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TechCrunch is reporting that Amazon has acquired Evi, a natural language search platform that is similar to Apple's Siri, for $26 million. The Evi app was originally posted on the App Store but Apple had threatened to remove because of similarities to Siri, but later said it would "work with" the company to reduce similarities. Evi remains available on the App Store.
TechCrunch understands from sources that the company has been sold to Amazon for $26 million. However, calls to Amazon PR, backers Octopus Ventures and the founders of Evi have ben met with a stoney silence. A spokesperson for Octopus told us: "On this occasion Octopus will decline to comment on this specific portfolio company".
evi_screenshots.jpg
True Knowledge, the company behind Evi, licensed the same Nuance voice recognition technology that Apple uses in Siri and offers an array of information that seems to compare favorably to Siri's abilities. Evi first launched in early 2012.

Amazon has a number of possible uses for Evi, including building the service into its Kindle Fire tablet, or a possible Amazon phone.

Evi is a free download for the iPhone. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Amazon Acquires Siri-Challenger 'Evi' for $26 Million?
 

Klae17

macrumors 65816
Jul 15, 2011
1,126
1,349
Hopefully that means Apple will step up their game with Siri. It is cumbersome and frustrating. Especially when you "call home" and it thinks for two minutes.
 

rmwebs

macrumors 68040
Apr 6, 2007
3,140
0
Glad Evi is getting some backing it was fairly good but lacked someone big to fund improvements. Altho wouldn't be at all surprised if this was a tech and staff purchase for Amazon's Android fork.
 

Rocketman

macrumors 603
That Siri license has to expire sometime. Hence the paultry $23m purchase price. This is a "bridge event" purchase by Amazon. Clearly all Apple competitors agree Siri was a coup.

I wonder if Nuance, which is independent of Apple has some contract with Apple after the failed acquisition effort which is both long term and binding?

Rocketman

----------

Most people I know including myself just use Siri for the first day or so.
Me too, but for a visually challenged friend, it changed her entire life. It is a matter of adjusting behavior to benefit from "eyes free' activity.

Siri is like your pet cat. It trains you.

Rocketman
 

roxxette

macrumors 68000
Aug 9, 2011
1,507
0
Glad Evi is getting some backing it was fairly good but lacked someone big to fund improvements. Altho wouldn't be at all surprised if this was a tech and staff purchase for Amazon's Android fork.

I would be surprise if it isnt part of amazon android plataform in the future.
 

JayCee842

macrumors 6502a
Jan 21, 2013
589
0
They will use Evi for their phone in the future? (If they bring one out to the market.)
 

lordofthereef

macrumors G5
Nov 29, 2011
13,004
3,558
Boston, MA
I feel like they should rename it; it needs a name that doesn't even resemble Siri. Why? Because it's always going to be looked at as a copy of Siri with such a similar name. Let's forget about the fact that siri was never a unique idea, but it's all about perspective. People are familiar with Siri. Now we have Evi (yes, I know it's been around for a while), and people who just hear the name and what it can do might think, "oh yeah, a Siri clone".
 

snowcrash

macrumors regular
May 30, 2011
236
5
Boston MA, USA
Any competition to Siri would be GREAT!

Siri is a great tool and I use it often but it's dreadfully slow and very hit or miss. Not to mention just hangs. Wish some of these third party apps would be able to integrate with the phone a little better though. Seems most of these apps are only various versions of web searches. Would be nice to use them to set timers, events, send/read texts and such.
 

NachoGrande

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2010
969
1,701
Siri is terrible so this would be welcomed. although, I :mad:rarely use Siri except for appointments.
 

TimUSCA

macrumors 6502a
Mar 17, 2006
701
1,538
Aiken, SC
Most people I know including myself just use Siri for the first day or so.

I use Siri daily, specifically when I'm driving, for dictating text messages, directions, entering calendar entries, setting location-based reminders, etc.
 

yadmonkey

macrumors 65816
Aug 13, 2002
1,255
785
Western Spiral
I like Google voice searching on my iPhone. She's faster, more accurate, and doesn't sound like she's been smoking cigarettes for 20 years.

