Image source: Samsung

Samsung Gear S3 and Gear Sport get Bixby instead of S Voice

Samsung latest firmware update brings Bixby voice assistant support to Gear S3 and Gear Sport along with some UI improvements.

Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets

To remind, the company has recently announced it is killing off the ageing S Voice service. This was Samsung’s first attempt at a virtual mobile personal assistant. It allows users to ask their watch things such as the time, weather updates, they can open applications, add appointments and more. However, the service was never that great and lagged very much behind competitions such as Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant.

Samsung upgraded its voice assistant offering with the launch of Bixby around two years ago. Bixby supports most of the tasks that you can do with your finger, while S Voice generally supports simple tasks. Unlike its predecessor with its robotic voice, it also has a “personality” of its own.

Bixby can be found on most newer Samsung watches. It has a limited percentage of the functionality of phone Bixby but is an improvement, nevertheless.

The good news is that owners of older watches are now getting the service. The new software version for Samsung Gear S3 classic and frontier watches is labelled R76*xxUFTD4. The Gear Sport version is dubbed R600XXU1CTD3. Owners of these watches will have much better voice assistant functionality after they install the new firmware.

Samsung said it is shutting down S Voice from June 1st so the service will become a thing of the past. It’s a nice move from the company to make sure that users of their older watches are not left hanging.

Other changes as part of this update include a watch face that shows background running apps, additional emoticons, improved user interactions for certain features and more. You can see the full change-log in the screenshot below.

Samsung Gear S3 and Gear Sport to get Bixby instead of S Voice

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

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