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Apple Threatens To Pull Siri Clone From App Store

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the larry-wall-is-full-of-lies dept.

Software 251

daria42 writes "Steve Jobs might not be around any more to enforce some of Apple's stricter policies, but that doesn't mean the company is letting it all hang loose. Overnight the U.K. company which produces a speech recognition app called Evi, which mimics many of the functions of Apple's Siri, confirmed Apple had approached his company letting it know that Evi was being reviewed for possible breaches of Apple's App Store policies. The reason? A clause in the policy which bans apps too similar to Apple's existing software. It does appear to matter to Apple that Siri doesn't function that well in the U.K., because of a lack of good localisation." Supposedly Evi will be continue to be allowed on iOS if it alters its interface to be dissimilar enough from Siri to placate Apple.

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251 comments

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How do you like them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39182929)

...apples.

Re:How do you like them... (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183209)

Don't be Siri. Be Evir.

Is this Apple or MS? (5, Insightful)

sjwt (161428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39182945)

Sounds like its time for an antitrust case to me.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (4, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#39182965)

Sounds like its time for an antitrust case to me.

Yes,

But Apple has been pulling competing applications from the app store since it's inception, no alterate email clients, SMS clients, diallers, MP3 players, browsers (proper browsers, not viewers for server generated images or window dressing for the existing rendering engine) and others.

The question is, why is Apple even threatening? Their normal procedure is to pull the app, remove it from everyone's phone, revoke the developers key and send an iAssassination squad to eliminate the one who dared defy them.

Has this guy got compromising photos of Tim Cook and Steve Jobs?

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (0)

JosKarith (757063) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183167)

Just another reason to avoid the proprietary lock-in hell that is Apple's walled garden. Sure their products are shiny and smooth but you trade all your rights to the device you just forked out enough to buy a car on for that ease of use.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (4, Funny)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183197)

you just forked out enough to buy a car

That must be some car.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (3, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183245)

You could also use Google's walled garden, or Microsoft's walled garden, or RIMs walled garden.

Google's walls are considerably shorter than the others, but walls nontheless. It really just comes down to business management: There is some profit to be had in device manufacture alone, but there is far greater profit to be made in providing services those devices must depend upon.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (2)

Threni (635302) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183261)

I thought you could install anything you wanted onto an Android phone, out of the box, no jailbreaking or anything. Just email youself the package and install, or use usb etc. That's not a wall.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (4, Informative)

mjwx (966435) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183347)

You could also use Google's walled garden, or Microsoft's walled garden, or RIMs walled garden.

Google doesn't have a walled garden. it's an open park you can walk into and out of all of your own accord.

I think you need to look up the definition of "walled garden" or actually use Android for yourself. It's nothing like Apple's system of lockdown.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (2)

Truedat (2545458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183547)

You could also use Google's walled garden, or Microsoft's walled garden, or RIMs walled garden.

Google doesn't have a walled garden. it's an open park you can walk into and out of all of your own accord. I think you need to look up the definition of "walled garden" or actually use Android for yourself. It's nothing like Apple's system of lockdown.

Actually I've never been sure of the meaning of "walled garden". For example most gardens I know of have a gate that you can use to exit and explore the wider, ahem, HTML fauna. I know the term is used pejoratively here on slashdot but to most other people it sounds kind of nice. You know, like maybe there is a tea shop you can visit just next door. Perhaps it's time to revisit our horticultural themed analogy, would critics be better off using "prison yard"?

So where do people put android in this analogy - is it like one of those houses that don't have a garden at all, perhaps the front door leads straight out into the street? Or perhaps the landlord allows you to grow whatever the hell you like in the garden, beautiful flowers or thorny old weeds.

