Samsung Debuts English-Language Voice Capabilities for Siri Rival 'Bixby' Following Initial Delay

by

When the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ smartphones went on sale in April, voice support for Bixby in the United States was missing due to Samsung's decision to delay the virtual assistant's English-language launch until what was then estimated to be sometime in late spring. This week, the company has announced that voice capabilities for Bixby are now arriving for Galaxy S8 and S8+ users across the United States.

Samsung describes Bixby as "fundamentally different" than AI helpers like Siri and Microsoft's Cortana because of its deeper and more nuanced integration into the Galaxy's core apps, as well as some third party apps at launch including Google Maps, Google Play Music, YouTube, and Facebook. The Bixby integration into these third party apps is available through a service called Bixby Labs, which Galaxy S8 owners can opt into through their smartphone.


Bixby's many features include letting users complete simple tasks like turning on the device's flashlight and taking a screenshot or selfie. More complex flows can be arranged as well, like asking the assistant to gather all of the photos taken over the past week into one album called "Vacation," and then sending it to family and friends. Samsung plans to continuously update Bixby with new features, app support, languages and devices, and the company said that thanks to deep learning, the assistant will only improve over time.

What’s more, because Bixby is deeply integrated into the device’s operating system – rather than being a separate app –users can seamlessly switch between controlling an app via voice or via touch commands, rather than choose one or the other ahead of time.

“There are over 10,000 functions on our smartphones, but each day, people may use less than five percent of them. The features on your phone are only useful if you know how to find them. Our goal with Bixby is to make it easier to use our phones, creating the best possible user experience for our customers. That’s why we created Bixby – an intuitive new way to do more things with your phone,” says Injong Rhee, Executive Vice President, Head of R&D, Software and Services of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics.

With the Bixby update, Galaxy S8 users can simply press the dedicated Bixby button on their device to call up the assistant and begin asking it questions and performing tasks, and a voice activated "Hi, Bixby" feature is also available. Right now, Bixby recognizes English and Korean languages, but Samsung noted that, "Not all accents, dialects and expressions" will be recognized.

Every time that Galaxy S8 users call up Bixby they will also earn experience points in a gamification system that Samsung is also rolling out for the launch, and ending September 14, 2017. Each message sent, call made, setting updated, or any action performed through Bixby will earn XP, which users can convert into Samsung Rewards points that can be amassed to try to win bigger prizes like Samsung products, gift cards, trips, and more.

bixby launch
Earlier this month, it was rumored that Samsung is planning to enter the smart speaker market with a device that uses Bixby as a way for users to interact with music playback. Codenamed "Vega," the project would place Samsung as a competitor against Apple in yet another category, since the Cupertino company at WWDC this year announced the December launch of the HomePod, its Siri-powered speaker.

Delays related to Bixby's U.S. launch are reportedly behind a slowdown on the smart speaker project, and a report out of The Korea Herald this week has furthermore placed the launch of a Samsung speaker well into the future. Sources familiar with the matter claimed that Samsung is "not enthusiastic" about a smart Bixby speaker because it "does not view Al speakers as marketable" at this time, thanks to the domination of products like Amazon Echo. Rather than dive into an uncertain market, Samsung is said to be taking a wait-and-see approach for the potential launch of its Bixby speaker.

Tags: Samsung, Bixby

Top Rated Comments

Jsameds Avatar
44 months ago

Let's be frank, this is already light years ahead of Siri. You literally have to talk into the mic for Siri to understand even basic commands that are multilayered; e.g.,

-set a reminder for parking in two hours

- ok I've set a remind for party at 14:00

Genius.

No issues here.



Attachment Image
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mad Mac Maniac Avatar
44 months ago

Let's be frank, this is already light years ahead of Siri. You literally have to talk into the mic for Siri to understand even basic commands that are multilayered; e.g.,

-set a reminder for parking in two hours

- ok I've set a remind for party at 14:00

Genius.

Weird. Siri is able to process those type of commands for me with amazing accuracy. Sometimes the "thing to be reminded of" is unusual and she gets it wrong, but it's close enough that I'll know what I meant when the reminder pops up

Additionally, have you used bixby? Do you know it knocks this stuff out of the park? Or are you just spewing Apple hate?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nr123*123 Avatar
44 months ago
Let's be frank, this is already light years ahead of Siri. You literally have to talk into the mic for Siri to understand even basic commands that are multilayered; e.g.,

-set a reminder for parking in two hours

- ok I've set a remind for party at 14:00

Genius.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Zirel Avatar
44 months ago

Weird. Siri is able to process those type of commands for me with amazing accuracy. Sometimes the "thing to be reminded of" is unusual and she gets it wrong, but it's close enough that I'll know what I meant when the reminder pops up

Additionally, have you used bixby? Do you know it knocks this stuff out of the park? Or are you just spewing Apple hate?

This site is full of them, there are more Samsung “fans” here than Apple fans, or even people that don’t hate Apple.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Andres Cantu Avatar
44 months ago
Let's see if Samsung gets as much heat for the delay as Apple gets for "delays" for unannounced products.

Or at least as much as the AirPods delay.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MetalHaze Avatar
44 months ago

Let's see if Samsung gets as much heat for the delay as Apple gets for "delays" for unannounced products.

