Earlier this year, Samsung announced their AI-powered digital assistant Bixby. Bixby was meant to rival Google Assistant, Cortana and Siri by being complete, context aware and having cognitive tolerance. All this hyped up Bixby but to everyone’s disappointment, when the digital assistant debut on the Galaxy S8, it was, ironically, incomplete.
At launch, Bixby could perform some neat tricks like identify objects and pull up Amazon links to purchase said objects, however, the most important part of a digital assistant, which its ability to take voice commands was missing.
A month or so ago, Bixby voice was made available in the U.S. through a beta program and now, Samsung has made the feature available in more than 200 countries outside the U.S. and South Korea. Bixby voice only recognizes English (US) and Korean at the moment. Other accents, dialects and languages are not supported.
New features have been enabled to take advantage of Bixby voice, such as quick commands which is a feature that allows users to create a custom voice command to use in place of a sequence of one or more commands. For example, you can use the command “good night” as a shortcut for “Turn on Do-not-disturb mode, set an alarm for 6:00 AM and turn on blue light filter.”
Bixby also understands cross platforms commands. Samsung gives the example of taking a photo and then telling Bixby “send the picture just taken to Mom.” Bixby understands cross-application commands and will know which photo you are referring to and will text it to your mom.
Samsung reiterates that Bixby is an intelligent interface and not a stand-alone app meaning that Bixby will support almost every task that a Bixby-enabled application is capable of performing using voice, touch or text. “Bixby’s deep integration is also built into the smartphone settings so that you can change phone options– such as setting the screen timeout or showing all notifications– without interrupting what you are currently doing,” reads Samsung’s post.
Starting today, Galaxy S8 and S8+ users can enable Bixby’s voice capabilities by pressing the Bixby button to begin onboarding or by simply saying, “Hi, Bixby”.