The Galaxy S8 certainly looks like it will keep pace with the iPhone 8 in the hardware department, with rumors ranging from a 4K OLED display with integrated fingerprint sensor to a dual-lens camera. But it's really in the software where Samsung seems poised to leapfrog Apple.
New trademark applications point to Bixby being the male version of Samsung's assistant, which will be powered by Viv Labs, the company Samsung acquired to give its phones an artificial intelligence boost. Kestra will supposedly be the female version.
Bixby and Kestra are expected to be much more open than Siri, as Viv Labs demonstrated multiple third-party capabilities before Samsung came calling. An earlier Reuters report quoted Samsung vice president Rhee Injong, saying that "developers can attach and upload services to our agent." He added that the more services are added, the smarter the agent will get.
Based on the most recent rumors, you can add the ability to process voice payments to that list, and the name of the feature could be called Bixby Pay. Imagine being able to send money to a family member or friend just by speaking his or her name and the amount. Bixby Pay would likely confirm before the transaction completed.
Apple isn't exactly standing still in this department. Earlier in November, eWeek reported that Siri would enable voice payments via PayPal. For the S8 and Bixby Pay to stand out, Samsung would have to debut its feature with multiple partners, which would jive with the relative openness of the underlying Viv tech.
In other Galaxy S8 rumor news, Android Headlines is reporting that the phone could come with 6GB of RAM, matching the OnePlus 3T. This would enable faster performance and smoother multitasking to go along with a smart assistant.