It looks as if things are becoming quite crowded and heated in the “virtual assistant” space.

A recent TechCrunch report says that Apple is planning to remove Evi from the App Store because it violates Apple’s terms and conditions.

The violation? Evi is too similar to Siri

First of all, let me just say that I never even thought about Evi as a Siri competitor until I read the TechCrunch article. In fact, Evi never even worked for me after I initially heard about it and decided to try it.

As far as I was concerned, Evi was forever relegated to the “app I once purchased but will never use again” category.

Now that Apple has made a big deal out of Evi, I decided to give it a second chance, and you know what? I like it.

It’s funny that Apple can buy a startup like Siri (remember Siri was an acquisition), bake it into their OS, and then go after anyone else who’s created a similar app.

I know, I know, it’s Apple’s store; they get to decide the rules. The thing is, there are other so-called “virtual assistants” on the App Store, yet they choose to go after Evi? Proof that Apple realizes that Evi shows up Siri in a few key areas, as you’ve no doubt denoted from the video above.

If anything, Apple making a big deal out of this is just going to make more people aware that Siri is inferior in many ways to Evi. And what about the fact that iPhone 4 users and everyone else on iOS who isn’t using an iPhone 4S can’t access Siri? The terms and conditions don’t really apply in that instance, do they?

It’s going to be really interesting to see how this plays out. The bottom line is that Siri is only available on the iPhone 4S (without jailbreaking), but if Apple removes Evi from the App Store, that impacts everyone, not just iPhone 4S users.

Since Apple has no plans to bring Siri to older devices, I think they’re treading a very fine line here. I hope that Evi can stay in the App Store, but from the sound of it, things don’t look too promising.

Do you use Evi? What do you think about these recent revelations? You can download Evi from the App Store while it’s still available.

Update: I realized that I implied that Siri couldn’t tell about actors in films. It can, just not with hot linking that Evi features. Siri features Wolfram Alpha static answers. I apologize if this was in any way misleading. Siri can also do currency conversion.

Update 2: According to The Verge’s sources, Evi will remain in the App Store as Apple works with True Knowledge to take care of some of the redundancies between Evi and Siri. Good news for the 200,000+ Evi purchasers out there.

  • first

    • Matt Lewis

      First to comment, last to get laid.

    • Wow. At your age, I would think you would be mature, but apparently not.

      • Anonymous

        It’s called a sense of humour buddy!

      • I do not see the excitement of being a first to comment.

  • I tried using evi when I first heard of it a few weeks ago but it was slow and kinda featureless. Plus with it being an app only acess ability it lacks what Siri has by miles. So okay it maybe one of the few “good” apps available for older devices. I personally wouldn’t give it a second thought if it was to be removed.

    • Right. The thing is over 200,000 people have downloaded this, so it has a significant base. 🙁

      • I haven’t tried it, but it says it has like 2 stars lol? I don’t see how it could even begin to compete with Siri… I might have to give it a try haha

      • Anonymous

        Exactly. Ask it to make a note or call your parents and you’ll quickly realize how inferior it is. I just told it to play the Beatles… Can you guess what happened??? Nothing!!!

      • @CollegiateLad of course it won’t work. It is an “App Store” App. It doesn’t really have under the hood access to all the cool functions like setting alarm clock, or playing music.

  • Anonymous

    Jeff, how do you know Apple hasn’t gone after other virtual assistants?

    • I don’t, but these things generally have a way of making themselves public.

      • Collins Takyi

        I mean is it just me or Apple just doesn’t like any kind of competition. If it was up to Apple, apple products will be the only products on the market. SERIOUSLY!!!

  • I used evi it is rubbish most of time it say servers can’t respond try again later.

  • Dan

    If they do not allow Iphone 4 users to have Siri, I find it pretty stupid that they are removing it from the App store.

    Although personelly if Siri proxy ever stops working, I plan to switch to Sarah.

  • A

    I have Evi, and I use it every once in a while – but more in a fun curiosity way. If I had Siri, I would use it’s iOS integration a lot (more than the question-answering feature). I don’t really see Evi as being able to compete with Siri, in large part because it is not integrated in the OS. If Apple is not going to allow Siri on non-4S phones, then they should allow third-party apps to cover those devices.

  • I use siri mainly for setting alarms and reminders and texting while driving so evi would be blah to me. However I do like that it lists stars and what not and isnt just a google search.

  • Anonymous

    Evi sucks balls! Especially with us canadian users, I personally use vlingo it’s a lot better than evi! And best of all it’s free

  • They shouldn’t keep it nor ditch it ..they should acquire it like they did Siri.

    • No point in acquiring it… They won’t gain anything. Siri is better in every aspect. They’ll just get rid of Evi if they are feeling jealous.

  • Jeff I think you don’t know this but you can type your questions to Siri of course not the way like you do with Evi but yeah it is pretty useful. All you have to do is once you have activate her say anything you and if she doesn’t understand you tap on the words you said and write down what you meant, Siri will reply back or perform the action you asked her too. Video link:

  • Jeff, how do you know that 200,000 have downloaded it?

    • Daniel Levi

      because he’s a stalker 0_o

      • Why u reply on 6 months old news? 😉

      • Daniel Levi

        lol b/c i’m a stalker too ;D

  • In reference to update 2, there is no good news for Evi purchasers because in my experience, Evi never works!

  • Apple should just purchase the True Knowledge company that makes Evi, It would help with there database. The way Siri will change the game is for you to be able to ask it ANYTHING.

    I am sure Apple is going to add a truckload of features this year.

  • Picture of the post is awsome LOL

  • Anonymous

    People expected it to be a Siri replacement but it’s not! All evi is is a fun little Siri take off that can do web searches. It’s still kind of cool for people who can’t afford a new iPhone yearly

  • i have it 4 days before apple block it