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.
“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:
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