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Siri alternative Evi available for iOS and Android devices

Are you waiting to try Siri (Apple's virtual voice based personal assistant), but don't wanna get locked by Apple walled garden or enjoy Android or have an iPhone older then 4S. You can try hacking Siri onto another device, but Apple’s so-called “intelligent personal assistant” is only officially available for iPhone 4S only.

Introducing,a new voice activated personal assistant for smartphones that may give Apple's "Siri" a run for its money.

So, if you’re looking for a straightforward, legal way to enjoy Siri-like functionality on Android hardware — or any Apple gear other than the fanciest of iPhones — you’ll have to enlist a Siri copycat app. The latest of the bunch, released Monday, is called Evi. According to the developer’s description, “Evi understands what you want to know and gives back exactly what you’re after.”

Right now, She may not be Siri, but Evi is a useful AI tool for getting quick information on the go.

“Evi knows about a billion facts and is built to adapt to you and your world. The more questions you ask her, the smarter she becomes,” the True Knowledge website says. 

Available for Android as a beta, and for iOS as a final build, Evi seems to lack some of Siri’s natural language capabilities. Evi also lacks direct calendar and e-mail integration, and can’t be used to dictate e-mails, text messages, notes and the like. These are all Siri mainstays. But Evi does deliver smart, concise responses to tough questions, and they’re delivered in-app without redirecting you to a search page, which is often the default response of apps such as Vlingo and Dragon Go!. In fact, anecdotal testing showed that even compared to Siri, Evi is much more likely to provide short, quick answers rather than dumping you off to a web search. put Evi to the test and found the personal assistant needed a lot of time to give answers. When asked what day it was, what the weather is like and who the Prime Minister of Australia was, Evi replied eventually and came up with the answer. 

The Evi interface has a stylish (if minimalist) gray and white color scheme. The logo, which sits at the top of the screen, is a fairly adorable cyclops smiley face that occasionally blinks or moves its eye as you perform queries. Interactions occur through speech bubbles. The user interface and experience are largely identical on both the iOS and Android versions.

Here’s how Evi works: You can either type a question — e.g., “What time is it in New York?” — in the search bar at the bottom of the screen, or click the Siri-like microphone icon to verbalize your query. We expect most users will summarily ignore the search bar, and go straight to voice dictation, the main attraction of any Siri-esque virtual assistant. Evi’s speech-to-text abilities were spot-on about 95 percent of the time during testing, suggesting keyed-in queries would rarely be necessary.

Evi is built by True Knowledge, which develops technology that “can represent the world’s knowledge in a form that is clear and accessible to humans, as well as being comprehensible to computers,” according to the company’s marketing brief. The app sources its responses from billions of “facts” — discrete pieces of knowledge that will make sense to a machine. From all these “facts” contained in the True Knowledge database, Evi can infer responses, and provide information from other sources when appropriate.

Like Siri, Evi sources food, business and restaurant information from Yelp, displaying it all in a simple list. You can ask questions like “Where is the nearest place to buy a light bulb?” or “Where’s the best coffee shop in San Francisco?” and receive an appropriate Yelp listing result.

For nerdy questions like “What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?” Evi provides the apropos “African or European swallow?” response. Siri offered a bit more snark when I asked her the same question, replying “The last person that asked me that ended up in a crevasse.”

If you ask these two AI services, “What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything?” Evi replies with “The answer to Life, the Universe and Everything is 42.” Siri, on the other hand, replies, “That’s easy.. it’s a philosophical question concerning the purpose and significance of life or existence in general.”

Evi is also adept at performing calculations. Ask, “What is the square root of 56?” and you get a simple “56′s square root is 7.48331477355.” Siri provides a more complete response sourced from Wolfram Alpha, showing you the input, the exact result, the decimal approximation (to 28 decimal places), and other information.

Evi does science 

But while Evi may be a lightweight in math, she trumps in Siri in home economics. Ask, “How do I make a pumpkin pie?” and Siri simply sends you to a web search for that query. Evi, on the other hand, provides a list of recipes you can tap on.

If you’re looking for an intelligent way to do voice-powered search, Evi is a great tool. But if you’re hoping for a full, voice-controlled digital assistant that can access information from your calendar and contacts, Evi succumbs to the almighty Siri.

It really is the place to go 

You can get Evi for $1 in the App Store, or the beta version for free in the Android Market. However, you may experience some issues if you’re among the legions of downloaders flocking to get Evi today. True Knowledge CEO William Tunstall-Pedoe said that Evi’s servers have been buckling under the immense attention she’s getting. Evi’s now among the top 10 apps in the U.S. App Store and is the number one Lifestyle app in Apple’s U.K. store.


Tunstall-Pedoe said via e-mail, “The entire team here is busy working to build up the server capacity and the issue will be resolved soon.”

Get our regular updates in Google Currents for Android or iOS platforms click here or scan QR code below. 


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