The last we heard, Apple was working with developers of Siri alternatives such as True Knowledge, the developers behind “Evi,” to iron out similarities between the app and the iPhone 4S‘s flagship feature. Apple is quick to warn developers who are submitting Siri-like apps not to mimic native features of the OS. Apple wants an app’s features to remain “distinctly different from the iOS behaviors and interfaces to avoid causing user confusion.” Developer Sparkling Apps reached out to let us know Apple rejected its latest app submission called “Voice Answer,” with Apple telling the developer the Wolfram Alpha-powered alternative is “too similar to Siri.” The good news for Android users is the developers have decided to release an Android-only version on available Google Play now.

Apple is not flat-out rejecting all Siri alternatives/competitors. Sparkling Apps already has an app called “Voice Ask” on the App Store that sits in the top charts of the Reference category. Evi remains on the App Store as well. However, the Voice Ask app employs the same True Knowledge database as Evi. While Apple did not offer a specific reason for why the app was rejected, it is possible that Apple is more inclined to reject Siri-like apps using Siri’s Wolfram Alpha knowledge base. Unsurprisingly, the developers instead decided to release Voice Answer as an Android-only app on Google Play.

The app provides spoken answers, optional keyboard input, and configurable items stored in the app’s memory. According to the developer, Voice Answer’s “speech recognition works better than that of Siri, especially with foreign accents,” and the app includes a chatbot called “Eve” that you can teach answers. While most of these features are also baked into Evi, it is unclear exactly why Apple is working with some developers to coexist peacefully with Siri, and then flat-out rejecting others without discussion. Fortunately, the app did not have any issues making its way onto Google Play, and it is even marketed as the “Voice Answer- just like Siri.” We told you in January about the number of Siri clones hitting the market with the release of Evi for Android. The Voice Answer Android app is now available on Google Play for $3.99, and the developers promised that support for messaging and email is on the way.

Cross-posted on 9to5Mac.com

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3 Responses to “Apple rejected this Android app because it is too much like Siri”

  1. mantrik says:

    I wonder why the FTC does not take note of such blatantly monopolistic behaviour. This kind of restrictions should be violating US anti-trust laws (section 1 & 2 of Sherman Act and section 5 of the FTC Act.)

    • inspire48 says:

      You don't have to buy an iPhone 4S (the iPhone isn't a monopoly). The iPhone is Apple's own property and they can do whatever they want. If you run an Italian restaurant, you can prevent your chefs from making/selling Greek food. Same deal.

      • Steve says:

        The iPhone I bought is not Apple's property. It's mine.

        Apple does have a monopoly on the iOS app market, and they are not only "curating". They are anti-competitive.