Samsung announced that it would soon launch voice commands for Bixby, its digital personal assistant available on the S8 and S8 Plus. Currently, Bixby supports only Korean, but apparently, it is a matter of time until it can understand English.

Despite Bixby being in its early stages, Samsung expects that it will eventually pair up to Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Microsoft’s Cortana.

Image credit: Joshua Goldman / CNET
Image credit: Joshua Goldman / CNET

Bixby is meant for the user to switch apps and tasks without manual input, share photos, write notes, register location data, and much more.

Bixby will compete in the digital personal assistant market

At the moment, only a few Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus can run the Voice Command Preview for Bixby, but eventually every S8 and S8 Plus will get their own personal assistant.

Samsung enabled an early access program. You can see if you’re still eligible here.

Bixby was released in early June as a complete revamp of the S Voice, which was Samsung’s first attempt at a voice-guided personal assistant, first introduced with the Galaxy S III.

Bixby is designed to understand speech, text, and images. There are different versions of the assistant available, named Voice, Vision, and Home. Voice is activated when the user holds the Bixby button, which is now standard in S8 and S8 Plus phones. Apparently, Samsung was going to allow users to link the button to other apps if they do not desire to use Bixby. Unfortunately, they deleted the function on a firmware update.

Bixby Vision takes control of the camera and helps the user locate items on online stores. If the user opens the photo app and points at an object, Bixby will look up information about that object or location.

Bixby Home can be accessed through the S8 and S8 Plus home screen by swiping to the right. It will show fitness activity, steps taken, weather alerts, and any other information that the user chooses.

Bixby can remind the user about pending tasks, recognize QR codes, translate items, identify landmarks, and propose shopping suggestions.

Currently, Bixby supports Korean, and English and Chinese to some degree. Samsung announced plans of launching Bixby in German in late 2017.

With so many digital personal assistants available, one could wonder which one is the best. Business Insider put Alexa, Cortana, Google Assistant, and Siri to the test to see how the measure up in 12 different categories.

Apparently, Google Assistant was much more efficient when it came to web search services, but Siri was better when it came to tasks performed on the phone, such as reading and sending messages. Alexa was better at reading tweets

Besides Bixby, the new Samsung S8 features a clear and sleek design, with a screen that spills over to the phone’s sides and joins its aluminum casing. It comes equipped with a 12MP dual pixel sensor rear camera and an 8 MP frontal camera with eye-recognition. The Samsung S8 is also designed to work alongside the Gear VR and the Gear 360.

Source: Samsung