Owners of a Samsung Galaxy 8 or Galaxy S8+ can now try the smartphones’ much-awaited virtual assistant, Bixby — if you sign up.
Bixby has not been officially launched in the United States, but Samsung announced Galaxy 8 owners can now sign up on its site to try a preview version of the feature.
“New voice features are coming to Bixby and we’re inviting you to get access first,” the webpage says.
Samsung touted Bixby as a part of the company’s Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones, but it didn’t release the virtual assistant in time for the devices’ April launch. Bixby’s full version was reportedly set to launch to Galaxy users in the U.S. later this month. Samsung already released Bixby in South Korea last month.
With Bixby, users can get information such as the news, locations and the weather. The assistant has the ability to understand longer requests with multiple contextual questions. Users can send texts, change their device’s settings or make calls by pressing down the Bixby button and speaking.
“Because Bixby learns and adapts to you, you can speak naturally knowing that Bixby will better understand nearly everything you say,” Samsung said on its site.
Bixby is Samsung’s response to Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. Samsung is behind Apple, which introduced Siri years ago. Apple recently introduced improvements to Siri with the iOS 11 update, including live translation into five languages, learning a user’s interests and changing the voice from female to male. The company also included Siri in its latest speaker device, the HomePod.
How To Sign Up For Bixby
If you want to try the Bixby Early Access Program you should hurry, since participation is limited. You won’t be charged a fee to join the virtual assistant’s preview.
As of now, Bixby understands commands in English and Korean, and not all accents, dialects and expressions are recognized, Samsung said. The company also pointed out that voice commands can be used with certain Samsung and third-party apps. The program’s terms and conditions also specifies that Samsung “does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness and reliability of Bixby,” and that it has the right to terminate Bixby without notifying the user first.
Samsung notes that it will use data collected from the program to improve Bixby. The company also has the right to contact you and ask for your feedback about Bixby.
To sign up for the early program you have to own a Galaxy S8 or S8+. You can click here and agree to the terms and conditions, then enter your Samsung account email address. If you don’t have an email account with Samsung, you can go on your device to: Settings > Accounts > Accounts > Add Account > Create Account.