The Bixby Voice feature of Samsung’s new artificial intelligence (AI) assistant started rolling out to owners of the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus, Yonhap News reports. The Seoul-based consumer electronics manufacturer confirmed that it’s pushing out the voice-enabled functionality of Bixby today, adding that the staged rollout started in South Korea. Following Bixby Voice’s debut in Samsung’s home country, the voice functionality of the company’s digital companion will also be released in other countries where the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus are already available for purchase.
As expected, Samsung is pushing out the Bixby Voice feature through an over-the-air (OTA) update that’s rolling out in stages and will likely take several days per country to be completed. While the service is currently only being released in South Korea, it remains to be seen whether Samsung will decide to start rolling it out in more countries simultaneously. Like all other Android smartphones, the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus are periodically scanning for OTA updates, but users who are feeling impatient can also try searching for the Bixby Voice software package manually by launching the Settings app on their device, navigating to the “Software update” section, and tapping the “Download updates manually” option on the following screen. This will prompt the device to download and install the Bixby Voice update provided that one is already available in your territory.
While Bixby was hailed as one of the main selling points of the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus, Samsung revealed that its digital companion will be unavailable at launch and will only debut on its new pair of Android flagships this spring. The South Korean tech giant is now seemingly fulfilling that promise as it started rolling out Bixby exactly ten days after the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus officially launched worldwide. While consumers and critics remain skeptical over whether Bixby can compete with the likes of Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and the Google Assistant, Samsung’s new AI-powered companion will certainly try doing so. More details regarding Bixby’s availability are expected to follow in the coming days.