Samsung Bixby expands to over 200 countries in battle with Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri

Todd Haselton | CNBC

Samsung expanded its digital personal assistant Bixby to over 200 countries and territories globally on Tuesday, as it looks to step up its challenge to rival products like Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri.

Bixby was unveiled earlier this year when Samsung introduced its flagship Galaxy S8smartphone. It was initially available in South Korea, then the U.S.

Now the electronics giant is rolling Bixby out to new regions including the U.K., Australia, Canada and South Africa.

Bixby currently recognizes U.S. English and Korean.

A button on the side of the Galaxy S8 allows Bixby to be activated. Users can ask Bixby to carry out tasks such as searching through a photo album, or send a picture that has just been taken to a contact.

"The expansion of Bixby's voice capabilities is an initial step in the continued rollout of Bixby functionality. In the future, Bixby will have the learning power to offer more intelligent and personalized interactions and seamless connections across more devices," Injong Rhee, an executive vice president at Samsung, said in a press release.

Bixby is Samsung's answer to rivals such as Apple's Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa.

Samsung has promised further features for its smart assistant such as Bixby Vision, which will allow users to point their phone camera at an object and get relevant information.

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