar” to an existing Apple product or advertising theme will be tossed.
“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 in a related Tech Crunch report.
“All the user and press reviews along the lines of ‘now you don’t need to a 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,” he added.
Although Evi will remain available for Android devices through the official Android Market, the app’s almost 500,000 iOS users will now be left with no way to install updates for their software.