In less than two weeks, Samsung launches its anticipated flagship Galaxy S8. What’s more anticipated is, however, Bixby – the company’s new automated assistant that is arguably the centerpiece of the new device.
For those who have been waiting for Bixby more than S8, here’s something to dampen your spirits. Bixby assistant won’t be ready in time for the Galaxy S8’s release in the United States on April 21st.
In a statement, Samsung explains that “key features” of Bixby, such as Vision, Home, and Reminder, will be available on launch. This means that while users will be able to take advantage of features such as augmented reality in the camera app, Bixby Voice won’t come until later this year in the United States.
“Key features of Bixby, including Vision, Home and Reminder, will be available with the global launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8 on April 21. Bixby Voice will be available in the U.S. on the Galaxy S8 later this spring.”
Samsung has failed to provide a reason for Bixby’s delay but it comes as major downfall considering the emphasis Samsung put on the feature during its unveil of the feature. Samsung touted the feature as giving users full voice control of their device. “Anything you can do with touch, you can do with voice,” Samsung said.
It’d be interesting to know why Samsung has chosen to delay the launch of Bixby in the United States. Early users of the device said the feature was buggy, but Samsung hasn’t given its official reason for delaying the launch.
Some early reviewers reported disappointing results from Bixby in demonstrations. At launch, Samsung said it could only be used to control a limited set of applications, such as making a phone call rather than the broader array of search queries and third-party applications offered by Siri and Google Assistant.
“There’s definitely a high bar to clear here, and Samsung’s track record with software and services isn’t all that promising,” said Jan Dawson, analyst at Jackdaw Research. “It’s starting to look like it might have been a mistake to push Bixby so fast rather than waiting to incorporate the Viv technology and produce something more fully baked.”
The delay is especially notable considering that the Galaxy S8 offers a dedicated Bixby button. On another note, Bixby marks Samsung’s attempt to bounce back from last year’s Note 7 debacle.