Samsung Electronics started rolling out Bixby Voice in India earlier this month, according to one user from the South Asian country who claims they have received the update on Friday. The source doesn’t specify which device they own, though all previously eligible smartphones in India should now be set to receive Bixby Voice if Samsung truly started the rollout, i.e. owners of the Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 Plus, and the newly released Galaxy Note 8 which just started shipping to Indian customers should be on the lookout for a new software package from the company in the coming days which will be distributed through the Galaxy Apps store.
Just like its name suggests, Bixby Voice is a voice-enabled component of Samsung’s artificial intelligence (AI) companion which was originally slated for a debut alongside the Galaxy S8 series this spring but was postponed on several occasions due to a number of issues, most of which were directly related to its development. The service allows users to interact with Bixby through voice commands, essentially turning the digital companion into a full-fledged competitor to the likes of Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and the Google Assistant. It’s understood that the version of the service which is currently being distributed in India isn’t compatible with any local language and instead only works with English and Korean commands. Support for more languages is supposed to be added to Bixby before the end of the year, Samsung previously said, but no concrete availability windows have yet been given by the Seoul-based original equipment manufacturer.
In addition to being advertised as one of the biggest selling points of Samsung’s high-end Android devices released this year, Bixby is also meant to start a new AI ecosystem encompassing a broad range of consumer electronics like refrigerators, air conditioners, and smart speakers, the tech giant revealed earlier this year. It’s currently unclear whether Bixby is meant to begin supporting third-party Internet of Things devices going forward, but consumers invested in Samsung’s product ecosystem should find the assistant to be relatively useful in the near future. Bixby’s debut in India comes shortly after the largest phone maker in the world rolled out the voice component of the service to more than 200 other countries.