The Samsung Bixby voice assistant is now available in more than 200 countries around the globe. The South Korean firm claims that the voice assistant, which was only available in South Korea and the United States, has now been expanded to other countries, such as Canada, the U.K., Australia, and South America.
What can Samsung Bixby do?
“The expansion of Bixby’s voice capabilities is an initial step in the continued rollout of Bixby functionality. In the future, Bixby will have the learning power to offer more intelligent and personalized interactions and seamless connections across more devices,” Samsung said in a press release.
Galaxy S8 and S8+ users can start using the voice assistant by pressing the exclusive Bixby button on their phones, or they can simply activate the assistant by saying, “Hi, Bixby.” The voice assistant will also be available on the Galaxy Note 8, which is set to debut tomorrow in New York.
Samsung’s voice assistant can assist a user with taking a selfie and organizing photos. It can also keep the user updated on social media. Further, there is a range of other things that users can expect Bixby to do for them, such as setting a new alarm, turning on the alarm, responding to quick commands and so on. For instance, if a user says, “Post this photo to Facebook,” or, “Send that photo to my Mom,” Bixby will be able to recognize the request and perform the task.
Samsung is planning to make more apps compatible with the Bixby voice assistant so that third-party apps can also support the service. Going forward, Samsung’s assistant can be expected to perform a range of functions like searching the songs on streaming sites, opening specific functions in apps and maybe even connecting to non-Samsung devices.
Injong Rhee, Executive VP and Head of R&D for Software and Services at Samsung, told TechRadar, “We’re being approached by many different OEMs. Not only smartphones, but we’re talking about car manufacturers, and others like audio makers are coming to us [too].”
Rivals ahead for now
Samsung Bixby, however, is limited to just two languages for now: English (U.S.) and Korean. Although English is by far the most spoken language, Bixby has been trained only in U.S. English. So it may or may not understand your particular dialect of English.
In comparison, Apple’s Siri is conversant in 21 tongues, while Microsoft Cortana can respond in eight different languages. Further, Google Assistant can converse in five languages and will add four more by the end of the year. Amazon Alexa supports both American and British English, as well as German.
For now, the Bixby voice might lag Siri or Cortana when it comes to multiple language support. However, that does not change the fact that Samsung has been investing effort into improving the assistant, even going as far as adding a physical Bixby button to its flagship phones. Initially, the button was used by some users to perform other functions simply by re-assigning another task to it. However, Samsung blocked this option later.
Samsung has also assured users that Bixby will eventually be available in more countries and accessible by more third-party applications, devices and languages. Meanwhile, Samsung has issued updates to Bixby, Bixby PLM, Bixby Wakeup, Bixby Dictation and Bixby Global Action.