Samsung brings Bixby Voice to the UK – just in time for the Note 8 launch

Samsung has just revealed that its Bixby Voice digital assistant is now available in more than 200 countries, including the UK, just in time for the launch of its new flagship phablet, the Galaxy Note 8. 

Samsung first announced its Bixby virtual assistant back in March, and debuted the voice-controlled version of the software on the Galaxy S8 in South Korea.

Fast-forward to July and the USA finally received Bixby Voice – the voice-controlled part of the assistant – support on the Galaxy S8, too. But the rest of the world, including the UK, was left playing the waiting game.

That’s no longer the case, as Samsung has confirmed that Bixby Voice capabilities are now available in over 200 countries. The UK, Australia, Canada and South Africa are among the English-speaking countries getting access to Samsung’s Siri and Cortana rival.

Related: What is Bixby?

The news doesn’t necessarily come as a surprise – not with the Galaxy Note 8 launch looming.

Samsung has been prepping Bixby Voice for global rollout for some time now, with a recent update of Samsung’s official Contacts app quietly revealing “Bixby English global launching” under the ‘What’s new’ section of the build notes.

And given that the Galaxy Note 7 launch went, quite literally, up in flames for Samsung, it comes as little surprise that the chaebol is bringing a full arsenal to the Note 8 launch.

For the unaware, Bixby is effectively a reboot of the S Voice assistant app that launched back in 2012 with the Galaxy S3. It’s similar to Amazon’s Alexa software, in that in can be controlled using voice and perform simple tasks like setting an alarm or retrieving a local weather forecast.

Global mobile rollout of Bixby Voice represents the first step in Samsung’s assault on the increasingly crowded AI assistant space. Additional Samsung devices – included the Family Hub 2.0 refrigerators – are understood to be getting a Bixby upgrade in the future.

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Who’s your favourite digital assistant? Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant, Alexa, Bixby, or someone else entirely? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter.