One of the flagship features of the Galaxy S8 might finally launch this week
Samsung Galaxy S8 launched in the UK without its new voice assistant, Bixby.
Despite the South Korean company including a dedicated hardware button (on the left hand-side of the device, below the volume rocker) for its new AI assistant, the feature missed the Galaxy S8 release date.
Bixby did launch in Korea in time for the launch of the new smartphone, however, Samsung has struggled to bring the assistant to other markers around the world.
Months have passed since the Samsung Galaxy S8 release date, and English-speaking phone owners have yet to hear the AS assistant speak-up.
However, that could be about to change.
According to a fresh leak from the South Korean company, shared on Reddit by a user identified only as “Bixbyguy”, the voice-activated AI will launch on July 18th 2017.
The Reddit post also contained a screenshot from what appears to be an internal Samsung email, with information about how to market the phone using Bixby as a feature, lending credence to its authenticity.
Unfortunately that screenshot has since been removed and replaced with a much smaller slither of the original screenshot, which simply reveals the launch date.
“The long awaited Bixby Voice launches Tuesday, 7/18. Below are a few tasks we need to complete to ensure we are retail ready!,” the screenshot reads.
It adds: “Watch and learn with the NEW Bixby Webinar training!”
As with all rumours – especially those from Reddit – it’s worth taking this with a healthy pinch of salt.
However, given that Galaxy S8 owners in Korea have started to see an option to swap the voice assistant for a female American voice, this seems pretty likely.
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Samsung Galaxy S8 release – Latest smartphone in pictures Wed, March 29, 2017 Play slideshow EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS 1 of 35
Samsung Galaxy S8 release in pictures
Bixby is supposed to be context aware, meaning that (provided you are within a compatible app) you can refer directly to things that are happening on-screen.
Commands like "make a folder with these photos”, “when was this taken?” or "what is this?” will work with the new assistant – unlike many of its rivals.
Samsung previously told Express.co.uk that Bixby Voice would launch in the UK by the end of the year.
Bixby was initially introduced as a signature feature for the Samsung Galaxy S8, but it is expected to power much more than phones in the near future.
Earlier this year, Samsung confirmed it would be preloading its Bixby virtual assistant on its Family Hub 2.0 Smart Fridge.
Samsung Galaxy S8’s Bixby Voice lets users control the phone with voice commands
Samsung hopes to bring the smart assistant to a slew of products, including TVs and wearables.
Bixby Voice is also high-likely to make an appearance in the Galaxy Note 8, which is scheduled to launch next month.
The follow-up to the infamous Galaxy Note 7 (which suffered serious problems with batteries overheating and had to be discontinued) is heavily rumoured to follow the lead set by the Galaxy S8 and sport an edge-to-edge Infinity Display.
But as you might expect, the Galaxy Note will sport a larger OLED screen – rumoured to be around 6.4 inches.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 – Is this what Samsung's next smartphone will look like? Wed, April 26, 2017
THE Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is scheduled to launch this summer, with an Infinity Design similar to the Galaxy S8 – albeit with a larger display and advanced productivity features with the S Pen stylus.
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Samsung Galaxy Note 8 high-resolution render based on the latest leaks
The Infinity Display design requires Samsung to ditch the physical Home Button from the front of the phone.
Like its predecessors, the Galaxy Note 8 looks set to incorporate a stylus to bring a slew of productivity-focused features to the phone.
The next-generation S Pen is said to have a built-in motor that works with the Find My Mobile app to help you locate it, should you misplace it.
Samsung is expected to include Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 835 processor coupled with 6GB of RAM and a 3,300 mAh battery cell – slightly smaller than the Galaxy S8+'s 3,500 mAh battery, but then again, that’s not surprising given the recent history of the Galaxy Note series.