I'd love for Apple to get serious about Siri or allow us to choose a voice search for our phone like we can choose a default browser/mail client on our Macs. Ditto for maps.
 

nwcs

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2009
2,249
3,533
Tennessee
Siri is actually pretty useful but mostly if you play to its strengths. Hearing/sending text messages through my car bluetooth is very nice and much safer! And quick almanac lookups (like what day is April 27) is handy when you're in the middle of a few things.

What I don't like is when it can't read your contacts right. For example, I might want to send a message to Nikki but it says it can't find a Nicki in my contacts. I ask for Nikki again and it figures it out. I only have one Nikki in my contacts and it can figure it out on the second attempt. Shouldn't take two attempts.

I hope some more competition can get Apple to really polish up this feature. If they can make it smoother and more useful it would be a big boon and not a novelty or a limited-use feature.
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,394
I wonder if we are getting to a point where companies will soon out-Apple Apple. Most of Apple's newer features have been a dime short of awesome and competitors are coming to close that gap.
 

yadmonkey

macrumors 65816
Aug 13, 2002
1,255
785
Western Spiral
What I don't like is when it can't read your contacts right. For example, I might want to send a message to Nikki but it says it can't find a Nicki in my contacts. I ask for Nikki again and it figures it out. I only have one Nikki in my contacts and it can figure it out on the second attempt. Shouldn't take two attempts.

You can improve this by entering phonetic data in Contacts on your iPhone. Edit a contact and choose Add Field... It can make Siri much more useful.
 

CasinoOwl

macrumors member
Jun 20, 2007
95
100
Palm Springs, CA
I use Siri daily, mostly to schedule reminders. It works great for that. Calendar entries are frustrating. If I mention a name, she wants to email that person to set up a meeting. It needs to get much better. Evi I used for a couple days before I had a Siri-enabled phone. It was terrible. And that one eyed emoticon thing creeped me out.
 

3282868

macrumors 603
Jan 8, 2009
5,281
0
I didn't use Siri much when it first came out. Lately I've been using it a lot as it has improved voice recognition by far. I use it in my car via bluetooth; simply press the home button and I'm handsfree. It hasn't made a single error in dictating texts, emails, or commands as it had. Great to choose a song by name or artist, etc. Also good for reminders when I am close to a destination (given it's in my contacts).

Honestly, as much as I hated Siri when it first released (and it had to be legally in "beta" stage in order to collect much data from its user base), the improvements have been profound enough to make it very useful.
 

Iamjhil

macrumors newbie
Mar 1, 2012
28
4
Awesome. More info towards siri the better.

I really want Siri to do reminders without having the address in your contacts. So i can say "When i get to Wal-Mart...." it would recommend on the map. i could select the walmart then add it
 

Nunyabinez

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2010
1,758
2,230
Provo, UT
You can improve this by entering phonetic data in Contacts on your iPhone. Edit a contact and choose Add Field... It can make Siri much more useful.

Beware of a ridiculous bug that has existed for a long time with this. Phonetic names change the alphabetizing in contacts. My sister's last name is Jaca. When I put in Haka as a phonetic pronunciation, it moves her contact down into the H area. How stupid is that?
 

teknishn

macrumors 6502
Nov 16, 2006
369
103
I use the crap out of Siri for quite a few things. It is pretty much one of my favorite things about the iPhone. My biggest gripe is probably the remote processing. Sometimes it works perfect, and others it fails because of cell signal or whatever. I think we can expect much bigger strides with siri and siri like tech in the coming releases. With processors constantly making enormous leaps forward each year, I wouldn't be suprised if we see a combination of much more powerful processor, more ram, and in concert with iOS7... have Siri start processing locally on the handset.
 

yadmonkey

macrumors 65816
Aug 13, 2002
1,255
785
Western Spiral
Beware of a ridiculous bug that has existed for a long time with this. Phonetic names change the alphabetizing in contacts. My sister's last name is Jaca. When I put in Haka as a phonetic pronunciation, it moves her contact down into the H area. How stupid is that?

Holy cow - I never noticed that before, but you're quite right. How stupid indeed!
 
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