Bixby, Samsung's new digital assistant that has been primed as a premiere competitor to Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana, and Google Assistant, will not be fully ready upon the April 21 release of the Samsung Galaxy S8.
Bixby will have several features that will differentiate it from other digital assistants in the market, but customers who will acquire the Samsung Galaxy S8 upon its release will need to wait before being able to enjoy these capabilities.
Samsung Reveals Bixby Delay
In a statement, Samsung said that certain features of Bixby such as Vision, Home, and Reminder will be rolled out alongside the Samsung Galaxy S8 on April 21. Bixby Vision is the digital assistant's augmented reality camera feature, Bixby Home is a panel of widgets, and Bixby Reminders sets reminders for users.
Samsung, however, reveals that the most important differentiating factor for the digital assistant, Bixby Voice, will only arrive in the United States later in the spring.
Bixby Voice is said to allow the digital assistant to carry out more manual tasks for the user through voice commands compared to rival software. Representatives of Samsung have repeatedly said that the things that users can do with touch controls can also be carried out by Bixby Voice, a claim that would give it a huge advantage over Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana, and Google Assistant.
However, with Bixby Voice delayed and only to be added to the Galaxy S8 through a later update, the digital assistant is in danger of being an afterthought to the rest of the powerful features and specifications of the smartphone.
Bixby Voice English Issues
The delay, however, will only affect the English version of Bixby Voice, as Samsung has discovered performance issues with that version over the past few weeks.
Specifically, the voice recognition capability of the English version of Bixby Voice has not performed well in internal testing compared with the Korean version.
This has caused Samsung to pull back the release of the feature into the United States, as it will not look good to launch a headline feature with significant flaws.
Samsung Rushing To Release Galaxy S8?
Samsung gave a time frame of a spring release for Bixby Voice, which would mean that the full version of the digital assistant should arrive before the end of May.
The delayed release date of the full version of Bixby represents the mad dash that Samsung made to be able to prepare a digital assistant that will launch alongside the Samsung Galaxy S8, after the company acquired Viv Labs in October 2016.
Another decision that Samsung made to be able to rush out its next flagship smartphone is to keep a design flaw in the device that it had spotted. The elimination of the physical home button at the front of the Samsung Galaxy S8 to drastically cut down on the smartphone's bezels pushed the fingerprint scanner to the back, beside the rear camera lens.
The positioning of the fingerprint scanner beside the camera lens makes for an uncomfortable grip, and opens up the camera lens from possible smudges caused by the user's finger.