With the acquisition of Viv Labs, Samsung sent a clear signal that it is going to challenge Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana. The upcoming Galaxy S8 is widely expected to use Viv’s artificial intelligence. Samsung’s trademark filings suggest that the AI assistant would be called Bixby rather than Viv. Now SamMobile has learned from its sources that the AI assistant would work with all the native apps in the Galaxy S8.
S Voice on its way out
Bixby is said to be far more powerful than Samsung’s S Voice, and would work system-wide. For example, you could ask Bixby to show you photos and videos of the beach. Of course, you could do the same thing with Google Photos and the iOS 10 Photos app. Bixby is reportedly capable of writing its own code to handle new tasks. S Voice is on its way out.
Samsung has already signaled that users won’t have to dive into specific apps to perform various tasks. The AI assistant would answer queries and perform actions based on context. Samsung is expected to offer support to third-party apps as well.
Bixby may upset Google
Since Bixby will have a system-wide presence on the Galaxy S8, Samsung will change the user interface of all its native apps to offer a consistent look. Sources told SamMobile that the status bar on the S8 will always be visible. It means users won’t have to swipe twice to access quick settings and notifications. Bixby will give the Korean electronics giant a strong foothold in the AI assistant market.
It is unclear how Google would react to Samsung using Bixby on the Galaxy S8, an Android device. In 2014, Samsung signed a non-compete agreement with Google that prohibits the Korean company from offering any Android services that compete against Google’s services.
Bixby would compete against the Google Assistant, violating the non-compete agreement. Though Google’s AI assistant is available only on Pixel and Pixel XL for now, the service will be rolled out to other devices in the near future.
Galaxy S8 release pushed back to April
The Galaxy S8 is said to sport an edge-to-edge Super AMOLED display. The device would be available in two screen sizes: 5-inch and 6-inch. The larger version will be aimed at the Galaxy Note 7 customers. The Galaxy S8 will ditch the home button and 3.5mm headphone jack. The traditional headphone jack will be replaced by a USB Type-C port, while the home functionality and fingerprint scanner will be incorporated in the display itself.
A new report coming out of China claims that the Galaxy S8 may feature a huge 8GB RAM and Samsung’s UFS 2.1 flash storage. The phone’s release has been pushed back from February to April 2017 to give Samsung’s marketing team sufficient time to regain consumer confidence following the Galaxy Note 7 debacle. The Galaxy S8 is said to be unveiled at a special event in New York in April.