Whatever, the whole walled garden meme seems like it needs more work.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (2)

Mithent (2515236) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183613)

The analogy about what you're allowed to grow in your garden is a decent one... On the Apple side we have a controlled neighbourhood where you're required to select one of the limited number of approved layouts and plant only the kind of plants that the committee allow, ensuring that you have a nice garden but restricting your freedom to develop it in the way you like. There are no controls on Android gardens, giving potential for more creative designs and interesting gardens, but with nothing stopping you letting your garden overgrow with thorns and weeds other than your own care and attention.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183849)

Actually I've never been sure of the meaning of "walled garden".

the whole walled garden meme seems like it needs more work.

But how do you know that if you don't even get the meaning??? I AM CONFUSE.

I know the term is used pejoratively here on slashdot but to most other people it sounds kind of nice. You know, like maybe there is a tea shop you can visit just next door.

Walled garden is used pejoratively here because nerds have a tendency to tinker about with gadgets. Walled gardens prevent that.

The Walled Garden analogy is supposed to be about a locked in garden which is carefully tended to exacting standards with no foreign interference that isn't strictly regulated. It's not *technically* a bad thing, but that's wholly dependent on where you feel on the "giving up rights for safety" argument.

So where do people put android in this analogy - is it like one of those houses that don't have a garden at all, perhaps the front door leads straight out into the street? Or perhaps the landlord allows you to grow whatever the hell you like in the garden, beautiful flowers or thorny old weeds.

If every iPhone is a walled garden that you need to use as Apple demands, Android is like a basic garden set that they sell you and you can add whatever you feel like. Sure, the Apple one is guaranteed to look prettier and be safer in its uniformity, but the Android will have a lot more potential for something kinda cool. And also potential for disaster.

TLDR: Apple is a snow globe. Android is a diorama. You are right in that garden analogy could use expansion.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183965)

Actually I've never been sure of the meaning of "walled garden".
Whatever, the whole walled garden meme seems like it needs more work.

It's not a meme, it's a technical term. A "Walled Garden" is a network (or system) which is enclosed and self-contained, and if there is any way to get out of it you're required to pass by some type of gate-keeping mechanism.

Probably the most common example is in use at many Hotels, where you are blocked entirely from the internet until you click on their internal "landing page" which registers your computer and then allows you to access the internet.

For example most gardens I know of have a gate that you can use to exit and explore the wider, ahem, HTML fauna.

Right, the point being that the walls of the garden restrict you to only being able to wander inside the garden, and you are kept from the outside world by the gate. It's an analogy used to express the idea of artificially containing you in a predetermined area, it's not supposed to be an exact replica of some real-life situation.

There is a bit of a wall, though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183561)

Google DOES have some "verbotens" in their provision.

1) Installable apps you cannot get rid of. Google Mail, Google Calendar, Google Synch, etc. Especially now that Google is owning what you post to their cloud services, the fact you're not allowed to remove their cloud service apps is a problem. Telling Google you're not using them allows them to see the effect of their policy decision.

2) DRM locking firmware. Mostly so they can "allow" you to "buy" hi-def video to view on "your" device or give HDMI output, but there's no way of (generally) telling the firmware and system that you don't give a flying fuck about DRMd video content or even buying it, so please remove it and don't let any DRM limited "content" be purchased (since it won't be able to be used).

These are two reasons why I'm seriously considering removing the Android firmware and installing Linux on my Archos G9.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (3, Insightful)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183739)

You could also use Google's walled garden, or Microsoft's walled garden, or RIMs walled garden.

Google doesn't have a walled garden. it's an open park you can walk into and out of all of your own accord. I think you need to look up the definition of "walled garden" or actually use Android for yourself. It's nothing like Apple's system of lockdown.

The definition seems to be "A term used derisively by Apple haters."

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39184031)

Only in an apple related thread you got this level of analogy R&D. Jesus, cut the crap, the whole thing is summarised in the first couple of comments.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (4, Informative)

Anonymus (2267354) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183349)

I think you're confused about what the term "walled garden" refers to. It means that the carrier or service provider controls exactly what is and isn't allowed on the phone.

