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When the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ smartphones went on sale in April, voice support for Bixby in the United States was missing due to Samsung's decision to delay the virtual assistant's English-language launch until what was then estimated to be sometime in late spring. This week, the company has announced that voice capabilities for Bixby are now arriving for Galaxy S8 and S8+ users across the United States.

Samsung describes Bixby as "fundamentally different" than AI helpers like Siri and Microsoft's Cortana because of its deeper and more nuanced integration into the Galaxy's core apps, as well as some third party apps at launch including Google Maps, Google Play Music, YouTube, and Facebook. The Bixby integration into these third party apps is available through a service called Bixby Labs, which Galaxy S8 owners can opt into through their smartphone.


Bixby's many features include letting users complete simple tasks like turning on the device's flashlight and taking a screenshot or selfie. More complex flows can be arranged as well, like asking the assistant to gather all of the photos taken over the past week into one album called "Vacation," and then sending it to family and friends. Samsung plans to continuously update Bixby with new features, app support, languages and devices, and the company said that thanks to deep learning, the assistant will only improve over time.
What's more, because Bixby is deeply integrated into the device's operating system - rather than being a separate app -users can seamlessly switch between controlling an app via voice or via touch commands, rather than choose one or the other ahead of time.

"There are over 10,000 functions on our smartphones, but each day, people may use less than five percent of them. The features on your phone are only useful if you know how to find them. Our goal with Bixby is to make it easier to use our phones, creating the best possible user experience for our customers. That's why we created Bixby - an intuitive new way to do more things with your phone," says Injong Rhee, Executive Vice President, Head of R&D, Software and Services of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics.
With the Bixby update, Galaxy S8 users can simply press the dedicated Bixby button on their device to call up the assistant and begin asking it questions and performing tasks, and a voice activated "Hi, Bixby" feature is also available. Right now, Bixby recognizes English and Korean languages, but Samsung noted that, "Not all accents, dialects and expressions" will be recognized.

Every time that Galaxy S8 users call up Bixby they will also earn experience points in a gamification system that Samsung is also rolling out for the launch, and ending September 14, 2017. Each message sent, call made, setting updated, or any action performed through Bixby will earn XP, which users can convert into Samsung Rewards points that can be amassed to try to win bigger prizes like Samsung products, gift cards, trips, and more.

bixby-launch.jpg

Earlier this month, it was rumored that Samsung is planning to enter the smart speaker market with a device that uses Bixby as a way for users to interact with music playback. Codenamed "Vega," the project would place Samsung as a competitor against Apple in yet another category, since the Cupertino company at WWDC this year announced the December launch of the HomePod, its Siri-powered speaker.

Delays related to Bixby's U.S. launch are reportedly behind a slowdown on the smart speaker project, and a report out of The Korea Herald this week has furthermore placed the launch of a Samsung speaker well into the future. Sources familiar with the matter claimed that Samsung is "not enthusiastic" about a smart Bixby speaker because it "does not view Al speakers as marketable" at this time, thanks to the domination of products like Amazon Echo. Rather than dive into an uncertain market, Samsung is said to be taking a wait-and-see approach for the potential launch of its Bixby speaker.

Article Link: Samsung Debuts English-Language Voice Capabilities for Siri Rival 'Bixby' Following Initial Delay
 

Sunny1990

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Feb 13, 2015
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Hi Bixby, Remind me to mail Samsung to complain about your hideous name. it's terrible.

This is Good they added support for English.
 
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ArtOfWarfare

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Nov 26, 2007
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Every time that Galaxy S8 users call up Bixby they will also earn experience points in a gamification system that Samsung is also rolling out for the launch, and ending September 14, 2017. Each message sent, call made, setting updated, or any action performed through Bixby will earn XP, which users can convert into Samsung Rewards points that can be amassed to try to win bigger prizes like Samsung products, gift cards, trips, and more.

Well that's a novel idea. If Apple did anything like that, there's a chance I would use Siri more than ~once a year.
 
