Samsung teaches Bixby English, voice feature now available in the US

After a lengthy delay, Samsung's next foray into personal assistants is now available on the Galaxy S8.

Hi, Bixby.

Starting July 19, Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus users in the US will have access to Bixby voice, the company's personal assistant.

Wednesday's launch adds English to a short list of languages Bixby will work with. Previously, Bixby voice was only available in South Korea for those who speak Korean.

Bixby has been available on the Galaxy S8 in the US, but lacked arguably the most important feature of the service -- voice interaction. Recent reports suggested Samsung had delayed the release of Bixby voice until later this year, perhaps to coincide with the release of the awaited Galaxy Note 8, due to a lack of English language data needed to improve Bixby's understanding and capabilities.

Bixby voice was originally announced and scheduled to launch alongside the Galaxy S8 in March. In April, shortly before the smartphone began shipping Samsung announced Bixby had (temporarily) lost its voice functionality.

In May, Bixby voice launched in Korea, followed by an early access program in July in the US for English-speaking users. ZDNet's Matthew Miller shared his hands-on thoughts of Bixby voice shortly after the preview program was announced.

The preview was limited, yet fruitful for Samsung. In a statement to ZDNet, Samsung claims over 100,000 users signed up for the early access program. Those participants issued four million commands, giving Samsung the critical data it needed improve Bixby's voice functionality.

Galaxy S8 users can download the necessary updates to use Bixby voice in the Galaxy App Store on your phone. Once all aspects of Bixby are updated, launch Bixby using its dedicated button and follow the prompts.

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