At long last, Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant has arrived in the US and is now available to the owners of Galaxy S8 and S8+.
Samsung debuted Bixby at the unveiling event for its flagship Galaxy S8 and S8+ – the plan was to introduce the voice assistant in Korea and the United States simultaneously, but that didn’t quite work out. Bixby had trouble learning languages, causing a delay for the launch in the US.
Starting from today, once updated, owners of the Galaxy S8 or S8+ in the US will be able to ask Bixby about the weather, make calls, and set reminders using the assistant.
Samsung further states that third-party integration with Bixby is in the works:
At launch, Bixby will be fully integrated across core Samsung apps, so almost anything you could do with touch or typing, you can now do with your voice, including multi-step, and cross-app requests. Support for additional native and third-party apps will be available via Bixby Labs, which includes select applications that are offering preliminary integration with Bixby.
Bixby is perhaps the most significant piece of software that has come out of Samsung in recent times – despite its delays. The S8 and S8+ both have a dedicated Bixby button, and Samsung is adamant about keeping it that way.
Despite the efforts, Bixby doesn't appeal to everyone. Neowin’s Robbie Khan found the assistant to be unpolished in his Galaxy S8+ review; now that the voice assistant-side of Bixby has arrived in the US, perhaps it is slightly more useful than it was before. It may also be difficult for Samsung to compete against better-established rivals, including Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Microsoft’s Cortana - but more competition is always a good thing.