Bixby finally has a voice in the US. As of today, Samsung Galaxy S8 users now have access to Bixby voice in English, which was previously only available in Korean. It has been a long journey for Samsung to get here. Bixby was announced in March alongside the Galaxy S8. But when it came time for the smart phones to ship in April, Bixby voice still wasn’t ready. Samsung kept promising the voice feature was coming soon, but then came May. Then June. No Bixby voice. According to reports, the main reason for the delay was a lack of data, which is crucial for any AI powered voice assistant. In order to acquire this, Samsung launched an early access program for Bixby voice in June for US users and, apparently it was successful. According to ZDNet, 100,000 users issued four million commands which gave Samsung the data it needed to give Bixby the green light.
Too Little, Too Late?
While four months doesn’t seem like an eternity, the delayed launch of Bixby voice in the US could hurt its adoption rate overall. Especially considering that rival Google Assistant has been available to Galaxy S8 users since the phones shipped. Users have even been remapping the dedicated Bixby button (which was useless until today) to make it call up the Google Assistant. But now that the dedicated home for Bixby voice is in working order, users could change their mind. But only if Bixby voice is capable.