Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S8 has long been rumored to feature a brand new virtual assistant tentatively called Bixby. This has been apparently made possible by the company having acquired a specialized startup launched by the creators of Apple’s Siri. So far we’ve heard that Bixby will be able to identify objects and text through the camera’s viewfinder, and it will also feature some kind of integration with Samsung Pay.
Anyway, today’s rumor from Samsung’s home of South Korea claims that Bixby will launch with support for 7 to 8 different languages, including English, Korean and Chinese. If this information pans out, it means that Samsung’s new assistant will be much more of a polyglot than Google’s Assistant, which currently supports only English and German on Pixel phones, and only English on the Google Home product. That said, there’s another iteration of the Google Assistant, the one that’s built into the Allo chat app, and this one knows English, German, Hindi, Japanese, and Portuguese.
That’s still a lower number of languages than Bixby is claimed to support, so Samsung will be ahead in this game no matter how you look at it. On the other hand, while language support is obviously important in a virtual assistant, speech recognition accuracy and its actual skills (what it can do for you) are definitely even more so, and we don’t yet know how Bixby fares in that department. Oh, and it’s also good to note that Apple’s Siri trumps both Google’s and Samsung’s assistants at the moment by supporting 20 languages.