Those of you waiting to try out Samsung’s new digital assistant will have to remain patient for a little longer than expected. As reported yesterday, Bixby, which will make its debut on the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, won’t offer all of the features we were expecting at launch in the US. The Vision, Home, and Reminder features will be available from the start, but the voice control functionality won’t be available for some time. It should make its way to the flagship devices “later this spring”, although an exact date has not been given yet. European S8 owners will reportedly have to wait until Q4 for Bixby.

The decision to delay the full launch of Bixby makes Samsung look incompetent.

The decision to delay the full launch of Bixby in the US comes across as very unprofessional and makes Samsung look incompetent. The company has been hyping its digital assistant ever since its introduction but apparently ran into some problems that are responsible for the delay.

Based on the fact that the tech giant has been in business for a long time now and is currently the biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world, it shouldn’t be making mistakes like these. Especially after last year’s Galaxy Note 7 fiasco, which didn’t do its reputation any good, the last thing it needs is a incomplete voice assistant.

See also:

Samsung Galaxy S8 feature focus: Bixby (Video)

April 1, 2017

It would have been better if the South Korean company just waited to release Bixby in the US via an update — you know, when it’s ready — rather than to offer Galaxy S8 users a half-baked service that doesn’t support voice control, especially when the fully functional Google Assistant is also on board.

A digital assistant that can’t be used with voice commands probably shouldn’t even be called a digital assistant. That’s because the main value of services like these is the ability to perform certain tasks hands-free. If you need to press a button to use Bixby and then it can’t even handle voice commands, you may as well not bother. By the time Bixby is ready no one will care any more.

A digital assistant that can’t be used with voice commands probably shouldn't even be called a digital assistant.

However, it is true that if Samsung decided to release its digital assistant later on when it is ready, the dedicated Bixby button found on the left side of the devices wouldn’t make much sense. Especially because the Galaxy S8 series doesn’t officially have the option of remapping the button to allow it to open a different application. There is a quick solution for that, as you are able to remap the button with the help of a free app found in the Google Play Store. But even if it were too late to move the button, just write some software that lets you natively remap it to Assistant or the camera or something and then add Bixby as an option later on.

The tech giant clearly has big plans for Bixby, but there’s no denying it’s off to a bad start. Not launching the full version of the service on its flagship smartphones — which cost an arm and a leg — isn’t something we would expect to see from a large, reputable company like Samsung. It’s hard to imagine that Bixby will be able to compete with Google’s Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa based on the problems the company is currently experiencing. Time will tell.

S8 users will likely start using Assistant instead and be less likely to switch to Bixby later.

The delay doesn’t make Samsung look good in the eyes of consumers and casts Bixby in a bad light from the get-go. But launching in an unfinished state could also have some serious consequences. Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus users will likely start using Assistant as soon as they get their device, as it does offer a lot more value. At least for now.

Those happy with Google’s digital assistant will get used to it and probably won’t be as willing to switch to Bixby once the voice control feature finally becomes available. Samsung really just should have waited to launch Bixby on the Note 8 instead, because it’s a slap in the face to S8 buyers that’s likely to have worse consequences than not releasing it at all.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Share your opinion with us in the comment section below.

  • Alex F

    I think you’re massively overreacting when you say things like it’s a “slap in the face” and that it “comes across as very unprofessional and makes Samsung look incompetent.” It isn’t and it doesn’t. Siri wasn’t very useful when it first released and people still caught on, even then of all my friends and family with iPhones (90% of them), I can’t point to a single one that uses Siri for anything other than the occasional joke in front of friends.