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Nr123*123

macrumors 6502
Jul 1, 2014
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Let's be frank, this is already light years ahead of Siri. You literally have to talk into the mic for Siri to understand even basic commands that are multilayered; e.g.,

-set a reminder for parking in two hours

- ok I've set a remind for party at 14:00

Genius.
 
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Let's be frank, this is already light years ahead of Siri. You literally have to talk into the mic for Siri to understand even basic commands that are multilayered; e.g.,

-set a reminder for parking in two hours

- ok I've set a remind for party at 14:00

Genius.
Weird. Siri is able to process those type of commands for me with amazing accuracy. Sometimes the "thing to be reminded of" is unusual and she gets it wrong, but it's close enough that I'll know what I meant when the reminder pops up

Additionally, have you used bixby? Do you know it knocks this stuff out of the park? Or are you just spewing Apple hate?
 
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bearda

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Dec 2, 2005
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I feel like I use Siri fairly often, but for a very limited set of commands. The only time I do is when I'm in the car, and then 99% of the time I want to initiate a call or play a song. Occasionally I'll ask to read off or send a text message, but getting the wording right is unreliable enough I usually don't bother.

The "deep integration" features sound interesting but I doubt I would ever use them. I'd much rather have much simpler functionality refined to the point that it's more reliable. Am I the odd man out when it comes to this? I'm genuinely curious. If there's a market for this Samsung is tapping more power too them, I just don't think I'm it.
 
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Zirel

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Jul 24, 2015
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Weird. Siri is able to process those type of commands for me with amazing accuracy. Sometimes the "thing to be reminded of" is unusual and she gets it wrong, but it's close enough that I'll know what I meant when the reminder pops up

Additionally, have you used bixby? Do you know it knocks this stuff out of the park? Or are you just spewing Apple hate?

This site is full of them, there are more Samsung “fans” here than Apple fans, or even people that don’t hate Apple.
 
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mattan_lines

macrumors member
Feb 25, 2016
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Well that's a novel idea. If Apple did anything like that, there's a chance I would use Siri more than ~once a year.
Not only that, but it would help Apple immensely in helping Siri evolve... while Bixby is in it’s primitive form right now, this program will help kickstart it. If Apple did anything like this but opened it up on all devices... can you imagine how much Siri would be improved from the MILLIONS (billions?) of queries she gets a day? We could have a fully functioning AI within a year or two.
 
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Nr123*123

macrumors 6502
Jul 1, 2014
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Must be my British accent. It works 75% of the time but you literally need to say it into the mic. It's not an issue with the mic either, because the google app works fine.
[doublepost=1500473557][/doublepost]
Weird. Siri is able to process those type of commands for me with amazing accuracy. Sometimes the "thing to be reminded of" is unusual and she gets it wrong, but it's close enough that I'll know what I meant when the reminder pops up

Additionally, have you used bixby? Do you know it knocks this stuff out of the park? Or are you just spewing Apple hate?

Well, just watching the video I can see that Bixby can do more.
 
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MetalHaze

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Jun 18, 2009
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Let's see if Samsung gets as much heat for the delay as Apple gets for "delays" for unannounced products.

Or at least as much as the AirPods delay.

The Airpods aren't "delayed". They are so popular that they can't keep up with demand. There is a big difference.

Unlike my brother, who has the S8, I have access to the Airpods and I have had them since April. However, his phone still doesn't have access to Bixby.

Imagine, back in the day, if Apple launched the iPhone 4, but had to delay Siri by like 6 months.....We would have never heard the end of it. Yet, Samsung gets a free pass....Why? Oh that's right....No one cares....No one cares so much that they had to build in a gamification system to entice people to use it. o_O
 
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Keane16

macrumors 6502a
Dec 8, 2007
810
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Must be my British accent. It works 75% of the time but you literally need to say it into the mic. It's not an issue with the mic either, because the google app works fine.

No issues with my British accent. Either on my iPhone 6 or Apple Watch. And no need to talk into the mic. Never done that, not even with the basic Voice Control system on the 3GS.

