Well, it's finally happened, just not in the way many expected. Samsung has announced that Bixby Voice, its assistant-slash-intelligent-interface, is going to be available in more than 200 countries starting today, including Canada, the UK, Australia, and South Africa. Why point out these in particular? Because the service is still only going to be accessible in U.S. English, along with its original Korean, so while it will certainly be available in more places, it's still only for English speakers.
Bixby launched on every Galaxy S8 and S8+ earlier this year in a limited capacity, its full potential limited by the lack of voice capabilities that it demoed alongside the phone in March. After launching in its native Korea, Samsung expanded Bixby Voice to U.S. users as a preview, and then to more people as a final version, though with the caveat that it is still very much a work in progress.
As it rolls out to nearly every country on earth, Bixby is still that work in progress, but the company believes that the deluge of new data from millions of people around the world is going to be helpful in making Bixby Voice a better service. Samsung says that 30% of Galaxy S8 users have tried Bixby in some form, and that Voice users are extremely happy with the results, even if it doesn't always provide exactly the intended result.
According to the press release, "Samsung plans to continue expanding Bixby's voice capabilities to additional countries, languages, devices, features and third-party applications. By further enhancing its mobile experience and solutions offerings, even more users can interact with their device and manage their apps and services more seamlessly and instinctively."
Bixby Voice is available on Galaxy S8 and S8+ units today, and on the Note 8 whenever it goes on sale. It's accessible by holding down on the dedicated button located on the left side of the phone, or by saying, "Hi Bixby" from any screen.
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