Bixby was one of Samsung’s most noteworthy new services announced alongside the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ earlier this year. It aimed to take on Google Assistant as the company’s new AI system, offering object recognition in the camera and aggregating news and important information into a central hub on the home screen.

The voice command side of Bixby was by far the most ambitious, promising to be able to do anything you could normally do by touching the screen. Sadly (but unsurprisingly), this portion of Bixby wasn’t ready in time for the Galaxy S8 launch, and still hasn’t made its way to the devices months later, frustrating potential would-be users…

There’s still no official launch date for the service (the best we’ve gotten is “in the near future”), but today Samsung opened up registration for US Galaxy S8 and S8+ owners to receive early access to preview builds of Bixby’s voice command interface.

To register, simply visit the early access program page and enter the email address associated with your Samsung account. Presumably, you’ll receive an email and/or OTA update once the preview build is ready, and finally have some good use for the hardware button so many users have either disabled or remapped.

If you’re upset that Bixby’s voice controls have taken so long to arrive, you’re not alone, but it’s understandable that Samsung would want to take its time perfecting the service. Building such an ambitious smart assistant with support for multiple languages is no light task, especially when the competition has access to more raw power and information. Samsung also has a lot to prove after the spectacular failure of S Voice, which was rushed out to launch with the Galaxy S III and take on Apple’s Siri.

Are you still looking forward to using voice commands on Bixby, or is Samsung coming up with too little too late? We’ve signed up for the early access, and we’ll be testing it out and comparing it to Google Assistant once it begins rolling out.

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About the Author

Hayato is an Indianapolis-based writer and video producer for 9to5Google.