Following multiple delays stemming from lack of big data, Samsung on Wednesday said its new personal digital assistant Bixby is now available in U.S. English to customers in the United States and Korea via a software update for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 smartphones. The company will add support for additional languages and devices “in the near future.”

At launch, Bixby will work with select core Samsung apps.

Support for additional native and third-party apps like Google Maps, Play Music, YouTube and Facebook will be coming at a later stage via Bixby Labs, said the South Korean conglomerate.

“Bixby understands natural language, so users can complete tasks by using everyday speech, rather than pre-set and inflexible commands,” according to Samsung.

“Through iterative deep learning technology, Bixby can improve over time to recognize the user’s different preferences and ways of speaking.”

Invoked via a dedicated Bixby button on the side of the device, or by simply saying “Hi Bixby”, the personal assistant helps users complete tasks, tells them what their camera is looking at thanks to computer vision, learns their routines and remembers what they need to do.

Users can ask Bixby to complete simple tasks like turning on the flashlight or taking a selfie, or complex tasks such as “remind me to pick up milk at the grocery store” or “find photos I took in Spain and create an album called ‘Vacation.’”

“Because Bixby is deeply integrated into the device—rather than in a standalone application—users can easily switch between voice, touch or text commands, providing a unique experience over current voice assistants on the market,” reads the release.

Samsung a year ago acquired Viv Labs, the developer behind Apple’s Siri, but their AI technology won’t be used in Bixby before the personal assistant becomes more complete.

Samsung is also rumored to be working on a Bixby-powered smart speaker.

  • OtterWithKids

    It’s Samsung. Based on my family’s experience with every Samsung product any of us has ever owned, I would take a tin can and a string over anything they release. Unless Bixby provides better customer service is worse than a poke in the eye with a stick, it’s too little, too late.

  • Rowan09

    Why does this say Siri rival when it’s far from? It should say Google Assistant rival since it’s on the same device. Samsung needs to worry about Assistant first before even thinking about Siri.

  • Joshua The-Legend Wiebe

    It’s the fine print at the beginning of the first video: Data network required to use these services. Still no offline mode for personal assistance.

  • Bixby my ass