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Samsung’s Bixby now understands British English, Spanish, German, and Italian

Samsung’s Bixby now understands British English, Spanish, German, and Italian


French is notably missing

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Samsung’s voice assistant Bixby now knows British English, German, Italian, and Spanish from Spain. That’s over double the number of languages it supported before — only three — American English, Korean, and Mandarin Chinese.

Samsung has long said it’s working on upgrading Bixby for the better and its announcement today at the Unpacked event means a lot more people will be able to use Bixby, if they want to. Interestingly, today’s announcement doesn’t include French, another romance language commonly learned alongside Italian and Spanish. The European languages were previously in beta. Users in Europe are also going to see Bixby become compatible with more third-party services.

As part of the expansion, Bixby will funnily enough also have the ability to tell between British English and American English accents. It also brings up the question of whether Bixby can do at least a half decent job of understanding English from other countries, such as Australia, Singapore, or South Africa. Even with today’s new update to Bixby, the voice assistant still trails behind Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri when it comes to language support. Google Assistant currently supports a little over a dozen languages, while Siri can understand 20 languages.

The language expansion is coming to the latest Samsung Galaxy S10 devices, and select previous models, including all Galaxy Note 9 and 8, S9 and S8 devices running Android Pie. The update to Bixby makes it more usable around the world, but it’s still not as agile as Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa at understanding voice commands.