Samsung first tried to defeat Siri from Apple in 2012 with a custom digital assistant. That failed, and the South Korean company changed its artificial intelligence strategy to introduce Bixby. Still, old-fashioned rival Siri continued to operate after leaving in the dark. I mean, until now. It looks like S Voice, which was debuted alongside the Galaxy S III, will lose all functionality this spring.
SamMobile said Samsung plans to discontinue the old digital assistant on June 1, 2020. After that, S Voice will display a default error message informing users that they can’t process their request and asking them to try again later. However, Samsung will not restore functionality later. S Voice will be permanently shut down and customers with smartphones will need to upgrade to a newer model or switch to another digital assistant. Other digital assistants also offer better features.
Many products come with S Voice and will lose access to voice commands. However, the report shows that some of the devices capable of installing a software update to replace it. Both Galaxy Watch and Galaxy Watch Active will now have access to Bixby, and Samsung should soon offer a similar plan for Gear S3 and Gear Sport. Old smartphones and tablets seem to be completely out of luck.
However, Bixby is lagging behind Siri and Google Assistant. It doesn’t offer deep integration, like Apple’s digital assistant for iOS and other operating systems, and Samsung certainly won’t be able to keep track of Google’s knowledge gap. In some cases, users with Bixby-compatible smartphones will either bypass Samsung Digital Assistant or disable it altogether. However, Samsung has removed the dedicated Bixby button from its Galaxy S20 series.
In a tacitly shared service announcement, Samsung also confirmed that S Voice will be shut down. There was no reason, but Samsung shouldn’t set aside resources for S Voice, while Bixby acts as a flagship assistant on its smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches.