It appears as if having just one super-powerful and super-low-priced flagship Android phone wasn’t enough, because a company called “xodiom” has just popped up out of thin air (via PhoneArena) and launched a Snapdragon 805-powered budget smartphone with decked out specs. And while the entry price doesn’t quite dip as low as that of the 16 GB OnePlus, it appears that this phone might be a worthy contender.
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We have seen Siri clones in the Android Market trying to pass themselves off as the real thing, and some Siri alternatives making their way to the Windows Phone Marketplace. Evi, on the other hand, might actually be the first true Siri competitor/alternative for Android and non-iPhone 4S iOS users.
Available on the App Store for 99 cents and free to Android users on the Android Market, Evi is the work of True Knowledge and its “core semantic search technology” better known as The True Knowledge Answer Engine. The 99-cent price tag on iOS is apparently to cover the cost of using Nuance voice recognition (the same voice recognition tech as Siri), which is not used in the Android version.
The app’s iTunes page explained Evi is capable of returning local data for the United Kingdom (along with the United States), which has been a complaint from U.K. Siri users since the iPhone 4S launch. According to TechCrunch, the app uses “an ontology of tens of thousands of classes into which” every possible user command can be recognized. True Knowledge said the app contains “almost a billion ‘facts’ (machine understandable bits of knowledge)” with the ability to infer trillions if necessary. It also reportedly uses all the expected sources, such as local results from Yelp, third-party websites, traditional web searches, and APIs.
While as of yet Evi is incapable of integrating with Calendar and Reminders like Siri, TechCrunch pointed out it sometimes provides more accurate and useful results for certain types of questions. Siri requests to search the web for an answer when users ask certain questions, such as “How do I make apple pie?” Evi, however, would provide a list of recipes with relevant links to that specific question. TechCrunch highlighted another example where Evi excels:
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“Vastly better payment terms than other deal providers, especially compared to Groupon”
The vastly better payment terms Business Insider is talking about is that Google will give merchants up to 80% of the voucher revenue in four days, and the other 20% will be shared within a 30-90 day range. Google also requires that the service or product be immediately available, while Groupon’s doesn’t.
“Google pays merchants for vouchers that are sold but not used; Groupon doesn’t”
Groupon will only pay merchants for vouchers that are used. Google wants to sweet talk merchants by giving them a split of the revenue for ever voucher sold, even if it’s used or not. This method seems a little more fair.
Lastly, it’s obvious that Google has a better channel to promote products. Don’t forget about Google’s widely used ad program (though a Google Spokesperson said this won’t be a factor), Android devices, the new Google wallet , and “Places pages”. Merchants will want a network that can market their product through more channels.
Business Insider also gives a fourth point: a Google salesperson in New York promised SEO benefits to a merchant. Now, what company wouldn’t like that? But.. a Google spokesperson had this to say: “Google Offers has no influence whatsoever on the ranking of Google search results.”
Google Offers is reportedly on its way to San Francisco and New York later this year. The lingering question is will this take off? Leave us your opinion in the comment section below.