Apple is the only platform you mentioned with a walled garden approach. Google (Android), Microsoft (MS Mobile), and RIM (Blackberry) all allow users to install any application they want. They may not be allowed in an official app store, but you can just connect your phone via usb or email files to your phone and do whatever you want. Each of those platforms may have varying levels of what features/hardware the software is allowed access to once it's on the phone, usually for security but sometimes for business reasons, but that is not the same thing as a walled garden.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (2, Funny)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183679)

Walled garden, yadda yadda fear mongering bias making use of all the negative buzzwords to describe Apple. Have you seen how beautiful a real Walled Garden is? At the same time who doesn't lock in customers?

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (0)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183807)

Ease of use my arse. Obfuscating an interface under big, shiny buttons is not "ease of use". Not to mention no batterly life on the iPhone 4s and a charging cable so short you have to put your $500+ phone on the floor wherever you charge it.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (1)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | more than 2 years ago | (#39184007)

I suspect most iPhone owners charge their phone from a USB port, not a power point. I know I do: it just gets dropped in to the cradle when I get home at night.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (4, Informative)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183553)

But Apple has been pulling competing applications from the app store since it's inception, no alterate email clients, SMS clients, diallers, MP3 players,

That's odd, because you can go to the App Store and find plenty of alternate email clients, diallers, SMS clients, and MP3 players. Plenty that have been there a long time.

browsers (proper browsers, not viewers for server generated images or window dressing for the existing rendering engine) and others.

That's the only one in your list that's true. You are allowed to create alternative browsers, and there are many on the App store. But you're not allowed to put your own browser rendering engine on iOS. In part because it would fall foul of the no interpreters with downloadable content rule.

You are allowed to compete with Apple's own apps on functionality. What you're not allowed to do is to copy the UI of one of Apple's Apps. That's the reason Evi have been asked to change. Because the UI is too much of a Siri copy.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (4, Insightful)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183109)

Why would it be time for an antitrust case?

Apple doesn't have a monopoly on smartphones, software for smartphones or anything really.

They do however have a product (the iPhone) which is designed to only receive software authorized by Apple (through the App store) but this is not a monopoly, there are plenty of competing products on the market.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183155)

Antitrust cases aren't strictly about monopolies, it's about abusing dominance in a market, for example to push into other markets. Market domination has no clear cut definition.

If, say, one would successfully argue that Apple is dominating in mobile OS market, then using that position to promote Apple's web browser would be illegal.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183319)

Yes, but to establish market power (not market "domination", which has no definition because it's not a meaningful term), you have to concede that the other smartphone platforms pose no significant competition to Apple. As any Slashdot story or any sales figure would show, that's not the case.

Apple is an immensely powerful player in the smartphone space, but its ability to cause competitors to act isn't because of market power in the economic and business sense, but instead because of a publicity profile. Apple is the one to beat because of a combination of customer satisfaction, marketing, and industrial engineering and design prowess (and increasingly, technical achievement in certain areas). They're not the ones to beat because of units sold or because they can force competitors to do specifically what Apple wants them to do.

Their success despite stronghold on platform rules, and especially considering that they are sometimes unevenly applied and result in some functionality gaps with competing products is very strong evidence of competitive success, not interference with the market. These forces would tend to drive customers away toward the fine alternatives available, except that people view the benefits as far outweighing the inconveniences. Report after report shows unparalleled satisfaction and repeat purchases of their mobile devices, along with strong growth over a period of time.

In short, popularity alone isn't market power in the context of competition law. Customers and developers have plenty of options if they don't like the balance of pros and cons offered by Apple. Just because a huge number of people use something that a small but vocal crowd thinks is unduly restrictive is not an antitrust issue.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (3, Insightful)

gyaku_zuki (1778282) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183697)

I don't even like Apple, but I agree with everything this dude ^ said. I love my Android, I find it much better than any iOS device, but when so many people buy and don't care about the lock-in and so on, you can't really argue they aren't doing something right.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (2, Insightful)

Anonymus (2267354) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183379)

