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Android Cellphones Operating Systems Software

Samsung's 'Bixby' Voice Assistant Finally Launches In US (theverge.com) 40

After 3 months, Samsung announced that the voice capabilities of its digital assistant are now rolling out to U.S. Galaxy S8 and S8+ owners. Now, if you happen to own a Galaxy S8 or S8+, the physical Bixby button on the lefthand side of your phone will be able to actually do something somewhat useful. The Verge reports: Bixby's voice capabilities have been available in the US as part of an opt-in beta test, and Samsung says that feedback has led to faster response times, improved comprehension of varied phrasing around the same question, better hands-free operation, and more. Over 100,000 users of the flagship devices have enrolled in the early access program and issued over 4 million voice commands. Also, Samsung says Bixby can now read aloud your latest SMS messages and emails -- if you use its stock apps on the Galaxy S8. Bixby can be activated with a push of the dedicated Bixby button located on the side of the Galaxy S8 and S8+, or by saying "hi Bixby." Like Siri and Google Assistant, Bixby can handle alarms, send texts, and so on, but its real power lies in the ability to access granular phone settings or -- in supported apps -- automatically move through several menu screens to perform commands that Google Assistant simply can't do. Samsung says that deep learning should allow Bixby to improve over time as it begins to recognize users' preferences and ways of speaking. Here's a video showing some of the voice commands Bixby can respond to.
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Samsung's 'Bixby' Voice Assistant Finally Launches In US

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    You could say it's about to catch fire

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You wouldn't like him when he's angry.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile, my old S5 has gotten worse by design over the last month as either Samsung or AT&T has rolled out updates to increase advertising revenue. The lock screen is now trying to be intelligent (meaning the behavior is different depending on when you activate the phone) and there are more commercials.

    It makes me less likely to upgrade to a Samsung in the future.

    • The "intelligent" lock screen is actually the Peel Remote app's doing. Uninstall it (ie, revert it to factory version) and the lock screen will be normal again.

      • by sr180 ( 700526 )

        When I first bought the phone, the Remote app was quite useful. But every update it got bigger and worse, taking over more of the phone and including more advertising until it finally became the monstrosity of the 'Peel Smart Remote'. Id rather no IR remote on my phone than having that app installed.

  • and no one gave a flying fuck

  • It will be good for grins and giggles, and for party games. But then again, that space is already densely populated. Samsung, taking a page off Microsoft's book and coming very late to the party.
  • by AaronW ( 33736 ) on Wednesday July 19, 2017 @09:12PM (#54843587) Homepage

    Last Friday I got an Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home to play with and I have used Google's Android assistant for some time. My guess is that Samsung will have a lot of catching up to do. In playing with both Google and Amazon I have found that in most cases Google Home is superior to the Echo even though the Echo has been available longer. The home automation just seems to work better with Google Home. I can say "Hey Google, turn off all the lights" from my bed and all the lights in my house are turned off. Or "Hey Google, what lights are on?" to see if someone left one on. Asking for basic information Google Home is usually spot on. Amazon Echo either doesn't know or gives less precise data when it does. Both systems support my home automation, thermostat and even my car (I can monitor charging, turn on the AC, etc. of my car via both).

    For search, Google is king. Alexa doesn't come anywhere close. I still need a chance to play more with the Chromecast integration and it sounds like more is coming. For example, Google Home will not play music via the video Chromecast yet. The best advantage with GH is that it works seamlessly with my phone and tablet so I just need to say "OK Google" and it works. I don't like the idea of purchasing stuff via voice and I still have a lot more to explore.

  • by sr180 ( 700526 ) on Wednesday July 19, 2017 @10:03PM (#54843795) Journal

    An an Australian with Bixby - Id rather not have it. Ive never intentionally tried to open it, only accidentally, by swiping the wrong way at the wrong time, or accidentally pushing that button. Personally, Id rather that the button do nothing, compared to what it actually does.

    • Having a dedicated button that you can't configure is rather arrogant. If you could configure it to open any assistant or other program then Samsung would get stats about just how unpopular Bixby really is. They've always made their utter shit software uninstallable though, so this is nothing new on their part.

      I have a long-since abandoned Galaxy Note tablet - getting no updates from Samsung because they can't be arsed. If you accidentally press the home button too long it opens up the 'samsung assistant' -

When I left you, I was but the pupil. Now, I am the master. - Darth Vader

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