Samsung has finally launched its Bixby voice control tool in the UK, just a day ahead of the arrival of its Galaxy Note 8 smartphone.
Until now, Bixby has only worked in the United States and the company’s home country of Korea.
The service, a rival to Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant, is capable of holding conversations with users and delivering context-aware information, such as local business details, the weather and the latest football results.
Owners of Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus can activate Bixby now, by pressing the dedicated Bixby button or simply saying, ‘Hi Bixby’.
Samsung says the service has the capability to understand how users speak, meaning that rather than requiring specific commands for every action, like Amazon’s Alexa, it can carry out tasks as if it were holding a natural conversation.
That means demands such as ‘send that last photo to Mum’ won’t be dismissed with the ‘I don’t understand’ response that plagues Amazon’s service.
What’s more, Bixby will learn vocal tics and personal preferences over time, making it more personalised.
However, there remain key issues, including the fact that the service only understands US English and Korean despite now being available in over 200 countries. It does not work with third-party apps, either.
These are stumbling blocks for UK users and ones which could prove fatal in Samsung’s bid to outdo its rivals, especially Google Assistant, which is also available on Samsung phones.