Three months after the Samsung Galaxy S8 first shipped, Samsung has announced today that Bixby Voice, the voice-based feature of its virtual assistant — Bixby, will be available for Galaxy S8 and S8+ owners in the United States.
While Bixby has been available on the Galaxy S8 since launch, its much-hyped voice functionality was missing. Samsung started a beta testing of Bixby’s voice functionality earlier this month, and it is now so confident about the feature that it is rolling it out to all S8 owners in the US.
Unlike Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, or any other voice assistant in the market, Bixby is deeply integrated with the OS. This allows it to provide users with the option to control many system settings and do complex tasks all through simple voice commands.
Samsung says that Bixby is fully integrated across “several” of its own apps on the Galaxy S8, with third-party integration with certain apps also available on an opt-in basis through Bixby Labs. For now, third-party apps with Bixby integration include Google Maps, Google Play Music, YouTube, and Facebook.
To activate Bixby Voice on your Galaxy S8 or S8+, press the Bixby button. Bixby should then prompt you to install an update after which you will be able to use Bixby Voice. Once activated, you can trigger Bixby Voice by either holding down the Bixby button or saying “Hi, Bixby.”
Using Bixby will also let users earn reward points which can then be accumulated and redeemed for gift cards and more.
Below is how Samsung describes what Bixby Voice is capable of:
- Bixby hears you. Bixby is designed to assist you in completing tasks no matter how you describe them because Bixby will work with you to understand and find the answer or get the task done. Bixby can learn about you and your routine. Using deep learning, Bixby will also improve over time to recognize the different preferences and ways of speaking of a user.
- Bixby helps you. Bixby is fully integrated into native apps and will be integrated into select third-party apps, and makes it easier to find and use their best features. And with Bixby, you can navigate your phone how you like—with voice, touch, or by switching seamlessly between the two.
- Bixby handles it for you. Bixby completes multi-app, complex requests—like grouping pictures from your latest vacation, and sending them to your friends. And if Bixby doesn’t understand a step, it will complete as much of the task as possible, rather than not even starting.
For now, Bixby Voice is only available in English (US) and Korean voice languages.
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