Siri's got competition, her name is Evi

There's a new virtual personal assistant in town and her name Evi. Created by True Knowledge and running Nuance’s voice recognition technology, Evi is going to give Siri a run for her money - once the servers aren't slammed, that is.

I've been trying to use Evi all day, but keep getting server errors, but I'm not giving up hope. Apple's servers for Siri were also having issues when the iPhone 4S was released due to heavy traffic, but now works like a charm. Once the servers aren't so busy, we'll be sure to put Siri and Evi up against each other and share the results!

Phil over at Android Central gave Evi for Android a try as well,

Unlike a search engine, which simply looks for matching words and shows you a list of websites, Evi understands what you want to know and gives back exactly what you're after.

Need to know where the nearest bank is? Not a problem. Going out for dinner but can't decide where? She can help with that too. The more you ask, the more she will learn, and thus she is improving all the time.

  • Voice or text input - Chat to Evi in plain English and she will understand
  • Local information for UK and USA - Shopping, news, dining and more. Evi knows where you are and gives answers based on your location
  • One tap words - Allowing you to build your question super-fast
  • Built in browser - No need to swap to a different browser, view web links within Evi's app
  • A learning and adapting intelligence - Rate Evi’s answers to help her learn more about the world
  • More than a search engine - Evi takes the searching out of search, able to review and compare nearly a billion facts from her database to give you exactly what you need

Evi is available on the iPhone for $0.99.

Have an app you'd love to see featured on iMore? Email us at iosapps@imore.com, tell us about your app (include an iTunes link), and we'll take a look.

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Leanna Lofte

App and Photography Editor at iMore. Mother, wife, and math instructor. Follow her on Twitter @llofte and send her apps to consider for review at iosapps@imore.com

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There are 41 comments. Add yours.

fayek says:

hmmm im hesitant about the quality of this app, but for 99 cents im willing to try it out! even if you just said servers are overwhelmed.

mfm77 says:

I've heard pros and cons about this app so far, the biggest "con" being the server issues. My biggest question as an iPhone 4 owner: how close is this app to Siri, given that Siri is built into the iPhone 4S? For example, if I ask Evi for the weather, will she actually tell me? Or send me to a link/website? If it's the latter, that's one lazy assistant. :-)

arin.failing says:

I'm playing around with it now, and I have asked "her" for the weather. It is the latter, in fact, when you follow the link, you still need to input your local zip code. I'm an iPhone 4 user, and the aspects of Siri that I feel I would most likely use (text messages, local weather, meetings, timers, etc.) are not, and CANNOT, work with Evi; at least, not on the deep level integration that Siri does (for obvious reasons). Like Leanna, I am running into the server issues, as well (probably every other request at this point). But I have some iTunes store credit still from Xmas, so it was an easy $.99 to spend.
I guess I will put it this way: Evi is a competitor (and, in many cases, the victor) for the original Siri app, not the Siri "program" that Apple so deeply integrated in to the iPhone 4S with iOS5.
Does that help?

Inappropriate response says:

Yes - thanks. Like you said its the reminder, timer features that are the most useful for me which are never going to happen.

dgalanter says:

I am wondering if it can set alerts, reminders, and alarms like Siri.

arin.failing says:

No. Evi specifically states when asked to complete a task, "Sorry. I haven't learned how to do that yet. I can provide information though, so try asking me something."
It seems to be specifically an information tool (and an not extremely extensive one, at this point, either), but hey, it was released less than a week ago. So, I don't know, maybe give it some time? I HIGHLY doubt, though, that it will accept tasks.

morgans13 says:

it makes me wonder how long it will be before apple will take it off their app store

face says:

I wouldn't think so. Voice Actions tries to be Siri as well - to varying degrees of success - and that's been on the app store for a while. Vlingo has similarities though it isn't as advanced. I'd be surprised if they pulled it.

fayek says:

hey Leanna, ive been doing some searching and there's another app called vokul... maybe you guys should look at all the available voice control apps in the app store and write a "best siri alternative for iPhone 4" article or something.

face says:

One of the reviewers on the app store is so mad that he wants a refund - or else he'll contact the "Better Business Bourl!" His spelling.

stewm says:

A fun gimmick but I am not holding my breath for decent service. For 99 cents it's worth it but won't lose sleep over it not working or even if it gets pulled from the app store.

