Apple has been accused of hindering competition after telling an app development company its voice control app Evi is to be pulled from the app store for being ‘confusingly similar’ to Apple’s own Siri.
Evi was approved for the app store on January 17, well after Siri was touted as one of the key additions in the launch of the new iPhone 4S last October.
However, Evi’s publisher True Knowledge has told TechCrunch he received a call from Apple last week to say Evi is to be pulled from the app store, due to rule 8.3 in the app store Terms & Conditions which states that ‘Apps which appear confusingly similar to an existing Apple product or advertising theme will be rejected’.
Evi and Siri both use voice recognition technology from Nuance, but Evi uses True Knowledge’s own search engine.
Evi is also available on Android, and this version will of course be unaffected.
Customer ratings for Evi are not great – in New Zealand, reviewers say the app has trouble with the kiwi accent, while internationally users complain about constant server errors. The app costs $1.29 and is currently still available here.
Is Apple hindering competition, or just trying to squeeze out an underperforming app? Is voice recognition in its current state anything more than a gimmick anyway? Post your comments below.