Every product Apple has created in the last 10 years has been designed specifically to drive sales of their other products, while maintaining a closed, integrated system that can't be broken out of. That is literally Apple's core business model, if you look at anything Steve Jobs has ever said. If they ever actually achieve market dominance in an area, they will be destroyed by anti-trust litigation (or should, but with $80+ billion for lawyers, they're untouchable) because their entire strategy is abusing power in one area of their business to feed and promote another.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (1)

Deorus (811828) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183413)

Fortunately, they only care about the high-end, so market dominance is unlikely to ever happen.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (4, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183567)

If they ever actually achieve market dominance in an area, they will be destroyed by anti-trust litigation

With iPod they had monopoly dominance in the MP3 player market for years. No anti-trust suit. It's not illegal to have a monopoly.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (3, Interesting)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183603)

How did Apple have a monopoly on MP3 players? There were plenty of others on the market although the iPod was the best-selling one.

And even if they did have a monopoly, in what way did they abuse this monopoly?

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (1)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183911)

Um, none of the others could compete on the same level due to Apple locking in very key technology to increasing the storage size of their MP3 players at the time.

I personally was going to buy one because I could simply drop my entire mp3 collection onto it.

No more "Aww, I wish I'd loaded song x today"

However my use case for it was very limited.

Nothing was available in the way of any serious competition until flash memory advances were made to allow similar storage sizes to the original two versions of the iPod.

The 2gb iPod was eight times larger in terms of storage than its next closest competitor when it was released.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39184045)

How did Microsoft have a monopoly on Personal Computers? There were plenty of others on the market, although Windows 3.1 and 95 were the best-selling ones.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (4, Informative)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183705)

Really? An "integrated system that can't be broken out of"? You're talking shit on so many levels. As a simple user myself with allusions of being a super user, I can easily transfer everything to another OS tomorrow if I wanted, saying it requires work to do so isn't unfathomable, any switchover will. For those on the hacker level for greater freedom, you can jailbreak and remove drm protections with instructions available online.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (1, Insightful)

Inconexo (1401585) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183247)

Apple is now more microsoft than Microsoft used to be.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183259)

Does this mean 1984 really does end up being like 1984?

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (0)

peragrin (659227) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183627)

as an apple user,

Apple is now more Microsoft than Microsoft tried to be.

I refuse to use things that tie me directly to their control. same with google or microsoft. however the simple fact the iOS has had less viruses, less trojans than android by a factor of 1000 means that they are doing something right.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (4, Insightful)

phayes (202222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183321)

Sounds more like the typical whine of people who, after tens of articles on /. bitching that Apple doesn't allow (apps similar to their OS apps, porn, flagrant ripoffs of existing apps), still don't comprehend that the Apple is not a monopoly & thus App store rules are not abuse of a monopoly.

If you want different app store rules on your iPhone, jailbeak it. If, as I suspect, you don't event have an iPhone, spare us from your whining...

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183573)

I think there is some confusion about the dictionary definition of monopoly and the legal definition. In the UK, at least, you are deemed to hold a monopoly position within a market if you control more than 25%, which apple certainly does in the smartphone market.

Also, and I admit it might be a tenuous, you could argue that apps for iOS is a single market, and therefore apple has a 100% monopoly on the supply of apps for iOS, a position that I think most of us agree the abuse to one degree or another.

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183499)

Apple are Evi - l

Re:Is this Apple or MS? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39184047)

Why should someone be able to clone anyone's software and cause user confusion? From the sounds of it they just don't want it looking the same. I think that's a reasonable request.

Can Siri get it done? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39182947)

Apple: Siri, please pull rival app from app store
Siri: Would you like cheese with that?

Oh Apple. (5, Funny)

minus9 (106327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39182963)

Don't be Evi.

Voice-driven devices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183271)

What's the deal with Siri? Is it good or is it whack?

Which localization? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39182969)

Are we talking voice inflection and pronunciation, or is it vocabulary? I would be surprised either way since I can adapt to UK English in at most a few minutes.

