Samsung has decided to end Bixby Voice support for devices running on Android 7.0 Nougat and Android 8.0 Oreo. For those unaware, Bixby is Samsung’s virtual assistant which helps users give voice commands to their phones, similar to Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant. The devices that will be affected include the Galaxy S9 and S9+, Galaxy S8, S8+ and S8 Active, Galaxy Note 8 and the Galaxy A9 2018 that are running on older versions of Android. However, the change doesn’t impact Galaxy Note 9 owners who are yet to update from Android Oreo as the phone already has an upgraded Bixby Voice.
Samsung’s decision should not impact many users as owners of the above-mentioned devices can easily update their phones to Android Pie 9.0 before January 1, 2020, in order to retain access to Bixby Voice. Data already shows that Samsung has already upgraded a good portion of its devices to Pie, but some customers are still on older versions, probably because they don’t know how to update.
According to a report by SamMobile, the move is meant to push users towards the upgraded Bixby 2.0 that made its debut on the Galaxy Note 9 last year. The new improved Bixby assistant has an improved user interface and is also reportedly much more efficient and faster at processing natural language compared with the older Bixby assistant that was launched with the Galaxy S8 back in 2017.