    I have not touched Google Assistant/Now/whatever it’s called on my S6 or S7 edge, and I don’t know anyone with an Android phone that does, much less anyone that will really care whether or not Bixby will work out the box. Maybe for the 1% of the 1% of people that checks sites like this it’s a big deal, but I honestly believe that the vast majority of people will play around with it for a week and then stop caring/turn it off. I’m definitely gonna be remapping the button to do something useful once I get an S8

    • Roby

      The author totally lost it, lol.
      Anyway, I wish they just waited and used Viv on the S9 instead. An AI capable of writing it’s own code and understanding intent would have been interesting. The current half-baked bixby is nothing groundbreaking and represents no added value to me.

    • Brandon

      Thank you for refuting this illiterate baboon’s article lol. It was pure overreaction.

    • New_Guy

      I agree that this is a massive overreact. I pre-ordered the S8 in Arctic Silver and this news came off to me as more, “Meh, oh well. I was probably going to remap the Bixpy button anyway…”

      Voice support will be out in a few weeks once they get the software where it needs to be. No biggie.

    • HTC_Pixel_6_Pro

      agree.

      Bixby is NOT Galaxy S8’s main feature:
      gorgeous 5.8″/6.2″ OLED display
      IP68 waterprooofing
      wireless charging

      Bixby is SOFTWARE, it can arrive, expand AND improve via updates!
      SAMSUNG can acquire another cool startup tomorrow, so what – to postpone Galaxy S8 launch?

    • Lamar Taylor

      This comment is proof Samsung could slap your mother and spit in her face and you’ll make excuses for them and pretend it was no big deal. Samsung brought any criticism they get on themselves. They decided to hype a feature that they can’t deliver on. They decided to add an extra button to their phones for a feature that isn’t ready. Why cry and whine and attack the author because Samsung can’t deliver their most hyped feature. Without Bixby the S8 and S7 are the much more similar.

  • cdm283813

    I actually don’t see it that way. The button was getting mapped to something else before this all went down. I currently use a iPhone 7 Plus and I stopped using Siri months ago. When I get my S8 I can’t wait to use Google assistant even though I never used it on the Pixel I just sold lol. Guess I’m old school and don’t find talking to a digital assistant fun.
    I understand why someone would get mad but in this case they can scrap it altogether. It’s redundant to have more than one assistant.

    • Brian B.

      Bingo. Your last sentence really sums it up well! Samsung, read it! lol

      • Daggett Beaver |dBz| ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

        All phone voice assistants are useless to me. I don’t talk to my phone except in the car to say, “navigate to [place]”. I never see anyone talking to their phone. I don’t blame people for that – they’d look idiotic.

        I do talk to my Echo. That’s a whole different thing.

  • Joville Vaz

    why are u simply doing samsung bashing? leave it… no1 uses voice assistants as much… even if it did have bixby voice right from the time i unbox my phone, i would have never used it… i am comfortable with google…

    • Philip King

      But what about people who do want to use Voice assistants and may even have pre-ordered on the promise made by Samsung’s marketing?

      • Commentator Prime

        They can still cancel… all major carriers have a return period of at least a week, lets you try out the phone.

        • Philip King

          I know, Joville Vaz was saying that not having Bixby is unimportant and no-one use Voice assistants as justification for Bixby being missing. Plainly that’s nonsense or Samsung wouldn’t have spent so much time talking about it at unpacked!

  • Ran

    Anyway Im waiting for the Galaxy S9

  • munkyboythethird

    nobody really cares. voice assistants are lame.

  • TheLJGamer

    no it’s not, bixby is going to be terrible

  • Philip King

    Samsung is getting a bit of a reputation for not being able to produce the goods. They couldn’t get the fingerprint sensor working in time either. The battery life is disappointing.

    Outside of the US there have been delays to Samsung Pay, slow or non-existent upgrades to flagship handsets and features missing in Samsung Health etc.

    None of these will seriously harm them but people will only continue to shell out premium prices if they produce the goods on time and working. Samsung needs to up it’s game for the note 8.

    • it’s me tim-cock.

      Where can i find Android pay outside the US? And even Google services/Assistant?

