Hi Bixby: Sam­sung phone’s voice as­sis­tant now speaks English

Kuwait Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics said its Bixby voice as­sis­tant for smart­phones will start speak­ing English but only in two coun­tries: South Korea and the US.

The South Korean tech gi­ant said started yes­ter­day, users of the Galaxy S8 smart­phones can speak in Amer­i­can English to their phones to turn on the flash­light, take a selfie or make the phone search for say, pic­tures from a sum­mer va­ca­tion, and cre­ate an al­bum.

Sam­sung did not say why it could not make Bixby in English avail­able to users out­side South Korea or the US or when it will be­come avail­able in other lan­guages in other coun­tries. The ser­vice, com­pa­ra­ble to Ap­ple’s Siri or Google As­sis­tant, was pre­vi­ously avail­able only in Korean.

Sam­sung says its vir­tual as­sis­tant can be ac­ti­vated by say­ing “Hi Bixby” to the phone or by click­ing a but­ton on the side of the S8 phones. The roll­out of the Bixby English ver­sion was de­layed by a cou­ple of months. Sam­sung’s mo­bile chief Koh Dong-jin had ear­lier told re­porters that the ser­vice would be avail­able in English be­fore June.

It also comes about one month be­fore Sam­sung is widely ex­pected to an­nounce its lat­est it­er­a­tion of the Galaxy Note smart­phone af­ter the dis­con­tin­u­a­tion of its fire­prone Galaxy Note 7 phone last year.

Sam­sung, the world’s largest smart­phone maker, is a late­comer in the vir­tual as­sis­tant race. Its ri­vals in­tro­duced their ver­sions sev­eral years ago but the com­pany said it be­lieves its sta­tus as the world’s dom­i­nant mo­bile de­vice man­u­fac­turer will give it an edge. Bixby also en­ables users to find more in­for­ma­tion about real-world items by point­ing a phone’s cam­era. —AP

NEW YORK: In this file photo, the Bixby func­tion of the new Sam­sung Galaxy S8 is demon­strated in New York. Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics says its Bixby voice as­sis­tant will start speak­ing English but only in two coun­tries: South Korea and the US. —AP

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