Looks like Apple might be loosening its grip even more on voice recognition apps? Or, it simply just feels that the competition is not as good as its own native Siri . We’ve just gotten word from Netherlands-based developer Sparkling Apps that its voice-response app, Voice Answer — rejected by Apple for nearly three months — has been approved by Apple and is now live in the App Store, and usable on any iPhone, iPod or iPad running iOS 4.2 or later.
It took “almost three months of negotiating, tweaking and pushing,” developer Martijn van der Spek tells TechCrunch. Like Siri, the app is based on data from Wolfram Alpha, among other sources, and lets users ask questions by either speaking to the app or typing in a question. It’s priced at £2.49 ($3.99).
He says the company is now going “full speed ahead” implementing more features into the app. These include location-based place finding and email/SMS and more voice function commands. Additionally it’s adding in a bit of sci-fi kitsch: it’s planning to create an animated robot for the interface. You can see the video of how that will look below.
The news comes on the back of other voice recognition apps making a splash and then facing rejection issues with Apple, perhaps most notably Evi.
Sparkling Apps in March had a free voice recognition app, Talk to Eve, also rejected for being “too similar to Siri” that was subsequently approved in March.
With the voice-recognition space currently very active, the big question is whether any of these third-party developers will be able to gain traction against Apple, and what they will all do next to make themselves relevant and indispensable to users. Offering APIs to other app developers could be one lucrative route.