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Apple Threatens To Pull Siri Clone From App Store 251

daria42 writes "Steve Jobs might not be around any more to enforce some of Apple's stricter policies, but that doesn't mean the company is letting it all hang loose. Overnight the U.K. company which produces a speech recognition app called Evi, which mimics many of the functions of Apple's Siri, confirmed Apple had approached his company letting it know that Evi was being reviewed for possible breaches of Apple's App Store policies. The reason? A clause in the policy which bans apps too similar to Apple's existing software. It does appear to matter to Apple that Siri doesn't function that well in the U.K., because of a lack of good localisation." Supposedly Evi will be continue to be allowed on iOS if it alters its interface to be dissimilar enough from Siri to placate Apple.
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Apple Threatens To Pull Siri Clone From App Store

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  • by Max Rool ( 552634 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @04:46AM (#39183031)
    I would like to point out this article [] which among other things states that "... the app remains in the App Store, and according to sources familiar with the matter, Apple is attempting to work with the developers on bumping out those similarities, rather than just pulling the product." Anyway it seems that Apple may have reconsidered their position on this, which is probably a good thing for the small guys.
  • Re:Wtf? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Captain Hook ( 923766 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @05:18AM (#39183145)

    Siri doesn't understand British english? I can understand if it doesn't support german, french and other non-english languages, but doesn't understand different dialects of english seems bad.

    If you think about it, it makes sense.

    A different language is a different language and as a result rules must be explicitly programmed for those languages and everyone understands that.

    English sounds English to a human ear, the syntax is based on the same rules but the usage of the language varies a lot around the world. Meaning is coloured by local culture.

    For example, in India, it considered rude to ever say No to a request, so the first response to a request is normally Yes, followed by a qualification. In the UK, that cultural bias to saying No doesn't exist, so when we say Yes, we really mean Yes. The same language, using the same syntax but the important part of the sentence comes in different places because of the local culture.

    The problem is that humans are really good at deciphering meaning from what is effectively errors in the communication protocol and so everyone tends to think English is just English with strange pronunciation and so tend to over look the need for specific rules for each region.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @05:21AM (#39183155)

    Antitrust cases aren't strictly about monopolies, it's about abusing dominance in a market, for example to push into other markets. Market domination has no clear cut definition.

    If, say, one would successfully argue that Apple is dominating in mobile OS market, then using that position to promote Apple's web browser would be illegal.

  • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @06:10AM (#39183347)

    You could also use Google's walled garden, or Microsoft's walled garden, or RIMs walled garden.

    Google doesn't have a walled garden. it's an open park you can walk into and out of all of your own accord.

    I think you need to look up the definition of "walled garden" or actually use Android for yourself. It's nothing like Apple's system of lockdown.

  • by Anonymus ( 2267354 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @06:10AM (#39183349)

    I think you're confused about what the term "walled garden" refers to. It means that the carrier or service provider controls exactly what is and isn't allowed on the phone.

    Apple is the only platform you mentioned with a walled garden approach. Google (Android), Microsoft (MS Mobile), and RIM (Blackberry) all allow users to install any application they want. They may not be allowed in an official app store, but you can just connect your phone via usb or email files to your phone and do whatever you want. Each of those platforms may have varying levels of what features/hardware the software is allowed access to once it's on the phone, usually for security but sometimes for business reasons, but that is not the same thing as a walled garden.

  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @07:12AM (#39183553)

    But Apple has been pulling competing applications from the app store since it's inception, no alterate email clients, SMS clients, diallers, MP3 players,

    That's odd, because you can go to the App Store and find plenty of alternate email clients, diallers, SMS clients, and MP3 players. Plenty that have been there a long time.

    browsers (proper browsers, not viewers for server generated images or window dressing for the existing rendering engine) and others.

    That's the only one in your list that's true. You are allowed to create alternative browsers, and there are many on the App store. But you're not allowed to put your own browser rendering engine on iOS. In part because it would fall foul of the no interpreters with downloadable content rule.

    You are allowed to compete with Apple's own apps on functionality. What you're not allowed to do is to copy the UI of one of Apple's Apps. That's the reason Evi have been asked to change. Because the UI is too much of a Siri copy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @07:17AM (#39183573)

    I think there is some confusion about the dictionary definition of monopoly and the legal definition. In the UK, at least, you are deemed to hold a monopoly position within a market if you control more than 25%, which apple certainly does in the smartphone market.

    Also, and I admit it might be a tenuous, you could argue that apps for iOS is a single market, and therefore apple has a 100% monopoly on the supply of apps for iOS, a position that I think most of us agree the abuse to one degree or another.

  • by CrackedButter ( 646746 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @07:48AM (#39183705) Homepage Journal

    Really? An "integrated system that can't be broken out of"? You're talking shit on so many levels. As a simple user myself with allusions of being a super user, I can easily transfer everything to another OS tomorrow if I wanted, saying it requires work to do so isn't unfathomable, any switchover will. For those on the hacker level for greater freedom, you can jailbreak and remove drm protections with instructions available online.

  • by andydread ( 758754 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @09:10AM (#39184055)

    You are allowed to compete with Apple's own apps on functionality. What you're not allowed to do is to copy the UI of one of Apple's Apps. That's the reason Evi have been asked to change. Because the UI is too much of a Siri copy.

    Yes because only Apple is allowed to shamelessly copy other's work []

  • by Deorus ( 811828 ) on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @09:37AM (#39184253)

    As a licensed iOS developer I am the proof that you are wrong. I don't have to seek Apple's (or anyone's) approval to run anything signed by me on my iDevices.

  • by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh@gmai l . c om> on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @10:29AM (#39184701) Journal

    You just did smart guy, when you got you Apple developer license. And you can only distribute apps to a limited number of devices with that Apple-provided signing key you have.

  • Re:Wtf? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 28, 2012 @11:29AM (#39185339)

    It isn't just accents but word usage. The sentence, "I'm going down to the chemist's to pick up a torch and some fags." has an ENTIRELY different meaning in the UK vs the US.

Recent research has tended to show that the Abominable No-Man is being replaced by the Prohibitive Procrastinator. -- C.N. Parkinson