Samsung's new Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone is due to hit shelves in the United States next week, but new reports indicate the device will be missing one key feature. At the S8 launch in March, Samsung execs said they envisioned Bixby as a conduit that will allow users to control their connected devices in the Samsung Connect app with their voice alone.
Key features of Bixby, including Vision, Home and Reminder, will be available with the global launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8 on April 21. Bixby Voice will be available in the USA on the Galaxy S8 later this spring. Bixby Voice will be available in the US on the Galaxy S8 later this spring.
The company did not give an explanation for the delay.
Those who have pre-ordered the Samsung Galaxy S8 ready for its global launch on April 21st will be able to take advantage of Bixby's augmented reality camera feature - dubbed Bixby Vision.
Bixby is expected to become more and more capable in the coming months and years as more and more apps feature voice activation.
When the Galaxy S8 was announced, Samsung had warned Bixby wouldn't support all languages immediately, but no reason why was provided. You can even pair Google's Assistant with the Bixby button. The Journal reported recent tests found Bixby's performance in English isn't hitting the bar set by tests conducted in Korean. Notably, though, the AI assistant failed to work when it was showed to tech journalists.
In a statement to CNBC, Samsung said the voice portion of the virtual assistant will be available to stateside customers only in spring, likely following a software update.