Introducing Evi: Siri's new worst enemy

Summary:Another smart-looking competitor to Siri's voice throne has exploded onto iOS and Android this week. It's called Evi, and today we're looking at whether it has the goods to take down the reigning Apple champ.

Another smart-looking competitor to Siri's voice throne has exploded onto iOS and Android this week. It's called Evi, and today we're looking at whether it has the goods to take down the reigning Apple champ.

Developed by an English company called True Knowledge, Evi is a fast, great-looking artificial intelligence app that wanders through multiple search engines, answer pages and user-generated content databases to find what you're looking for.

In my opinion, Evi is much better looking than Apple's Siri, with its black-and-white question-and-answer bubbles and its all-seeing-eye lurking at the top of the window, but does it have the goods to best Siri at her own game? In short — not exactly, but Evi isn't to blame.

In our tests, we tried several times to look for answers as well as place results — something Siri still can't do in Australia — and nine times out of 10, Evi told us she couldn't connect to her servers due to capacity problems and encouraged us to try again in a minute. On one such occasion, we tried 10 times to get an answer before we gave up.

On the questions we did get an answer on, however, such as "where can I get pizza", the app pulled in the 20 closest results from Yelp. Never mind that I asked her four times for it, it still came up.

So perhaps the failings of Evi aren't actually her fault at all; the crime lies with True Knowledge, which released the product thinking that its Nuance-powered back-end could handle the load.

The good news is that the folks at True Knowledge are on to the issue and are working on a fix. Give it a few versions and Evi will be running rings around Siri with ease.

Watch the video to see Evi in action.

Topics: Apple, iPhone, Mobility

About

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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