      • Philip King

        They are both available outside the US. What Samsung have done in major markets is give release dates then miss them by months. As an example, Samsung Pay was supposed to be available in the UK in 2016. It still hasn’t launched. Android pay has been available in the UK since 2015.

    • Boregaurd Fitzgerald

      how is the s8 battery life disappointing

  • Commentator Prime

    The first thing everyone was going to do was disable Bixby anyway, this is actually great news.
    But author needs to promote controversy and hype, so oh well.

  • Norm

    What a pathetic article. Slap in the face? Sure it could have been handled better but what a ridiculous over-reaction. Come back when you have sensible to say.

    • Player Slayer

      So you think it’s not rediculous that a company is putting an incomplete product on their premium devices, even though they’ve been marketing the S8 with Bixby?

      • heyey

        Depends on your definition of incomplete. First, the wording on this article is off. They are releasing Bixby, certain functions of Bixby won’t be ready (which Samsung has stated from the start).

        Second, since Apple constantly updates Siri, did Apple release an “incomplete” product from the start?

        Sorry, but there’s really nothing “incomplete” here.

        • Player Slayer

          Still, Samsung promised voice commands with Bixby, along with the camera and other functionality. Not putting it in = not completing it.

          • Heyey

            Actually they didn’t promise you anything. I think you are experiencing a slight memory alteration.

            If they did promise you that, it should be easy finding Samsung saying that, but I’m sure you can’t because Samsung never promised you that.

            The other functionalities are coming. Read the article. The camera is coming (vision), along with reminder funtion and home function.

            The only thing that won’t be available at launch is the voice function.

          • Player Slayer

            But they did. They had all the intentions of launching Bixby on the S8, it was even on the demo models shown at the unpacked event. If you were to rewatch the event, they’d probably even say it would launch with the S8. The thing is, they planned to launch it on the S8, but they screwed it up, and now look foolish. Arguing anything else is pointless. It’s like trying to say it’s okay that a company didn’t activate the phone’s camera at launch because they forgot to code the image processing software. Sure, you’d be able to use the phone, but that wouldn’t be the point, the point is that they messed up.

    • Lamar Taylor

      Spoken like a true Samsung cheerleader. Take off your skirt and at least hold a company accountable for things they themselves hype up. Samsung sheep are worse than Apple sheep.

  • Perico Lospalotes

    Although I already ordered mine, and was not planning on using bixbi, I agree with the substance of this article, You do not come out with a $1000 device, make a big show of it’s features to sell it, and then almost at delivery time tell the customer “Uppps we goofed, we cant give you what we promised and we are not lowering the price” The greed and contempt for customers is staggering!

    • it’s me tim-cock.

      Where’s the $1000 device? The last i check the s8 and s8+ both are $750-850 respectively.

      • Moisés

        Depends on where he lives.
        In my country the s7 edge is 1000 dollars

      • New_Guy

        Yep, $750 and I really didn’t order the phone for Bixpy in the first place. If they scrapped Bixpy all together, it’s no skin off my back.Google Assistant is still present and the button can be remapped so are we really losing anything?

        Seems like a sensationalized article to me…

      • tvguy

        Have you checked CDN pricing? $1035+tax (S8) and $1115+tax (S8+).

  • Goblin Shark

    I don’t think voice assistants are very important to most people. I use Google’s and it screws up half the tasks that I ask of it. All it’s really good at is search.

    • I only use Assistant for the lols. That is, once every month at the best.

  • tiger

    These are the same folks who design and code Tizen. What did you expect?!

  • Mark Kendrick

    I’m planning on remapping it to Google Now anyway. I must be one of the few people that use assistant features like Siri and Google’s Assistant

  • Daggett Beaver |dBz| ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    The quality of your writing is a slap in the face to intelligent people.

    • Mr.Bean ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      ^^This

  • Ronald

    no Bixby at launch is a blessing, the less Samsung gimmicky software on the device the less lag there will be. Temporary so enjoy while it lasts

  • nebulaoperator

    Mitka, i think you going to be slapped for the title to be honest.

