It looks like Apple’s about to drop the ban-hammer on another competitive application within the App Store in the coming days. According to TechCrunch and True Knowledge, Evi is going to be pulled from the App Store because it’s too similar to Siri:
On Friday evening True Knowledge had a call from Apple representative Richard Chipman. (If you Google Richard Chipman’s name you’ll find he is also the Apple rep that does the controversial calls about apps). He told True Knowledge that Apple was “going to pull Evi from the appstore” as it was similar to Siri. The rule being cited is number 8.3 in the App stro T&Cs” “Apps which appear confusingly similar to an existing Apple product or advertising theme will be rejected”.
It’s not really surprising that Apple would be looking to cut out the competition from the App Store. With Siri being the major selling feature of the iPhone 4S, Evi certainly provides people an alternative to purchasing the new handset. Just ask William Tunstall-Pedoe, CEO of True Knowledge, what he thinks about the matter.
Tunstall-Pedoe, speaking to TechCrunch’s Mike Butcher:
I don’t think it takes too much of a leap of the imagination to realise that ‘confusingly similar’ is code for ‘competitive with’ – and that all the user and press reviews along the lines of ‘now you don’t need to 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.
Evi, which is available on all iPhone models, unlike Siri, excels in a lot of ways that Siri does not. For instance, Evi searches the web and provides insights that Siri does not at this point. One of the big differences is that Evi provides location-based results outside of the US. On the flip side, Evi doesn’t integrate with iOS very well. It certainly won’t be setting reminders, and scheduling meetings any time soon. Evi has been downloaded more than 200,000 times by iPhone users, which we presume is comprised of mostly non-iPhone 4S owners.
If you want Evi, buy it now before it disappears on you. It’s only a dollar.
Update: There’s reports that Apple’s now working with Evi to get the application to a place where Apple will not have to remove it from the App Store. It may end up sticking around after all.