Re:Which localization? (2, Insightful)

sjwt (161428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183067)

yes, but you are not a hard coded program, you are the current top of the line adaptive learning system.

Re:Which localization? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183137)

Just remember to go in for a service every 10,000 adaptations.

Re:Which localization? (2)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183273)

yes, but you are not a hard coded program, you are the current top of the line adaptive learning system.

Given a major pleasure center is so close to a waste disposal area, I'd still say his engineer needs to work on a better model for v2.0.

Re:Which localization? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183551)

As I understand it, the two may even overlap in certain models.

Talk about fragmentation!

Re:Which localization? (1)

Deorus (811828) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183429)

I would suppose the localization there has to do with geolocation services that currently are only offered in the US. You can't ask Siri for a cab in the UK, for example.

It's localisation... (2)

alex67500 (1609333) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183517)

It's localisation, with an 's', you illiterate sod!

Re:It's localisation... (1, Offtopic)

Deorus (811828) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183981)

Only in British English, which I despise.

Repost? Mistitled? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39182975)

Isn't this a repost of a /. earlier this week?
Also, to my knowledge Evi was there before Siri, so Siri would be a clone of Evi, not vice versa.

Apples idea of similar (-1, Flamebait)

meerling (1487879) | more than 2 years ago | (#39182977)

Apple probably thinks it's to similar if:

It accepts input spoken in a normal conversational tone of voice

Understands normal grammar

Allows English input when English is selected as the default language

Runs on multiple versions of istuff (iphone3, iphone 4, ipod, ipad, etc)

Can anyone else add to this list? After all, if they think any touchpad with features like rectangular shape, black coloration, rounded corners, bevels edges, and edge to edge displays is violating their ipad, where do you think they'll draw the line on software?

Re:Apples idea of similar (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183577)

Apple probably thinks it's to similar if:

Or rather than, you know, talking out of your ass, you could take a look at the UIs of the two apps.

Evi not much of a competitor, IMHO (4, Insightful)

CyberSnyder (8122) | more than 2 years ago | (#39182991)

At least 70% of my attempts to use Evi result in some version of a "unable to process your request" error.

Re:Evi not much of a competitor, IMHO (4, Interesting)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183023)

I concur. While the text to speech engine and the interpreter seem to work correctly it suffers from a lack of information.

When I tried saying "What is the weather in Sydney" I got an answer saying that the functionality is coming soon and to try Accuweather instead. Why not just pipe that request to Google and return the text at the top?

Other classic ones are maths problems. I asked "What is five plus five." It correctly interpreted "5+5?" and then said "This appears to be a maths question, try asking the question in words."
I eventually beat it by asking "What is the addition of 5 and 5?" and it correctly answered 10.

Seriously the program has some incredibly fundamental flaws.

Re:Evi not much of a competitor, IMHO (2)

IAmGarethAdams (990037) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183079)

Why not just pipe that request to Google and return the text at the top?

I think you should double check Google's terms and conditions for automated access

Re:Evi not much of a competitor, IMHO (1)

Phoghat (1288088) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183351)

When I tried saying "What is the weather in Sydney" I got an answer saying that the functionality is coming soon and to try Accuweather instead. Why not just pipe that request to Google and return the text at the top?

Because Google /= Apple, I.E. Google /= Bing

Re:Evi not much of a competitor, IMHO (1)

alienzed (732782) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183085)

Which is horrible if this thing is advertising itself as being 'like' Siri.

Re:Evi not much of a competitor, IMHO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183465)

So it's not a cloe of siri. It's a copy!

Re:Evi not much of a competitor, IMHO (1)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183975)

that was the case when evi was originally slashdotted (SURPRISE) but now it actually works quite reliably; and although it doesn't always directly answer the question it can usually provide a way for you to find the answer quickly

I be continue to be... (5, Funny)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183009)

I be continue to be horrendously disappoint at Slashdot's lack of editing!