My wife has the 6s and uses hey Siri when her phone's on the kitchen counter top. Again no issues. Also British accent.

It's not 100% but neither is the family's Echo. Overall they both work pretty well.

==================

The gamification of a feature is an interesting move. Would hate Apple to go down that path.
 
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GrumpyMom

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Sep 11, 2014
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Well that's a novel idea. If Apple did anything like that, there's a chance I would use Siri more than ~once a year.
Not unless you want to give up all your data to not just Samsung but their partners who could be just about any company at any time. Read their terms. I would love to have my Bixby button be useful but the price is too high. Google gives me more control and ability to limit what they see, and I make use of that control.
 
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Nr123*123

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Jul 1, 2014
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The Airpods aren't "delayed". They are so popular that they can't keep up with demand. There is a big difference.

Unlike my brother, who has the S8, I have access to the Airpods and I have had them since April. However, his phone still doesn't have access to Bixby.

Imagine, back in the day, if Apple launched the iPhone 4, but had to delay Siri by like 6 months.....We would have never heard the end of it. Yet, Samsung gets a free pass....Why? Oh that's right....No one cares....No one cares so much that they had to build in a gamification system to entice people to use it. o_O

Or like when portrait mode on the 7 plus was delayed.

Take your head out of the sand. Criticising the company doesn't mean you hate it. I own multiple Apple products but I'm more than willing to comment on good products from other manufacturers.
 
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Jsameds

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Apr 22, 2008
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Must be my British accent. It works 75% of the time but you literally need to say it into the mic. It's not an issue with the mic either, because the google app works fine.

British here too, but we have more accents than any other country so it's a bit redundant anyway.

I used to speak loud at Siri, in an accent that I reserve especially for voice operated machines, holding the phone 2" from my mouth, but I experimented with it one day and it works for me just talking at normal volume at normal distances like arms length.

Currently I do that, but I slow down slightly and clarify my diction for those words or phrases that I think it might struggle with. Whilst trying to keep it as natural as possible too, so it's able to learn what I actually sound like and it doesn't end up thinking my "me speaking to a robot" voice is my normal voice :D
 
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MetalHaze

macrumors newbie
Jun 18, 2009
29
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Or like when portrait mode on the 7 plus was delayed.

Take your head out of the sand. Criticising the company doesn't mean you hate it. I own multiple Apple products but I'm more than willing to comment on good products from other manufacturers.

Are you attempting to compare the importance of "Portrait Mode" with "Siri".....Really?

One is a glorified photo filter and the other is an integral component for controlling your phone that every other competitor on the market has a working version of. Let's try to make logical comparisons
 
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JosephAW

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May 14, 2012
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I like the command "turn on the flashlight"
I'm still waiting for "activate self-destruct sequence"
 
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Kaibelf

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Apr 29, 2009
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Or like when portrait mode on the 7 plus was delayed.

Take your head out of the sand. Criticising the company doesn't mean you hate it. I own multiple Apple products but I'm more than willing to comment on good products from other manufacturers.

Pretty aggressive words when you’re wrong. The AirPods came out and hit a very high level of demand. Apple was totally up front about when the portrait mode would be available and that came out when they said it was. It wasn’t delayed. It just didn’t appear when you wanted it to, but was completely in line with their initial announcement.
 
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themachugger

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Aug 26, 2010
66
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Siri has gotten better with word recognition in recent years but its integration with even its own apps/functionality has left me using it for little more than "Hey Siri, set a timer for 5 minutes" when I make my coffee. I'm looking forward to the Siri upgrade in iOS 11 but it needs to go way deeper like Bixby. Bixby is currently an embarrassment of dysfunction but once they get it right, it's exactly what Siri needs to become and Apple should be a bit ashamed of themselves for letting their "game changer" languish for six years with only minor improvements.
 
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JosephAW

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May 14, 2012
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It's still so unnatural. When we talk with our coworkers we don't keep saying their name. They need to take Siri from a robot assistant to a friend mode.
 
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