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Samsung’s Bixby voice assistant is still nowhere in sight

Samsung is reportedly about to miss the promised spring rollout of its voice assistant to US Galaxy S8 phones.

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Joshua Goldman/CNET

Samsung's Galaxy S8 is one beauty of a phone but it's still missing one promised feature, the Bixby voice assistant. This is the case in the US at least, and it's disappointing, since Samsung said it would debut on the company's flagship handset at launch.

Launched on April 21, Bixby Voice failed to make an immediate appearance. To explain this absence, the electronics giant clarified that parts of its assistant did actually make it to the S8, such as "Vision, Home and Reminder" and that the main Bixby Voice function will arrive on US versions of the phone "later this spring."

While Memorial Day (this Monday just gone) is the traditional start of summer in the US, the official start of the season is the summer solstice, June 21. That gives Samsung three more weeks to hit the deadline. With the Wall Street Journal reporting Wednesday that Bixby "won't likely debut in the US until at least late June," Samsung is coming down to the wire.  

"Bixby Voice benefits from time to further enhance natural language understanding, and we are currently growing our user testing in the US to prepare for launch," a Samsung representative told CNET. No date has been set for the feature's launch in the UK or Australia.

With Google's Assistant, Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri already locked in a heated three-way battle to dominate AI and control your connected home, any delay is costly.

Correction, 5:40 p.m.: This story has been updated to include the official start date of summer.