  • Žydrūnas

    The whole article could be easily shrank into one paragraph without any information lost.

  • it’s me tim-cock.

    Dude what a joke you are. This article is total garbage! Android authority hire some new writers would ya, because these guys you have now are lame AF.

  • Karabo Sello

    what’s the button gonna be uses for then

  • Karabo Sello

    what’s the button gonna be used for then

    • illregal

      Most samsung users will remap it to just make the device vibrate when they push the button. Then they’ll rub it on their privates while their mommy brushes their hair. That is how most samsung users are.

      • Jon-Cameron Bates

        That’s just your freaky imagination exposed. Weirdo.

    • teheheh

      It will be used for Bixby. Stop reading the title only, and actually read the article.

      Bixby will be available at launch with their Bixby Camera (vision), home function and reminder function.

      The only function that won’t be available at launch is the voice function.

  • StandingO

    Too much drama 😅 Almost the 95% of world’s people don’t know what’s Bixby so…
    And people like us who read tech sites know that this are things that happens. Even the Google Assistant isn’t ready in other languages after months of being out.

  • MunkiLord

    Whether or not people are going to use Bixby, a last minute delay like this does make Samsung look incompetent. They can’t get a major feature they hyped working at launch. It’s not like Samsung will somehow make up for this with quick updates. Samsung just isn’t very good at software.

    • Daggett Beaver |dBz| ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

      OP3. They originally released their version of Android that didn’t use the 6 GB of RAM. Big deal, it was still a great phone, and people were happy to get the delayed release that used RAM better.

      • MunkiLord

        What’s your point? That’s not at all relevant to what Samsung is doing here. This is still Samsung unable to get their software working.

        So what if this is a big deal or not? It’s still incompetence.

    • heheheh

      Huh? Samsung already stated in their press conference that “not all functions of Bixby will be available at launch.”

      Bixby will be available at launch, just their voice function isn’t. You can still use the Bixby camera vision, their home function and their reminder function.

  • Giovonni Fareed

    wow, that title is interesting. Someone woke up on the wrong side of the Samsung bed today lol, no but i really dont think most people care, whatever bixby ends up doing it will always be less than what google assistant can do…not a slap in the face as if Samsung forgot to include the phone charger or something lol. Heaven forbid Samsung dosnt include its half baked gimmicky ass assistant …

  • Daggett Beaver |dBz| ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    I wish there was a way to filter out certain writers on the site. Mitja Rutnik would be at the top of the list.

  • Daggett Beaver |dBz| ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    By the way, 6 months after release, Google is STILL fixing serious bugs in Nougat that are affecting the Bezel and Bezel XL. And 6 months after release, the Bezel is still putting halos in pictures. You guys at AA are still telling us the Bezel XL is the best phone ever… but only Google fanboys in denial still think so. The Bezel was the biggest fail at delivering on its promises.

    So, I’d say the Bezel itself is closer to being a slap in the face than delaying the release of an assistant so few people will use, anyway.

  • Not a big deal.

  • RiTCHiE

    Typical samsung with half baked cakes…

  • icwhatudidthere

    Ignore the fanboys. Samsung dedicated physical hardware to this feature and then gimped it. It’s also just another example of Samsung software showing their long history of incompetence.

  • Derek Ant

    “A slap in the face” lol calm down son. It’s disappointing, but as with any software I’d rather it be delayed and polished than rushed out the gate broken. And if they did that then there would be articles for days slamming it even harder than it has been before it is even released. It’s not like anyone religiously uses voice assistants anyway and let’s not forget that Google Assistant can be inconsistent AF…

  • steadymobb

    It’s definitely embarrassing. I don’t know how anyone can pretend it’s not. I just don’t care and it doesn’t irk me one bit. I plan on changing the function of the button anyways.

