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Here's Why the Galaxy S8's Killer Feature Is Broken

Samsung's Bixby Voice was supposed to be the killer feature that would dramatically change the Galaxy S8's market appeal. It hasn't. And now we might know why.

Cedit: Samsung

Cedit: Samsung

Samsung doesn't have nearly as many foreign-language experts as it should to make Bixby Voice work the way it should, an "industry source" told the Korea-based The Investor on Wednesday (June 28). In a statement to The Investor, the source said that Samsung still has considerable work to do to improve the service's "linguistic skills."

Samsung announced Bixby Voice with the Galaxy S8 earlier this year. The feature allows you to control the smartphone's virtual personal assistant with just voice commands. The feature would theoretically allow you to tell the handset to snap a photo and translate foreign languages, among countless other features.

MORE: This Galaxy Note 8 Rumor Makes Us Want to Skip S8

However, Samsung said earlier this year that it was delayed Bixby Voice and first brought it to South Korea. It then followed that with U.S. availability as part of its "Bixby Early Access Program." The program has been available for just days, and Samsung noted that it's still in beta, but users are not happy.

In fact, some Galaxy S8 owners have said that the feature can hardly understand English. And even when it does respond to the English, Samsung's service doesn't deliver the right function or might not even work.

For its part, Samsung has remained tight-lipped on Bixby Voice and hasn't said what it might be doing behind the scenes to address the service's problems. It's also unclear whether the company is hiring new workers to address the service's concerns.

But if the latest report, which was earlier reported on by SamMobile, is accurate, Samsung is in desperate need of new resources to help it build out the critical service. And when that might happen is anyone's guess.

Don Reisinger is a communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter who has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine and The New York Times, as well as Tom's Guide. 

  • Oldmikey15
    As an S8 owner , it would be nice to have this extra feature work , but i didnt buy it for that ,and really it is not like your missing out on ai voice commands , it still has google home on it ,
    and you can take a photo by voice command if you wish , this feature you could do on galaxy phones from at least the note 2 (2012 ) and probably some other Android models too.
    For me anyway , the bixby thing i really am not fussed about it , and if it didn't eventually bear fruit i couldn't care less.
  • Edward Takoch
    And it's not like they didn't warn people that this is a beta or early access test. The whole "I want it now" group has come to equate beta as meaning finished product when it means nothing of the sort. It's not unheard of for a product to head back to Alpha testing after the first beta test. Thats the whole point of said testing.
  • Kim_71
    I think that over time more and more functionality will be brought to Bixby. The beta test might be a decoy to make us think that nothing much is going to happen, then boom, they launch an astounding Bixby that knocks the socks off the competition. (I know! I'm living in cloud cuckoo land, but all the same...). Let's give it a chance!
  • trissypissy
    wait if all it does is encrypt the master boot record then what's the big deal? the important data remains unencrypted, correct?