A key Bixby feature has been silently stripped off Verizon’s Samsung Galaxy Note8 [updated]
Update (November 09):
Verizon has confirmed that Note8 (and S8/S8+) units on their network do not have this feature out of the box, essentially laying any potential software-tweaking allegations to rest.
Original story below:
As most of you may already know, Bixby is the virtual assistant that comes baked in Samsung’s flagship phones. Among the list of its functionalities, there’s a feature called Bixby vision, which is basically an image searching capability that can be used with objects or locations.
So you can point your phone to an object, say a fruit, and use the Bixby vision feature to know more about the object in picture. Officially, Samsung has marketed this functionality by showing how you can know more about a particular wine by just pointing your phone’s camera towards the bottle and taking a picture of it.
Take a look at the video here:
So it’s clear that the company is highlighting this as one of the main use-cases of Bixby Vision. Users who want to access this feature should make sure that the Wine option is enabled in Settings and after you select the Bixby Vision icon (eye icon on bottom left of the camera UI), press the Wine bubble icon.
Simple, right? Except it’s not. Turns out that not every Samsung Galaxy Note8 user can use Bixby Vision to know more about wines, not in the US at-least.
Case in point: Verizon models of the Note8
Recently, a Note 8 user on Verizon complained that the ‘wine’ option wasn’t showing up for them, both in Settings as well as in Bixby Vision bubble options. The following screenshots – shared by the user – confirm what they said:
A Samsung moderator immediately swung into action, and after some basic troubleshooting with the user as well as investigations at their end, he confirmed this morning that the feature has been taken off from the Verizon models.
I was able to look into this a bit deeper. It looks like this feature may have been taken off on the Verizon models of the Note8
Sadly, there’s currently no information on why that’s the case, as officially, both Samsung and Verizon haven’t said anything on this change.