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.

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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 CEO and founder of D2 Tech Agency. A communications strategist, consultant, and copywriter, Don has also written for many leading technology and business publications including CNET, Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Forbes, Computerworld, Digital Trends, TechCrunch and Slashgear. He has also written for Tom's Guide for many years, contributing hundreds of articles on everything from phones to games to streaming and smart home.