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Evi app may be penalised by Apple

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Evi ‘confusingly similar’ to Siri?

Evi, a British smartphone application offering a similar service to Apple’s personal assistant app Siri, may be removed from Apple’s App Store.

According to the Guardian, Apple has warned Evi’s Cambridge-based manufacturer True Knowledge that the product is being reviewed in relation to the App Store’s terms and conditions, section 8.3 of which disallows apps considered to be ‘confusingly similar’ to Apple’s own products.

Both services use voice recognition to find mobile internet data to assist users. However, Siri is US-focused, while Evi favours the UK – including the ability to search British maps and businesses and better understand British regional accents.

Evi is already popular

Siri is integrated into the iPhone 4S, the launch of which in autumn 2011 led to some speculation that the app may even pose a serious threat to Google, due to its convenient search capabilities. Both Siri and Evi use a speech analysis system named Nuance for iPhone use, but Evi can also be used on handsets which employ the Android operating system, for which it uses Google’s own speech recognition programme.

Like all products in the App Store, Evi was checked by Apple before going on sale. The company usually only removes products if it finds that they have hidden certain functions for the review stage or inserted additional ones afterwards.

Evi has been available via the App Store for three weeks and has proven popular. The Guardian reported True Knowledge chief executive William Tunstall-Pedoe as saying that it has been downloaded nearly 500,000 times.

Mark Baker, online marketing manager at theEword, said: “It seems that Evi may become a victim of its own success – though only within the realm of the App Store. As it can also be used on non-Apple phones, it may continue to do well.”

Written by Liane Baddeley

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