    BUT yes, definitely not a good look for Samsung to hype something so much and force your users to use it and put a freakin’ button on the phone and have it half-baked for launch. I’m still happy they did it though, I will enjoy having another function key!

  • illregal

    buying an s8 in the first place is a slap to your dignity.

  • Saud

    And yet people still buys these shitty products from this company.
    Doesn’t people understand what’s on the stake?
    I know fanatism will start playing now.

    • Lamar Taylor

      You gotta remember that Samsung fanboys were willing to keep their exploding phones until Samsung had to disable them. It doesn’t get any worse than that.

      • Saud

        Oh my God!!! this is too much.

  • Mike Falderoff

    I think Samsung would’ve looked better if they would’ve waited to include it with the Note 8….
    The ONLY think i’ve used any voice aide for is voice to text message on an older phone.

  • Heh

    Samsung dropping voice function is actually the smartest move they made over Google Assistance and Apple Siri.

    Remember when Siri came out. Apple hyped it up. Then when they actually released it, Siri couldn’t understand you half the time. It’s only ability was to tell you a joke (maybe). Then you realized just using Safari and Yelp app was way more efficient.

    “Now look at how amazing Siri is today…” – said no one ever. I have not seen a single person using Siri in public. No one talks to have a conversation with a phone in public. EVER.

    • Lamar Taylor

      Wrong and you Samsung cheerleaders all sound the same making up lies. Siri worked just fine when it was released. It’s biggest problem is that it’s too limited when working with 3rd party apps. Google has always had better voice recognition than Apple and that’s another problem for Siri. She gets a bad reputation but she has always worked. That way different than Samsung hyping a feature that they are failing to deliver. Even worse…they dedicated a button to a feature that doesn’t work so users get a daily reminder that Bixby isn’t ready.

  • tvguy

    Huge fail Samsung. Part of the excitement for purchasing the S8 was to try Bixby. TBH, I didn’t expect it to be groundbreaking, however, when I read that Bixby wouldn’t be ready for launch, I said “WTF”. Interesting how they waited until after most people had already pre-ordered their device to make the announcement. Quite disappointing, but personally, I’d probably use Google Assistant more than Bixby anyhow.

    • teeehee

      Bixby is coming. Please read the full article before coming to the comment sections.

      Their camera(vision) function, home function and reminder function will come ready out of the box.

      Their voice function will come later.

      You can try the exciting parts of Bixby at launch. Unless what you consider exciting is talking to your phone to tell you a joke from the internet.

      • tvguy

        Wow, you sure told me Mr. know it all.

        • teeehee

          I don’t get it. You said you wanted to try the exciting parts of Bixby, which will be available at launch.

          Also, if you look at Samsung’s press conference they specifically said “not all functions of Bixby will be available at launch.” So I’m not sure what you are “disappointed” by?

          Not trying to make fun of you or anything, just giving you the relevant information to solve the problem you seem to be having.

          • tvguy

            I don’t recall saying I had a problem. I am saying it is disappointing that Bixby, IN ITS ENTIRETY, is not available at launch. This was a feature Samsung raved about and they chose to pull the voice functions after people had already pre-ordered a $1250 device ($1115+tax, Canada). Personally, as I mentioned, I’ll likely use Google Assistant and remap the button — doesn’t matter to me all that much. My “problem” is that I dislike broken promises and half assed software promised to consumers. I hope you understand my clarification, personally I don’t need to justify how “I” feel to “you”. Respond if you must, but there’s really no need unless you want to continue trolling my comments.

          • Teeehee

            ” I am saying it is disappointing that Bixby, IN ITS ENTIRETY, is not available at launch.”

            That makes no sense. There has never been an assistant that was complete at launch. Siri is constantly being updated, Google Assistant is getting new functions every update, etc.

            “This was a feature Samsung raved about and they chose to pull the voice functions after people had already pre-ordered a $1250 device ($1115+tax, Canada).”

