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New evidence shines light on a big advantage Galaxy S8 may have over iPhone 8

Published Nov 2nd, 2016 9:18AM EDT
Galaxy S8 Rumors
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are industry leaders in so many areas. They’re obviously the fastest-selling smartphones of the year, and they’re also already the best-selling smartphones released in 2016. Apple’s latest iPhones are of course the fastest and most powerful handsets in the world as well, crushing every rival device when it comes to benchmark test scores and real-world performance tests. There are a few important areas where many people think Apple’s iPhones fall short though, and Samsung has an opportunity to quickly outshine Apple in a key area thanks to a recent acquisition that could add tremendous value to the upcoming Galaxy S8.

MUST SEE: Amazon’s huge Black Friday 2016 sales event is has officially begun

Last month, Samsung confirmed that it had acquired Viv, a company founded by one of the minds behind Siri. Of course you’ll recall that Siri began its life as a startup before being acquired by Apple and transformed into a central iPhone feature. Central though it may be, Siri remains a key point of contention among iPhone users. While Apple’s virtual personal assistant has certainly improved in recent years and has become increasingly useful and accurate, many people still have trouble getting the results they want when interacting with Siri.

“The more you ask of Viv, the more it will get to know you,” Siri co-creator and Viv founder Dag Kittlaus said earlier this year when discussing his new company. “Siri was chapter one, and now it’s almost like a new Internet age is coming. Viv will be a giant brain in the sky.”

It’s entirely possible that Samsung’s acquisition of Viv will lead to a next-generation assistant platform that rivals Google Assistant, which is widely believed to already have surpassed Siri in terms of utility and accuracy. Artificial intelligence is the driving force behind these products, and AI is an area where Viv already shines. Of course, Viv also gets smarter as people use it, so getting it in the hands of end users is crucial to the system’s development.

But when will the public finally get a taste of Viv on a Samsung smartphone.

Good news: Dutch Samsung fan blog Galaxy Club has discovered a trademark application filed by Samsung that clearly suggests Viv will soon make its way to smartphones. The trademarked term is “Bixby” though, and not Viv. So, what is Bixby, exactly? It’s still a bit of a mystery, but Samsung’s paperwork accompanying the trademark application is likely quite telling. According to the filing, the Bixby trademark covers:

  • Computer software for personal information management
  • Computer application software for smartphones, mobile telephones, portable computers and tablet computers, Namely, software used to operate voice recognition system
  • Computer software for enabling hands-free use of a mobile phone through voice recognition

Nothing is confirmed for the time being, but all signs point to an upcoming launch. And what’s the next big smartphone Samsung has on tap that would be a perfect platform on which to debut Viv? That’s right, the Galaxy S8 is now likely about four months away from being unveiled, and don’t be surprised if “Bixby” is among the stars of the show during Samsung’s next big press conference.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.