One of the main reasons I got an iPhone 4S was because of Siri – search engine with natural language processing, artificial intelligence with a bit of humor, and even conversational. Siri was a complete package.
Except for those without a 4S, or live outside of the U.S.
However, a new app has surfaced in the App Store that could be a real Siri competitor, and her name is Evi, from True Knowledge. She will work on all iPhone models that have at least iOS 4.0 running. There is even a beta Android version available, if you’re into that sort of thing (Android, that is).
Like Siri, Evi can give the user accurate answers to any question, sometimes even better than Siri. She can answer any question, even if it does not relate to the States! This should definitely be a big relief for those overseas that have an iPhone 4S, but aren’t able to use Siri to her full potential.
Evi consists of licensed Nuance voice recognition technology (the $0.99 charge for the app is to cover the license) and True Knowledge’s engine.
With Evi, you get a combination of speech-to-text recognition, natural language text and understanding, as well as intent. When Evi works, it does it very well. The best thing is that she is improving all the time, even though she’s currently in a beta state, just like Siri.
Currently, Evi has a database of nearly anything you can talk about, and she knows almost a billion facts and can learn even more. She also comes with built-in integration with other sources, such as Yelp, external mobile-friendly websites, APIs, traditional searches, and more.
A good example is recipes. If you ask Evi something like, “How do I make an apple pie?” you actually get a list of recipes with web links. Siri would only provide you with a “search the web” answer.
If you’re a Siri user, you’ll probably miss how Siri can add things to your Calendar or Reminders. But maybe Evi can do that too in the future.
If there is one thing that Siri and Evi share though, it’s the fact that they both won’t work when their servers are overwhelmed. The developers are aware of the connection issues and are working to get her back on her feet again.
In the meantime, check out the video below and let us know what you think of Evi. It seems like a great alternative for those that don’t own 4S devices or live across the pond.