English-speaking Samsung Galaxy S8 users will have to make do with Google’s voice assistant instead
The English-speaking version of Samsung’s answer to Apple’s Siri will be delayed and will not ship on the South Korean firms’ new flagship Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones.
The eagerly-anticipated Bixby voice-powered personal assistant was revealed last month and was expected to debut on Samsung’s newest devices, but this has now been put on hold until later this spring.
The rollout of the Korean version of Bixby will continue as planned, but English-speaking users will have to make do with Google’s voice assistant until Samsung provides an update.
The digital assistant is designed to help users to things like access information and search and categorise photos using voice commands. Samsung hasn’t provided a reason for the delay but reports have suggested that the software wasn’t ready in the days before its launch.
“Key features of Bixby, including Vision, Home and Reminder, will be available with the global launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8 on 21 April,” Samsung said in a statement. “Bixby Voice will be available in the US on the Galaxy S8 later this spring.”
Speaking to Silicon, a Samsung spokesperson said: “All Bixby functionality, bar the Voice Function, will be available to UK customers at launch. This includes Bixby Vision which allows users to identify objects the camera is pointing at, Bixby Reminder and Bixby Home. Bixby Voice will be available in U.S. English later this spring, and will expand to more languages globally over time.”
The Galaxy S8 and S8+ are widely being seen as Samsung’s opportunity to undo the damage caused by last year’s Note 7 disaster when millions of devices were recalled following reports of exploding batteries.
The S8 devices have so far received extremely positive reviews, including from our very own Roland Moore-Colyer, with the only hiccup being the fact that the facial recognition feature was fooled by a photo.
You can check out our video hands-on review of the Galaxy S8 right here.