Samsung’s AI Assistant Bixby Finally Available For Kiwis

We’ve had to wait an age, but Samsung’s little people helper is now ready to download.

 

The seemingly eternal wait for Samsung’s answer to Siri, Cortana and Alexa is finally over. Samsung’s virtual assistant Bixby has finally arrived in New Zealand.

Samsung’s helpful conversationalist hit Australia, Canada, South Africa, and of other countries a while back, and now New Zealand is finally getting a chance to chat with Bixby.

Bixby got off to a rocky start with Samsung announcing it well ahead of the Galaxy S8’s launch. Despite plans to launch Bixby alongside the S8/S8+ in April, hiccups with language processing saw the Korean tech giant taking several more months before finally launching. In use though, it appears the wait may have been worthwhile.

Bixby is now becoming available to Kiwis— albeit with only US English or Korean language support. So far, however, Bixby seems to be coping with my ‘Kuwee’ just fine.

Galaxy S8/S8+ users should receive a notification that Bixby is ready to be installed when they hit the S8’s dedicated Bixby button.

In use, Bixby delivers a huge amount of control over my phone. I was able to dictate messages, take photos, adjust volume, and so on. I even got Bixby to beatbox – a task she proved surprisingly adept at. Compared to Google Assistant, Bixby opens the door to a huge amount of phone functionality. Asking Google Assistant to take a photo merely directs you to a google search on taking photos. With Bixby, your phone will snap a photo.

While Bixby won’t set the world on alight like the first manned spaceflight, it’s still big news. The smart speaker market is quickly becoming a white-hot tech product category thanks to Google Home, Amazon’s Echo and Apple’s HomePod. Hype aside, the smart speaker/AI assistant category also represents a massive strategic opportunity for Samsung. Being able to drive household consumer electronics using your voice could give Samsung a compelling edge over other consumer electronics brands.

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