Wtf? (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183011)

Siri doesn't understand British english? I can understand if it doesn't support german, french and other non-english languages, but doesn't understand different dialects of english seems bad.

Also, Siri is only on the iPhone 4s, not on any other model so is it really breaching that clause?

Re:Wtf? (4, Informative)

Captain Hook (923766) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183145)

Siri doesn't understand British english? I can understand if it doesn't support german, french and other non-english languages, but doesn't understand different dialects of english seems bad.

If you think about it, it makes sense.

A different language is a different language and as a result rules must be explicitly programmed for those languages and everyone understands that.

English sounds English to a human ear, the syntax is based on the same rules but the usage of the language varies a lot around the world. Meaning is coloured by local culture.

For example, in India, it considered rude to ever say No to a request, so the first response to a request is normally Yes, followed by a qualification. In the UK, that cultural bias to saying No doesn't exist, so when we say Yes, we really mean Yes. The same language, using the same syntax but the important part of the sentence comes in different places because of the local culture.

The problem is that humans are really good at deciphering meaning from what is effectively errors in the communication protocol and so everyone tends to think English is just English with strange pronunciation and so tend to over look the need for specific rules for each region.

Re:Wtf? (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183201)

I know a lot of immigrants from Europe. Their accents are there but it's not bad, they are completely understandable to the average American. In the past, some of them tried Dragon to poor to mediocre success and Siri is no better, if not worse.

And Siri should be better, the inquiries are often simple, repeated commands. But Siri doesn't seem to ever learn. It would be so simple to set up profiles to train it to compensate to some degree, but like most computer programs, the human has to conform to it and not the other way around. Sad.

Seeing one guy ask for "wedder today" and seeing the program never learn that they mean "weather" is disheartening.

Re:Wtf? (0)

Therad (2493316) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183333)

No, this doesn't make sense at all. We are talking about British english vs US english, whose culture are very similar. Actually, a normal american probably have more in common with a common brit than they have with for example a Texan.

And second, your example is a poor comparison. Not only is it not British english, you are talking about the answer not the command or question that you give Siri. The usual commands you give Siri are very similar in US and UK. I.e "Set my alarm", "Book an appointment", "Call XX", "where is YY?", "Find me a restaurant".

Re:Wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183399)

*facepalm*

Re:Wtf? (1)

Plammox (717738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183527)

look:
US English: "Buuuk Aiirrn Aiiirrrpoñññtmarnt"
UK English: "BoOK A_n Appouyintmnt"

Yes exaggerated, and in improvised phonetics, but imagine a spectrum analyser who has to sort out that these two sound clips mean the same. UK English is absolutely not the same. When did you last order a pint in London? Don't get me started on Northern vs. Southern accents.

Re:Wtf? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183799)

And yet Android's voice recognition works just as well with English from both sides of the Atlantic. One would imagine it's harder for American accents to be correctly interpreted due to the general poor enunciation of the populous, especially with the "t" being crushed to "d".

Re:Wtf? (1)

Deorus (811828) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183461)

Siri supports US English (speaks in the default female voice everyone as heard), UK English (low pitched male voice), AU English (different female voice, better than the US voice, in my opinion), French (effeminate-sounding male voice, as you would expect from any French guy), and German (the best sounding female voice in my opinion). The localization issues are most likely related to geolocation services not offered outside of the US, such the integration with Maps and search for local services. As I understand it, in some cases it won't even tell you the current time or weather because the city you are in or closest to is not in the database, even if consulting the time would be just as simple as obtaining the device's time.

Re:Wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183991)

Worse than that - Siri doesn't do what it claims on TV ads (which is quite a big deal in the UK).

A friend of mine has a 4S, so he tried the exact same voice prompts as in the TV ad...

"How does my day look?"
"Will I need an umbrella today?"
"Remind me to get milk when I leave work"
"tell my wife I'm going to make it"

Not one of them even vaguely did what it claims to do on the ad.

FWIW, I tried the same with Android, and got no further (and notice that it's even less well integrated with the rest of the phone).

