Google Assistant goes after Bixby in Korea, Samsung’s AI likely to debut US voice support next week
Samsung continues to be just as committed to its Google alliance as to competing against certain Mountain View-developed software products that haven’t yet conquered the world.
But the search giant seems to be fighting back, trudging on the only territory where Bixby is (mildly) popular and reasonably functional at the moment. Slated for vague releases “at the end of this year” in Korean, Italian and Spanish a couple of months ago, Google Assistant has reportedly kicked off beta tests across Samsung’s homeland earlier this week.
The preview program is apparently open to Korea-based Local Guides, i.e. members of Big G’s “global community of explorers who share tips, photos, and new places on Google Maps.”
It’s unclear if other people can score an invitation and take the virtual personal assistant for a spin in its no doubt unpolished regional form. We also don’t know if Korean language support is being added to any Marshmallow and Nougat phone or just select devices to begin with.
In the meantime, Bixby may have moved one step closer to its long overdue, proper US voice rollout, as suggested by a pretty straightforward image shared on Reddit yesterday. This appears to include internal marketing instructions for employees of an unnamed American carrier (possibly, AT&T) to get “retail ready” by Tuesday, 7/18.
That’s in a few days, mind you, and while the specific July 18 date is far from confirmed by an official source, it’s definitely in the expected ballpark. Too late already? Too… unnecessary still? Anyone actually excited by Bixby Voice stateside anymore?