Bixby, Samsung’s smart voice assistant that was supposed to launch together with the Galaxy S8 and S8+ phones, is now finally available for everyone.
Bixby was previously available only to a small subset of “early access preview” users who got to test an early version of the software. Starting today, those users can also update their Bixby to the latest version.
To install Bixby, users can press the dedicated Bixby button on their Galaxy S8 or S8+ devices. Once it’s installed, you can invoke it by holding that same button or saying “Hi, Bixby.”
The consumer-ready version of Bixby has several improvements over the early preview one. These include a better understanding of command variations, faster response times, better integration with third-party apps, and more hands-free commands. The software also has a new read aloud feature; for example, you can ask it to read the latest messages to you.
In its launch announcement, Samsung pointed out that — unlike certain third-party apps — Bixby is deeply integrated with the phone, as well as core Samsung apps. It also supports a number of third-party apps out of the box, including Google Maps, Google Play Music, YouTube, and Facebook.
Users have another incentive to try Bixby out: Using the software earns “experience points” or XPs, which can be converted into Samsung Rewards points, which can win you prizes that include Samsung products, gift cards and trips. The promotion lasts until Sept. 14, 2017.