Thursday, 20 July 2017 00:09

VIDEOS: Bixby finally rolling out to US English Galaxy S8, S8+

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Twice bitten by delays, but no longer shy, Bixby is now officially rolling out to US owners of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+, despite Samsung stating three weeks ago that it still needed more “big data".

Perhaps stung by criticism of Bixby delays, and a dedicated Bixby button that some have criticised as being too easy to accidentally press, Samsung has officially released Bixby at last.

Sadly, that doesn’t mean Bixby is available to Australian users yet.

Actually, user interaction and data did help, with Samsung telling The Verge that “over 100,000 users of the flagship devices have enrolled in the early access programme and issued over 4 million voice commands", which was an opt-in beta test programme for US S8 and S8+ owners only. 

Injong Rhee, executive vice-president, head of R&D, Software and Services of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics, said: “There are over 10,000 functions on our smartphones, but each day, people may use less than 5% 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.”

Samsung advises that “to enable Bixby’s voice-based capabilities, Galaxy S8 and S8+ owners in the U.S. can press the Bixby button to begin onboarding starting today, 18 July".

“Once the software is updated, users can activate Bixby by holding the dedicated button on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ phones, or by simply saying, ‘Hi, Bixby'.

“The Bixby update will be available starting today on Galaxy S8 and S8+ from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and US Cellular.

Aiming to gamify Bixby usage, Samsung says “Bixby users will earn experience points (XPs) the more they use Bixby, when sending a message, making a call, updating settings or giving feedback.

“Starting today through 14 September, users can convert XPs into Samsung Rewards points that are accumulated to try to win prizes such as Samsung products, gift cards, trips, and more.”

Whether Samsung will offer gamification of Bixby in Australia is unknown, but it sure would be a lot more fun if they did so here, too.

Here are Samsung’s official Bixby videos:

Meet Bixby

Samsung Galaxy S8: Bixby

Day in the Life, Part 1: Manage your alarm

Day in the Life, Part 2: Check the weather

Day in the Life, Part 3: Tinker with the settings

 

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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