Samsung begins early access program for Bixby Voice in the US, launch expected later this month

By Karthekayan Iyer | Published on 19 Jun 2017
HIGHLIGHTS
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ users can sign up for the beta test of the service, and try it out before it becomes officially available to everyone else

Samsung begins early access program for Bixby Voice in the US, launch expected later this month

Samsung's new digital assistant, Bixby, was touted as one of the biggest new features of the new Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. The company even added a dedicated button on these two devices. However, the assistant's voice feature was not available at the time of launch. Samsung was initially supposed to roll out the feature in late May, but it was further delayed until late June. Now, Samsung has opened an early access program for Bixby in the US. Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ users can sign up for the beta test of the service in the US, and try it out before it becomes officially available to everyone else.

Bixby's early access program finally brings the voice feature, a core feature on almost all other rival platforms like Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. With Bixby voice, users can ask the digital assistant to send texts or make phone calls via voice commands. The feature was reportedly delayed due to the assistant's inability to understand English syntax and grammar. Samsung says that the Bixby early access program has limited slots, and will be limited to those registering with a Samsung account and having access to a Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+ smartphone.

At the time of launch, Bixby Voice will only support a handful of Samsung apps, but the company plans to expand support to other third-party applications. Bixby on Samsung's Galaxy S8 already supports features like reminder, Bixby Home, as well as Bixby Vision, which turns the Galaxy S8's camera viewfinder into an AR platform and displays real-time information.

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