Samsung Galaxy S8’s Bixby voice assistant delayed

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Samsung has confirmed that its much-anticipated answer to Apple’s Siri will be delayed.

The Bixby voice-powered assistant was unveiled at a special event last month and was meant to debut on the South Korean giant’s new flagship devices.

It promised to help users search and categorise photographs and access information using voice commands.

But the Galaxy S8 and S8+ will now ship without English voice control for Bixby.

However, Google’s voice assistant, which is now a standard part of the Android operating system, will be available. And the Korean version of Bixby’s voice control has not been delayed.

The full Bixby will be made available as an update later this spring, Samsung said.

It did not give a reason why, but early tests – by the BBC and others – suggested the software was lacking in the days ahead of its launch.

“Key features of Bixby, including Vision, Home and Reminder, will be available with the global launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8 on 21 April,” the company said.

“Bixby Voice will be available in the US on the Galaxy S8 later this spring.”

The smartphones, which impressed pundits at launch, have been seen as a way for Samsung to come back from the Note 7 exploding battery debacle – 2.5 million devices were recalled.