Siri Meet Your Competition, Evi

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

True Knowledge has released a new voice control app to contend with Apple’s Siri assistant. The Evi app is being made available on both Google’s Android platform and Apple’s iOS. It’s free on Android but will cost Apple users 99 cents.  This is good news for older iPhone users.

The big claim here is that Evi will be much more useful to users outside of the US who’ve found Siri’s location-based services somewhat lacking.  In terms of functionality, Evi operates along very similar lines to Siri. You press a button, ask a question and wait for an answer.

Evi can answer quite a diverse range of questions, though, it cannot perform some typical Siri functions such as altering your calendar schedule just yet.  Evi is, however, in the beta stage and development is set to continue. It seems fairly likely functionality will be updated to be even more competitive with Siri in time.

According to True Knowledge, Evi knows nearly a billion facts and can somehow ‘infer’ trillions more through tends of thousands of subject ‘classes’.

What this means is that you get detailed answers to questions where Siri will simply shrug its proverbial shoulders and suggest you search the web. This is in part due to the fact that it searches from a variety of sources, including Google and Yelp, and it’ll also use the phone’s built-in GPS to contextualise responses.

We've downloaded the app on an iPhone 4, and have found it to be quite good, when the servers are available -- one in five questions seem to be held up at the server end.  For less than a buck this is not a huge inconvenience, but hopefully True Knowledge will remedy the issue as the user numbers increase.  There doesn't seem to be any integration in to the Calendar yet, which would be nice, and is an area where Siri has an edge.

You can get hold of Evi on iTunes and the Android Market now.