News: Verizon's Galaxy S8 Is Missing a Key Bixby Feature

Verizon's Galaxy S8 Is Missing a Key Bixby Feature

The Galaxy S8's Bixby Vision feature isn't working up to its full potential for Verizon customers, according to a recent CNET report.

Bixby Vision was supposed to let you use the phone's camera to recognize bar codes and shop for products via Amazon, but for Verizon customers, well, that isn't the case. The Amazon feature isn't working on Galaxy S8 models sold by Verizon, and oh the complaints have already started to pile in, adding another problem to the already long line of Samsung issues.

The problem with Verizon's variants of the S8 won't be resolved until "later this spring," according to Samsung Support USA's response to a Verizon user's concern over disabled access to Bixby Shopping. "Later this spring" is vague and seems less like an issue that Samsung can resolve, and more like an issue between Verizon and Amazon.

CNET goes on to note that Samsung has confirmed that Bixby Vision is available on all other S8 variants, so the issue is not in fact with Samsung, but a problem with the Verizon version of the phone.

Verizon is no stranger to feeling heat from its customers and competition, and now, with Bixby Vision's shopping feature disabled, it looks like the company is doing some damage control:

Bixby Vision works on all versions of the Galaxy S8, but the Amazon shopping function isn't operational yet. We are working with Amazon to provide that experience, but in the meantime you can use the existing Amazon app on your Samsung Galaxy S8 for the same photo and shopping experience.

Yup, that's right. In the meantime, feel free not to use Bixby Vision, but instead, to use your regular old Amazon app like you would on any other phone. Bixby Vision and its Amazon feature were among the most anticipated pros about the Samsung Galaxy S8, so it's not only a disadvantage for customers, but for Amazon too. Customers were supposed to be able to check out right through Bixby Vision, adding a lot more revenue to the online shopping giant.

Beyond the Amazon integration, Bixby Vision is working just fine. Verizon users can open up the camera app, enable the feature, then point the camera at the space in front of them, and Bixby will link them to similar things on Pinterest, identify landmarks, or translate text through Google Translate.

It's possible that the Amazon shopping feature is disabled because of a deal between Verizon and Amazon to pre-install the Amazon app on all of its Android phones. This agreement might only encompass a certain version of the Amazon app, thus limiting Verizon's Galaxy S8, as Bixby's Amazon feature may need a different version than the one covered by the deal. Sometimes, having the right bloatware really comes in handy now, doesn't it?

Cover image via Kārlis Dambrāns/Flickr

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