Apple not pulling Evi app, working with developers (5, Informative)

Max Rool (552634) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183031)

I would like to point out this article http://www.theverge.com/2012/2/27/2828283/sources-apple-not-pulling-evi-app-working-with-developers-to-avoid [theverge.com] which among other things states that "... the app remains in the App Store, and according to sources familiar with the matter, Apple is attempting to work with the developers on bumping out those similarities, rather than just pulling the product." Anyway it seems that Apple may have reconsidered their position on this, which is probably a good thing for the small guys.

Re:Apple not pulling Evi app, working with develop (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183295)

Anyway it seems that Apple may have reconsidered their position on this, which is probably a good thing for the small guys.

Or maybe the news reports were incorrect? Or maybe the commenters engaged in knee jerk reactions due to an irrational hatred that is in some yin-yang cosmic balance with the reality distortion field?

However.... (2)

htnprm (176191) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183049)

...A million similar fart apps is all good though.

Re:However.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183057)

That's only until Apple adds built-in iFart app in iPhone 5.

Re:However.... (1)

PatPending (953482) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183283)

That's only until Apple adds built-in iFart app in iPhone 5.

I'm gassing that'll be a stinker.

Re:However.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183071)

There are far, far more fart apps on the 40 android market stores than on the AppStore.
New ones aren't accepted anyway.

Disclaimer : I do not work for Apple. Unfortunately.

Re:However.... (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183589)

There are far, far more fart apps on the 40 android market stores than on the AppStore.

That's because the Android Market is open.

App Store has the disavantages of being closed without the advantages of banning the 400+ fart apps.

Name brand vs. store brand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183059)

It's the same as a supermarket not wanting to sell a name brand item because it's a 99% copy of their store brand item.
They have every right not to sell the product. But in a digital world, it's somehow not accepted?

Re:Name brand vs. store brand (2)

Eric Freyhart (752088) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183135)

I agree. They made a product that people wanted to buy, knowing or not knowing that Apple owns the product they purchased and will continue to restrict anything on it unless Apple can make a buck. I want people to buy Apple products, and I want them to continue to think they are "bright" or "creative" because they purchased these magical devices. It gives me the edge on everyone else who are trying to talk into their phones in the elevator when I am getting real work done.

Re:Name brand vs. store brand (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183597)

I don't know what supermarkets you have there, but here they have very similar - I'd say 99% in presentation (not taste) - store and name brands being sold side by side.

don't be a PR tool here. (5, Insightful)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183069)

The only source for this info is the developer itself and they have an obvious reason to put it out there. Not only does it get them PR ("The app so good Apple doesn't want you to have it!") but it may lead to impulse sales since once an app is pulled you get to keep it if you already bought it.

There is no inkling from Apple. And now the developer is even backing down, so that they have a convenient answer when people ask why their app was never pulled.

I just installed it. (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183307)

I never heart of evi, it is a 3 star (fart apps get 5 starts since theydo whtat they are supposed to do ...always...even show fart adds) app on android market. But since it is free, i tried installing it. Now if only it manages to integrate better in the OS....

(open email/nvaigation for me...)

What does this have to do with Steve Jobs? (3, Interesting)

qxcv (2422318) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183115)

Steve Jobs might not be around any more to enforce some of Apple's stricter policies, but that doesn't mean the company is letting it all hang loose.

Because that's the job of a CEO. To take charge of policing their company's third party developer community.
 
The fact that most CEOs don't get their hands dirty with the day-to-day work of the company is the reason that Microsoft hasn't imploded after years of being headed up by an overweight chimpanzee.

Re:What does this have to do with Steve Jobs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183411)

Because that's the job of a CEO. To take charge of policing their company's third party developer community.

Generating buzz and maintaining healthy relationships with your partner companies is very much a part of the CEO's job as the public face.

Unless the CEO is king and their partners are sacrificial pawns, of course.

