When Samsung announced the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, they spent a lot of the time during the event to discuss their newest proprietary feature: Bixby. At face value the software is similar to what we’ve seen in other digital personal assistants, like Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri, but Samsung wanted to stress a few differences.
The first was that Samsung was so confident in the software that they dedicated an entirely new button to activating it. While some of us out there remember when an “extra” physical button on a phone was typically reserved taking photos, Samsung wanted to make sure you had quick and easy access to Bixby.
Second, Bixby would make it possible to use your voice for everything.
Caveats exist, of course. There needs to be support on the app’s side for Bixby Voice to really work. So while many of Samsung’s own apps work, which means you can interact with the app without touching it at all, it’s a longways off before third-party support is where Samsung would like it to be. Where it needs to be before Bixby can really show off.
Oh, and Bixby Voice wasn’t available at launch.
It was an interesting announcement to make before the launch of the Galaxy S8 on April 21, that Bixby Voice wasn’t ready for prime time. It’s unfortunate, too. Not only is the feature huge for Samsung, but they presented it as such, and to put that much attention on something as a keystone feature for your brand new phone, and then to have it miss the launch? That’s rough.
But, if reports are any indicator that didn’t really slow down sales for the Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+. Samsung’s doing pretty well, especially in light of how 2016 ended for them. And today a report pointed out that Bixby Voice is starting to roll out now, but only in South Korea. So the feature is starting to make its appearance, one region at a time.
I don’t really think the lack of Bixby Voice at launch was enough to break sales. Then again, maybe there is someone out there who decided to skip the flagship phone, or at least hold off on their purchase, because the feature wasn’t ready to go. Bixby does seem like it could be pretty awesome, once it’s completely fleshed out one day in the future.
So I can’t help but wonder if you picked up a Galaxy S8, how much did the Bixby feature weigh into that decision? Did this new digital personal assistant, with its expansive feature set, convince you to pick up Samsung’s newest high-end phone? Or was it not a factor at all? Let me know!