Bixby, Samsung's digital assistant, will be released in Germany in the fourth quarter of 2017. The date of Bixby release in Germany emerged as an answer to an inquiry posted in the FAQ section of Samsung's German support site. Bixby, the digital assistant pre-installed in Samsung's flagships Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus, is currently available only in Korean and English languages, so this is one of the first instances where there is definite information on the Bixby release in other markets. Aside from this piece of information from Germany, there is no confirmation yet on the release of Bixby in other parts of the world.
Bixby is Samsung's attempt to compete with the likes of Google Assistant, Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana and Amazon's Alexa. While Samsung equipped its smartphones with a digital assistant through the S-Voice in the past, Bixby is the company's new solution which adds more functionality to complement Galaxy S8's hardware offerings. Samsung also added a hardware button at the side of Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus specifically for Bixby, making it easier for users to access the digital assistant. While some may complain that Bixby is an unnecessary duplication of the features already available in Google Assistant, there are features that make Bixby stand out from the sea of AI-powered digital assistants. One of those features is the ability to use voice control in order to access different tasks within a Bixby-supported app and AI-powered actions that are contextually aware of the user's interaction with an application. Samsung also sought to improve the implementation of digital assistants through making Bixby take an extra mile to match user's commands with the closest possible instruction the digital assistant can do. Bixby can also make use of the smartphone camera, helping the user identify or get more information about interesting objects currently in the camera viewfinder.
Bixby, which is launched alongside the current generation Samsung flagships, is only officially supported on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus. This limited availability of Bixby may have resulted to the limited app support for Samsung's digital assistant, as Bixby is currently supporting native Samsung apps and only a handful of third-party applications like CNN, Facebook, YouTube, Uber, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Foursquare. However, it is expected that this list of supported apps will expand as Bixby becomes more available around the world.