After launching the assistant in the US and South Korea in the recent past, Samsung today introduced Bixby Voice to over 200 new markets including the UK, Australia, Canada, and South Africa. This means many more people can enjoy accidentally hitting the Bixby button on the side of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ and start hearing someone talk. The same will go for tomorrow’s Galaxy Note 8.
When Samsung launched Bixby Voice here in the States, it was met with luke-warm reviews. Sure, it could tell you the weather and process some unique commands like navigating to Uber’s settings without ever touching your phone’s screen, but it’s when you want simple commands to compute Bixby disappoints. It tends to be awfully slow and needs a hot minute to guess who the President of the United States is, so it remains unclear of those over seas will enjoy this upgrade or dread it like Stateside S8 users do.
Still, at least the feature is expanding. Samsung states this rollout is “an initial step in the continued rollout of Bixby functionality.” “In the future, Bixby will have the learning power to offer more intelligent and personalized interactions and seamless connections across more devices,” said Injong Rhee, executive vice president at Samsung Electronics. That indicates Bixby will have more breathing room to advance and hopefully evolve into something that’s actually worthy of competing with the likes of Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, or even Amazon’s Alexa. For now, we’ll have to live with its limited capabilities.
Oh, and Bixby can still only recognize US English and Korean. Hope you speak one of those languages. That is all.