Evi: Siri For the Rest of Us…Kind Of

Posted by Brett Barner with 2 Comments

Evi_mini

Back when the iPhone 4S came out, my iPhone 4 quickly looked sad and old. Despite looking virtually the same on the outside, I knew that the iPhone 4S had some killer insides, an even better camera, and one little software difference that got everyone in a tizzy:

Siri.

There’s been arguments that Siri is more of a marketing ploy than a productivity tool, but I had a case of Siri envy regardless. So what’s an iPhone 4 owner to do?

Enter Evi.

There was definitely a similar look, feel, purpose and even name to that of Apple’s personal assistant, and Evi almost got axed because of it. At first, Evi was meh. It couldn’t text people. I couldn’t set up Calendar events. It stuggled with even the most basic voice recognition. I had to speak very slow and deliberate for it to even come close.

But somehow Evi survived Apple’s glare, and has stayed in the App Store. Better yet, it has been getting updates. Last week Evi’s creators, True Knowledge, pushed out an update that actually got me using Evi again…and not just to tinker around, but actually do stuff with it.

Now Evi can do useful features like make calls, send emails and text messages similar to Siri. I missed this feature from when I crossed over from the Dark Side.

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I can also even ask about the weather when I’m too lazy to find a window to look out myself…just like the iPhone 4S!

Like Siri, Evi has trouble recognizing words sometimes. As an example, I said to Evi, “Hello, Evi!”, and Evi replied by searching for “Hello TV”. But my biggest issues have been, when sending a text or email, it will transcribe your words and place them in the text or email app. You then physically have to hit “Send”; which to me, defeats the whole voice command thing. Also, if you or Evi messes up, you have to go back out of the Messages or Email app, back to Evi, by swiping your fingers around or using the just almost useless “app switcher” feature by double clicking the home button.

Apple’s restrictions on 3rd party app integration with the default apps are frustrating in these areas.

Is Evi a Siri replacement? No.

But then again, Evi isn’t your typical Siri competitor. Other Siri-like apps aren’t even in the same league as Siri, or ballpark. They’re not even playing the same sport!

But Evi is pretty good.

You can ask Evi questions and receive direct answers better than Siri, like, “How do I make apple pie?” Evi will then provide a list of recipes. It can also make you feel a little better about your iPhone 4 or iPod Touch by saving you money and still giving you basic voice controls. And even more updates are coming. True Knowledge is working at brining deeper integration with other apps, as well as scheduling in the near future.

Evi $.99 [iTunes Link]

Brett Barner

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Brett Barner likes Apple in both technology and fruit forms. The former he uses as fancy calculators from the future to connect to the internets; where he then writes about his experiences here. The later he uses for pies. Additional writings can be found on his personal blog, bybrettbarner.com, and Twitter @brettbarner.

2 responses to Evi: Siri For the Rest of Us…Kind Of

  1. I may have to try this one out. I started using another clone that while on Wifi is amazing, 3g is terrible.

    I may just wait until February and get myself an iPhone 5 when it hits contract time.

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