Samsung’s voice-based assistant Bixby is now available to Galaxy S8 users in the US, launching after a reported two month delay due to language problems.
The company, which first unveiled Bixby in March, said it planned to offer South Korean and English language versions on its new flagship Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones.
While deployment in its home market went ahead, the English version of Bixby faced a delay in launching, reportedly because the service was struggling to comprehend the English language.
Samsung initially targeted availability in late May, which was then pushed back to the end of June, before Bixby finally launched in the US yesterday (18 July).
In a statement, Samsung talked up Bixby’s features, and said Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ owners would be able “to navigate through select phone apps, services and settings with a combination of voice commands and touch”.
The feature positions Samsung firmly in the ever-competitive artificial intelligence (AI) based voice assistant market, where Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana are currently competing.
When first unveiling Bixby, Samsung said its voice assistant was smarter than rival offerings. In its latest statement, the vendor said Bixby had the ability to complete complex tasks including creating photo albums and reminding users where they’ve parked their car.
The service will also be fully integrated across several core Samsung apps at launch, “with plans to continuously expand to support additional languages, features, third party apps and devices”, added the company.
Samsung said US users will need to complete a software update on their S8 device to access the service.