Google bans Siri knockoff

Tuesday, January 3rd 2012. | Software News

When they spotted a free app called “Siri for Android” in the Android Market, many folks must’ve thought they were getting a lovely New Year’s gift. The only problem? The app’s nothing like Siri, the personal assistant built into Apple’s iPhone 4S.

Siri for AndroidYou don’t have to worry about warning your less tech-savvy friends or family members about this misleading knockoff app though — because Google banned it, as well as its developer, from the Android Market.

According to the Next Web, at least a thousand Android users installed the banned app prior to its removal from the Android Market. It can’t be said for certain whether they were drawn to it because of curiosity or because of its misleading description and the authoritative sounding developer behind it (“Official App”).

Either way, what the folks who downloaded Siri for Android wound up getting — instead of an Android-friendly version of Apple’s personal assistant feature — is essentially an on-screen button which opens the Google Voice Actions app. (Amusingly enough, the button looks exactly like the actual Siri icon.) It was basically a simple shortcut and didn’t offer Android users anything that they didn’t already have on their devices.

It’s worth noting that Siri for Android isn’t the first misleading app to come from developer Official App. As the Next Web’s Matt Brian explains, the (now-banned) firm had also put out an app called “Pinterest,” which “was a mobile wrapper for Pinterest’s own mobile website.”

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