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The Samsung Galaxy S8’s delayed voice assistant could finally launch next week

Galaxy S8 Bixby Voice

Before the Galaxy S8 launched a few months ago, we kept seeing contradicting rumors about a signature software feature intended to offer users certain voice capabilities not available on other devices. Some said the Bixby assistant would be available at launch, and they were right. Others claimed the assistant wouldn’t be ready in time and would be enabled after a software update. They were right, too.

Bixby’s signature Voice feature only works in Korea, and Samsung has been struggling to bring it to other markets. But a new report offers us an actual launch date for the feature.

Samsung wants users to be able to control their smartphones using only their voices. Unlike other voice assistants, Bixby should let users perform via voice the same tasks that are usually done with touch. But so far, Samsung wasn’t able to activate the voice part of Bixby in the US or in other markets.

Reports said recently that Samsung encountered issues while teaching its assistant proper English, which led to launch delays. However, a Reddit user who supposedly has access to Samsung’s internal communications posted a screenshot that says Bixby Voice will be activated on July 18th. The email instructs Samsung personnel to attend a Bixby Webinar to learn how Bixby Voice works.

Image source: Reddit

If accurate, it means that users around the world will finally be able to use that special Bixby button on the phone to experiment with Samsung’s voice assistant on the Galaxy S8 in the very near future.

Bixby may be a signature Galaxy S8 feature, but it’ll also power more Samsung devices. The Galaxy Note FE that just launched in Korea comes with Bixby support, and the Galaxy Note 8 will also ship with Bixby preloaded.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.