            Cancel the pre-order? Also, let’s be honest. Samsung didn’t rave or hype their Bixby up. Look at their conference, their commercials and their advertisement. They barely talk about Bixby. Most people still don’t know or understand what Bixby is because Samsung hasn’t been all in their face about it.

            “My “problem” is that I dislike broken promises and half assed software promised to consumers.”

            First, Samsung didn’t make you a promise. They already stated when the introduced Bixby that “not all bixby functions will be available at launch.” They actually made it really clear. Second, that means you have a problem with every phone company that updates their software?

            ” I hope you understand my clarification, personally I don’t need to justify how “I” feel to “you”. ”

            I don’t care how you feel or your need to justify it to me. I’m just giving you data. How you feel is up to you.

          • tvguy

            Dude, eff off and go play with yourself or something Surely you have better things to do than continue this thread.

  • Tony Salinas

    lol No wonder I don’t take Android Authority seriously.

  • Vivek Rameses

    Could care less about voice assistants.

  • Philip King

    Samsung releases battery figures as comparison with the S7. The S7 beat it in a couple of categories. And the figures were done at HD resolution. Remember the S8 doesn’t support Quick Charge 4 (or 3). Initial ‘Real World’ reports suggest that you’ll probably need to use power saving measures to last a day. We won’t know for sure until there are more out there and the battery optimisation has a chance to be evaluated.

  • seniya

    2 minutes silence for the author who thinks people buy the s8 because of bixby..

    • Lamar Taylor

      Are you dumb or just short on reading comprehension? He never said anyone is buying an S8 for Bixby…you made that up in your head. Samsung hyped up Bixby and they are failing to deliver one of the biggest features that separates the S8 from the S7. They should be called out and that’s what the author is doing.

  • aaloo

    Bxby not shipping is a feature!!!

  • Jon-Cameron Bates

    Meh. It’s all about the Note 8 anyway.

  • Lamar Taylor

    If Apple hyped a feature this much and failed to deliver…there would be 5,000 comments here at least bashing Apple. Samsung cheerleaders will make excuses for exploding phones and now Samsung failing to deliver what they’ve hyped up the last 2 months. I own the Galaxy S7 Edge and the iPhone 7 Plus and software is what has always separated iOS from TouchWiz and gimmick Samsung features. Thanks to this screw up by Samsung…I’ll skip using Bixby all together and just use Google Now exclusively. Nobody needs 2 assistants and now that extra button for Bixby is just a big waste. Hopefully we can customize how we use that button so I can just use it to bring up the camera. I still plan on buying the S8 Plus as my business phone but Bixby is now dead to me thanks to this delay.

  • Keith Ian

    What a drama queen. Half of the functionality will be available and who cares. I’m happy with Google and I can wait a few weeks for Bixby voice control..I mean they said Spring….so its not like we have to wait very long. Most people aren’t getting this phone for Bixby and most could probably care less.

  • Phil

    You folks are funnier than SNL at times. I personally think that not having another copy cat app that waste ram and prob cant be deleted unless rooted is awesome. Even Erica Griffin says her S7 edge runs like 🐌. To much bloat and bullshit people dont need. I almost wish we could order a phone and pick what software came preinstalled.

  • CRKT

    Could’ve been interesting to try but living in Sweden would likely mean in best case scenario a Q4 version supporting Swedish.
    it’s bad enough talking to your phone in public and even worse doing it in English in the streets of Sweden. will remap to Google Assistant when it arrives on Friday and keep on using it and wait with bixby till it’s out and supports swedish 100% or if by some impossible miracle Google finally decides to let us poor swedes use Assistant in native language mode.

  • daviddiaz1975

    The first I heard if bixby was the other day and I majored in computer science. I do however utilize cortana digital assistant on a Android device.

  • I’m just going to leave this here…
    https://www[dot]youtube[dot]com/watch?v=GND10sWq0n0