When Samsung first introduced the Galaxy S8/S8+, one of the features the company spent the most time talking about was Bixby – the brand-new virtual assistant that could remind you of upcoming events, recommend restaurants for you to check out, help you learn more about a product or place by holding your camera up to it, and – finally – talk to you to answer questions, send texts, check the weather, etc.
All of Bixby’s features have been available since its release, with the exception of what’s arguably the most important one – the ability to actually talk to the assistant. Samsung released a beta program for Bixby Voice earlier this year, and just about a month after the start of that beta, Bixby Voice is now available for all Galaxy S8/S8+ users in the United States.
As per Samsung’s Executive Vice President and Head of R&D for Software and Services, Injong Rhee –
“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.”
In addition to the standard slew of commands and questions that you can issue to AI like the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, Bixby does have the upper-hand when it comes to performing functions that are tied more deeply into your phone. For example, you can talk to Bixby to add filters to photos you’ve taken, open up a specific section in your device’s settings, etc.
The Bixby Voice features are rolling out now, and you’ll be able to access them by updating your Galaxy S8/S8+ on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and U.S. Cellular. Simply press the Bixby button on your phone to begin the update process, and once it’s finished, you’ll be able to access Bixby Voice by either holding down on the Bixby button or saying, “Hi, Bixby.”