Everyone wants to Siri, but not everyone wants an iPhone 4S. For this reason, you throw a search in Android Market for “Siri” and you’ll get a few dozen hits. But none of these work quite like Siri, deeply integrated into the phone, as Fandroid’s seek workarounds until Android offers something truly comparable to the AI Apple acquired some years ago.
Siri for Android, or something that pretends to be Siri, was found unexpectedly in the Android Market last Friday, with the same icon, same name and same appearance as the voice-controlled personal assistant released by Apple as exclusive function for the iPhone 4S. It’s a fake, of course, but the developer’s intentions were quite clear and unprecedented.
“We have a plan to support English (sic) later. Don’t be sad,” the developer, Viewide, says on the app’s Android Market listing.
The funny thing really is that the application itself is nothing but a shortcut to the voice control that Android already has implemented to the Android OS, Google Voice Actions. It does not add any functionality of any kind on the existing function and has no options whatsoever, other than the developer’s claiming its official name as “Official App Siri for Android,” which implies a level of authenticity of the app and its Google affiliation. While there’s rumors afloat of Google’s own Siri-like app called Majel, the Android provider has yet to integrate its search tools at Siri’s iPhone 4S level.
Not surprisingly, this fraud didn’t survive long in the Android Market, and has since been removed by Google and the developer account deleted.
If Apple decides to take some type of legal action on the proceeding, and knowing Apple they’re very likely to do so, the consequences can be quite serious for the developer.
The incident highlights Google’s lax approach to its open market in comparison to Apple’s stringent approval process, but it also demonstrates the growing demand for a Siri-like application for Android. Not only will Google need to continue its improvement of app approvals, but will also need to implement a comprehensive search and assistant tool sooner rather than later.