Hello Bixby! Samsung's virtual assistant rolls out voice, but it's still only available in US English and Korean

UK English soon, please Samsung!

When we reviewed the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ we mused that the voice part of Samsung's Bixby virtual assistant wouldn't be available "until later in the Spring".

Make that August.  

A day ahead of Samsung's Do Bigger Things launch event, the tech giant has announced that Bixby’s voice capabilities have expanded to more than 200 countries including the UK, Australia, Canada and South Africa. 

The voice language is, however, still only available in US English and Korean, meaning that some nuances of UK speech won't be fully recognised. 

Bixby uses technology acquired from startup Viv last year - that's a pretty recent acquisition, to be fair to Samsung. Some of the integrations we've seen are quite clever, including custom voice commands and the ability to ask for settings, alams and more to be enabled or disabled. Check out these scenarios that Samsung has put together. 

In case you didn't know, Viv was actually from the makers of Siri (which Apple bought rather than created as well).

On the S8, an extra button on the left of the phone (you can also swipe across to the left) activates Bixby. If you have a Galaxy S8 or S8+, you can enable Bixby’s voice capabilities by pressing the Bixby button and updating the app. 

As we reported in our reviews of Samsung's recent handsets, it's not only Bixby that's available by default on the device - Google Assistant is there on the S8 and S8+ - just press and hold the Home button. Samsung says it has included the Google Assistant to give consumers choice. 

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Dan Grabham
Dan Grabham

Dan is a previous Editor or T3.com and covered the latest in computing, home entertainment and mobile tech. He's also the former Deputy Editor of TechRadar and former Editor of Lifehacker UK. Dan has written for numerous computing and lifestyle magazines and has also written a book, too. You'll see him pop up in numerous places, having been quoted in or on The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, ITN News, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4 and Sky News Radio.