Samsung’s Bixby is even less useful on the Verizon Galaxy S8 at launch

 theverge.com  4/21/2017 8:24:21 PM   Chris Welch
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Samsung’s Bixby assistant on the Galaxy S8 is a little bit hobbled out of the gate. It won’t be able to respond to your voice commands until later this spring, and one of the few tricks it can do at launch isn’t yet fully functional on Verizon Wireless.

That trick is called Bixby Vision. Inside the camera app, you can enable Bixby Vision, point the camera at something, and Bixby gets to work. From our review:

It uses computer vision to identify an object or text and then links you to similar images on Pinterest or options to buy more of the same product from Amazon. It uses Google Translate to translate text, much like how the proper Google Translate app does. It can also identify landmarks and provide links and facts about them or tell you all about the bottle of wine you’re about to open.

On Verizon, however, that Amazon shopping option isn’t available yet. Cnet reported on the odd situation earlier today. Bixby Vision itself works just fine; the camera can identify all those same things above. But the Verizon Galaxy S8 won’t show you any data from Amazon if you’re looking to reorder some household groceries. “The Amazon shopping function isn’t operational yet,” a Verizon spokesperson told The Verge. “We are working with Amazon to provide that experience, but in the meantime you can use the existing Amazon app on your Samsung Galaxy S8 for the same photo and shopping experience.”

For you — the person using the phone — this isn’t really much of a problem. Dan found that just searching Amazon for a product remains more convenient than trying to shop through Bixby. But it’s one less feature that Samsung’s assistant (with its own button and everything) is capable of on day one. For Verizon customers, that is. If you’re on AT&T, T-Mobile, or Sprint, have at it. It sounds like the squabble is between Verizon and Amazon, which must be rather annoying on Samsung’s side of things. Hopefully this is something that can be quickly switched on once whatever needs working out... gets worked out.

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