Or at least as much as the AirPods delay.

The Airpods aren't "delayed". They are so popular that they can't keep up with demand. There is a big difference.

Unlike my brother, who has the S8, I have access to the Airpods and I have had them since April. However, his phone still doesn't have access to Bixby.

Imagine, back in the day, if Apple launched the iPhone 4, but had to delay Siri by like 6 months.....We would have never heard the end of it. Yet, Samsung gets a free pass....Why? Oh that's right....No one cares....No one cares so much that they had to build in a gamification system to entice people to use it. o_O
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

14

Apple Releases iOS 14.2.1 With Fix for Text Message Bug and iPhone 12 Mini Lock Screen Issues

Thursday November 19, 2020 10:16 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 14.2.1, a bug fix update that comes two weeks after the launch of iOS 14.2 and is available for Apple's new iPhone 12 models. The iOS 14.2.1 update can be downloaded for free and it is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. According to Apple's release notes, iOS...
maxresdefault

CrossOver Allows x86 Windows Apps to Run on Apple M1 Macs

Wednesday November 18, 2020 6:07 pm PST by
Codeweavers posted a blog post and video tonight showing off CrossOver running on an Apple M1 MacBook Air. This video shows Team Fortress 2 running on a new M1 MacBook Air: CrossOver is software (based on Wine Project) that runs Microsoft Windows apps on the Mac by translating Windows APIs into their Mac equivalents. The Codeweavers team was able to run the current version of CrossOver on...
m1 mac mini vignette

Apple Lists M1-Based Mac Mini Logic Boards With 10 Gigabit Ethernet in Internal Parts Ordering System

Friday November 20, 2020 9:32 am PST by
While the new Mac mini with the M1 chip is only available with Gigabit Ethernet, Apple has listed multiple M1-based Mac mini logic boards with 10 Gigabit Ethernet in an internal parts list for Apple Authorized Service Providers. For every Mac mini logic board with Gigabit Ethernet in the parts list, obtained by MacRumors, there is a corresponding logic board with 10 Gigabit Ethernet:...
Walmart November Deals Hero

Black Friday Spotlight: Walmart Will Have AirPods Pro Down to Lowest Price of $169, and More Apple Deals

Thursday November 19, 2020 8:05 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Walmart. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Next ...
iOS14AntitrackFacebookSadfeature

Apple Confirms Commitment to App Tracking Transparency in Letter Condemning Facebook's Data Collection [Updated]

Thursday November 19, 2020 11:58 am PST by
Apple in iOS 14 is planning to introduce a new App Tracking Transparency feature that will let users know when companies want to track them across apps and website. Following outcry from developers like Facebook and ad networks unprepared for the change, Apple delayed the implementation of the anti-tracking functionality until early 2021. Eight civil society organizations recently sent a...
new m1 chip

Craig Federighi: Native Windows on M1 Macs is 'Really up to Microsoft'

Friday November 20, 2020 11:57 am PST by
Following the release of the M1 Macs Apple executives have been doing interviews with a range of publications, and today, Ars Technica published another interview with software engineering chief Craig Federighi, hardware technologies lead Johny Srouji, and marketing VP Greg Joswiak. Much of the interview focuses on topics that the three have already covered in prior discussions, but there is ...
iphone 12 green glow

Apple Investigating Display Issues With iPhone 12 Models, Including Flickering and Green/Gray Glow

Wednesday November 18, 2020 11:20 am PST by
In an internal document obtained by MacRumors, Apple has acknowledged an issue with some iPhone 12 displays exhibiting flickering, a green or gray glow, or other unintended lighting variations under some conditions. In the document, shared with Apple Authorized Service Providers this week, Apple says that it is aware of customer reports related to this issue and is investigating. Apple has...
iOS14

Apple Releases Revised Version of iOS 14.2 for iPhone 12 Owners

Wednesday November 18, 2020 3:55 pm PST by
Apple appears to have released a revised version of iOS 14.2 that's available to those who have an iPhone 12 device and who have not previously installed the iOS 14.2 update. It's not clear why Apple has released a new version of iOS 14.2, but it may include minor bug fixes, perhaps for installation issues. The updated software has a build number of 18B111, while the original release has a...
app store 15 percent feature

App Store Fee Cut Attracts Criticism From Major Developers Like Spotify and Epic

Wednesday November 18, 2020 8:39 am PST by
A number of industry players, including Spotify, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney, and Basecamp CTO David Heinemeier Hansson, have today criticized Apple's move to launch a new App Store Small Business Program that will halve App Store fees for small business owners and independent developers (via The Verge). After Apple announced the new program, Spotify released a statement saying that it...
macbookpro13large

Apple Offers Instructions on What to Do if macOS Big Sur Causes Installation Errors on 2013 and 2014 MacBook Pro

Thursday November 19, 2020 6:12 pm PST by
Following the release of macOS Big Sur last week, a number of 2013 and 2014 MacBook Pro owners found that the update bricked their machines. Affected users saw their Macs get stuck displaying a black screen after attempting to install the new software. Apple has now addressed this issue in a new support document that provides instructions on what to do if macOS Big Sur can't be installed on...