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Samsung announces Bixby 2.0 with third-party developer and smart home support

Samsung likes to have its own custom version of things as a differentiating feature. Android Pay? How about Samsung Pay? Play Store? Galaxy Apps. Assistant? S Voice... I mean, Bixby. Just six months after launching Bixby on the Galaxy S8, Samsung is announcing the next iteration. Bixby 2.0 will bring together the company's products under a single smart assistant banner, but details are a bit scarce right now.

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[Update: Now in India] Samsung Bixby's voice commands are rolling to more than 200 countries

Samsung's controversially received assistant, Bixby, has rolled out its voice command features in Korea and the US, but if you've been just dying to try out in other countries, you're now in luck. Samsung says that the voice commands are available in 200+ countries worldwide including the UK, Australia, Canada, South Africa, and more.

You will still be limited to speaking in US English and Korean — tough luck if you wanted to use it in other languages — and you will need to own a Galaxy S8 or S8+ to have Bixby in the first place, but once those requirements are met, you just have to press and hold the Bixby button to activate the feature.

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Samsung will finally let you disable the Bixby button without a third-party app

Samsung launched Bixby on the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus earlier this year, but the presence of a physical button on the phone for Bixby has rubbed some users the wrong way. There have been a few methods to block or redirect the Bixby button to other apps, but Samsung has insisted that the Bixby button is for Bixby. In a new update, you can finally disable the button, but you can't point it to another app.

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Samsung might be ready to launch its foldable Galaxy Note next year

Foldable smartphones with bendy screens have seemingly been on the horizon for some time. It's seen by some as the next great innovation in the industry, essentially giving you a tablet sized screen in a device with the footprint of a phone. While we've seen numerous concepts and heard many proclamations, nothing concrete has surfaced just yet. But that doesn't stop companies like Samsung from talking about it. In the latest comments to come from the Korean firm, Koh Dong-jin, president of mobile business, says the first flexible device could be ready in 2018.

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Bixby voice commands finally hit Galaxy S8 and S8+ devices in the US, and the update's available now

Bixby's voice assistant aspect has been delayed for a long time in the United States. It debuted in Korea on May 1st, but it was delayed for us 'Muricans because there were reportedly some issues with getting it to grasp all of English's strange little rules. Last we'd heard, Samsung had unveiled a Bixby Early Access program for the impatient. Bixby voice is finally officially available in the US of A, and Samsung is trying to get Galaxy S8 owners on board by rewarding them for using the assistant.

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[Come at me, bro] Developers circumvent Samsung's recent Bixby button remapping crackdown

Samsung has been on a power trip since the launch of the Galaxy S8/S8+. On both of those phones is a fourth (or third, depending if you consider the volume rocker to be one or two) button that is a shortcut to Bixby, Sammy's new "personal assistant." Not understanding the will of some people, the giant Korean OEM decided to block the ability to remap the function of that button. Clever developers found a workaround, which Samsung recently blocked for some versions of the S8/S8+. And now, those clever devs have figured out another workaround for the crackdown.

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Samsung is blocking Bixby remapping apps for the Galaxy S8 again, starting with the recent T-Mobile update

Ever since the Galaxy S8 came out, Samsung has been trying to push Bixby onto owners. Given how Bixby isn't any more useful than Google Feed or Google Assistant, how the English voice assistant still isn't out, and how the button is unable to be disabled, many have turned to remapping apps. Samsung already attempted to block these apps once, but clever developers found a way around that pretty quickly. Now, starting with yesterday's T-Mobile update, Samsung has blocked Bixby remapping apps yet again.

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Samsung's Bixby Early Access program lets you try voice commands in the US

One of the more controversial features of the Galaxy S8 is Samsung's 'Bixby' assistant, which has a dedicated button to activate it. But Bixby isn't very helpful, partially due to Samsung delaying English voice command support. But if you're in the United States and have an S8, you can sign up for Samsung's new Bixby Early Access program to try out voice commands.

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Bixby-equipped Galaxy Note FE may launch in South Korea on July 7th, priced at over $600

Ah, the Galaxy Note7. It had such promise, but it was gone too young. Now, though, it's getting a second chance on life in the form of the Galaxy Note FE, and it's launching in South Korea in early July with the Bixby virtual assistant on board.

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Sprint and T-Mobile Galaxy S8 and S8+ receiving updates that bring the May patch, an updated Bixby app, and improved SD card stability

Samsung may not have the best reputation for keeping all of its phones on the latest OS versions, but it's usually pretty good with its latest flagships. Case in point: an update with the May security patch, as well as improvements to Bixby (no, it's not Bixby Voice) and microSD card stability, is being pushed to the T-Mobile variants of the Galaxy S8 and S8+. Sprint models are also receiving an update, and we'd expect it to contain the same things.

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