Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant will launch sans US voice support on the Galaxy S8
Samsung has been trying hard to bill its obvious answer to Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Assistant as more than an “ordinary voice assistant”, but as it turns out, Bixby may not even be capable of the most mundane AI tasks at launch.
Forget “full” functionality in German, as the Galaxy S8’s “intelligent interface” will apparently not support voice interactions in English off the bat either. That’s according to the smartphone manufacturer itself, which has finally admitted Bixby Voice shall only come to the US on the Galaxy S8 “later this spring.”
In the meantime, of course, the digital assistant isn’t going to be completely useless, with “key features” including Vision, Home and Reminder available “globally” starting April 21. Now, granted, Vision’s shopping service, headed initially for 11 countries, including the US, UK and Korea, still looks pretty neat on paper, promising to “detect what users are looking at and take action according to what they see.” Basically, identify photographed places and objects, scan QR codes, and help you purchase random stuff you see on the street.
Without voice capabilities however, we’re afraid Bixby will be treated as a gimmick by many otherwise excited early GS8 adopters. At least for the time being, though given the ease of its replacement with Google Assistant, including on the phone’s dedicated button, some folks might choose to never look back.