The fact that most CEOs don't get their hands dirty with the day-to-day work of the company is the reason that Microsoft hasn't imploded after years of being headed up by an overweight chimpanzee.

Developers, developers, developers...
Monkey Man may be a moron when it comes to steering MS' strategic direction but he's not completely incompetent.

Does anyone use Siri? (0)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183153)

It just seems a bit gimmicky to me. Maybe in a few more years it'll be common place, but at the moment it's something you show to people and then go back to entering information by hand.

misleading (4, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183221)

Supposedly Evi will be continue to be allowed on iOS if it alters its interface to be dissimilar enough from Siri to placate Apple.

Which is not an entirely unreasonable request. Apple's strength is massively in brand recognition, so making sure your customers aren't confused about what is and what isn't an Apple product makes a lot of sense.

Plus they didn't just pull it, they apparently told the developers what they were concerned about and asked for their cooperation.

I fail to see where the news story is in this one.

WTF? Whatsapp iMessage? (0)

bronney (638318) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183231)

Whatsapp just texted me a big fuck you to iMessage. Bunch of wankers.

Re:WTF? Whatsapp iMessage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183477)

Man I'm out of touch, that went straight over my head - and here I was thinking I was a nerd....

Anyone care to explain what that sentence means?

I've not had much experience with iDevices - I think that shows :)

I bet it doesn't work the other way around (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183371)

How many times has Apple STOLEN really good apps to integrate into the OS, and then delist them from the App Store? Hmmmm. I wonder.

Siri fine in uk (1)

Truedat (2545458) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183503)

Hi, UK user here, I have to disagree with the summary when it says:

It does appear to matter to Apple that Siri doesn't function that well in the U.K., because of a lack of good localisation.

Maybe it just so happens that I speak with just the right accent and have a decent wifi connection but I swear I've never had any problems making it understand me. Anyway right or wrong, isn't that sort of quote known as weasel words: "It does appear"?

Of course I can't speak on behalf of those broader accented inhabitants of these isles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGxKhUuZ0Rc&feature=youtube_gdata_player [youtube.com]

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Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183615)

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Massage parlors Tampa [2hotnsexy.com]

'apps too similar to Apple's existing software' (0)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183629)

'apps too similar to Apple's existing software'

So, no games, word editing, browsers?

Apple are the smallest dicks you've ever heard of.

Why not be grateful for a change? (1)

golodh (893453) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183661)

Without Apple, who would be able to point out such clear-cut actual examples of less than desirable side-effects of a tightly controlled environment?

And mind you, without concrete examples you'd be painted as yet another Richard Stalman if you sketched any potential adverse effects.

The one thing people have less patience for listening to than actual problems is *potential* problems.

Apple is providing everyone a service by showing the what the consequences are of having a tightly controlled platform.

Re:Why not be grateful for a change? (1)

Deorus (811828) | more than 2 years ago | (#39184041)

Apple is providing everyone a service by showing the what the consequences are of having a tightly controlled platform.

Great products that almost everyone wants to have? Half a trillion market cap constantly raising in a recessive economy? Considering the alternatives, I'm perfectly fine with their implementation of a tightly controlled platform, especially considering that for just $100 a year it stops being tightly controlled for me.

Never (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183685)

buy Apple®, ever. Every time I see an post from an Apple device it makes me cringe -
know how I know? They don't use the same character set as the rest of mankind!

Some misreadings are right... (1)

ignavus (213578) | more than 2 years ago | (#39183781)

Steve Jobs might not be around any more to enforce some of Apple's stricter policies

At first I misread that as "...Apple's sphincter policies" and then I decided I was right.

I would totally do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39183915)

If I were Apple and I had the app store, I would totally do this. Why the fuck would you WANT competition?

Business plan (3, Insightful)

rbowen (112459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39184019)

I'll bet this threat sells a million copies of the app. I hadn't heard of it yesterday. Now I've bought it. It was only $0.99 How many more of you did that?

I see a business plan here. What other of the default apps can I copy ...

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