ModeratorOMD says:

I'm not buying it. It doesn't work.

fayek says:

ok update on this vokul app i mentioned and it's pretty great. it only works for placing calls, texts and controlling music and podcasts.
but it supports freeform dictation and voice recognition is also based on nuance technology.

jeffskent says:

Based upon the above comments I just bought vokul and evi. I am impressed with both of them, but mostly vokul is astonishing. Vokul "listens" for commands even while it is playing music or podcasts. I drive and listen a lot, and I don't want to look at the screen to change the song or podcast. Vokul will accept a vocal request to play a particular song, go to the next song, and even dial a number from your contacts directory. It also indexes your media collection upon first initialization. And to think that I spent all of $2.99 for these abilities. Highly recommended.

Quis89 says:

Why was this app even featured? Based on the comments alone its a waste of money until they get their server issues fixed.

John Peterson says:

It's all about the Benjamins ($$$) they paid, that's why :)

insideinfo says:

EVIdently, this is a garbage then, not worth a penny.

ricking says:

amen it would not load vlingo and dragon go much better

wamadden4 says:

It works for me... the servers seem to have vastly improved....

ryan says:

This app is ok.... nothing like siri. Most of the day the servers have been down. If you want something better try dragon go... It at least brings you results and works. Between dragon go and vlingo i get pretty close to siri... not there yet.

fayek says:

you should really check out vokul too... i have vlingo and tried evi and will download dragon right now...
if you are jailbroken you should try voiceActivator to assign commands to the native voice control that no one uses!

benjimen says:

Hundreds have rated it in the AppStore, averages out to 1.5 stars. Maybe future versions will have merit...

Glenn#IM says:

Seems the first that has the ability to open third party apps will be the winner. I would love for Siri to be able to open 2Do, or Evernote, and speak what I wanted to enter.

John says:

Now she does! With SiriToggles. It's a tweak but you have to be jailbroken. At least Siri opens the apps and then you can dictate from within. It does a lot of other stuff like setting brightness and turning wifi on/off. Looking forward for more tweaks that will make Siri shine out her real capabilities but we are getting there.

Happiicamper says:

Siri Toggles is AWESOME!!!

ricking says:

I BOUGHT IT AND IT SUCKS

Luis says:

Bought it yesterday, still not working at all

applejosh says:

The concept seems nice, but I have yet to have it work even once. So far, I basically paid a buck for an animated cyclops .gif. Still interested in seeing it actually work, though. I hope the server issues get straightened out someday.

mfm77 says:

I plunked down the 99 cents to try it, hoping that they'd get it up and running during the day. Alas, nothing has happened as of this post. To the creators' credit, they have posted a couple of updates on Facebook and Twitter in the last few hours, but Evi still is "getting her thoughts together." A day later.

Sock Puppet of the Great Satan says:

SIRI came out of the voice recognition group at SRI International.
Nuance is a spin-off of SRI International's voice recognition group as well.
Interesting that both are trying for the same space.

mfm77 says:

Other than a couple of hiccups, it seems to be working fine now. It's answered all of my questions (other than the "Who am I?" question, which it responds, "You should know who you are already") very accurately! I'm actually glad I waited patiently and didn't go ape---- like most of the reviewers in the App Store. Hopefully they work on integration/collaboration because this app definitely has much potential.

shyjuproxy says:

Evi shows a lot of promise but at the moment it is not performing. For an alternative that works on the same knowledge base as Evi, try out 'Voice Ask', which has been available for some time and is constantly being improved. See voiceask.com
See also 'Voice Ask', an app that offers a Siri alternative on the same basis as Evi. It also works on any iPhone, iPad, or Android device. See voiceask.com
Evi is following in the footsteps of 'Voice Ask', which has been in the store for some time and has outgrown some of the initial issues that are now plaguing Evi. Check out voiceask.com

iMore-On says:

It works ok but vokul is not available in the uk so can't try that!

Andy says:

Don't even waste a dollar on this thing. It's a total POS!

stephen chadwick says:

Stop moaning !!!
I don't have it on my pc.

Hyon Ullo says:

I just found out about your product (as it is embedded on the O'Reilly blog). That's something I was looking for, and I am impressed with the quality of the speech generated.

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