Samsung might have to drop VIV on Android thanks to Google Assistant

Back in October, Samsung purchased AI powered virtual assistant VIV. Created by the team that originally produced Siri, VIV uses natural language that allows it to understand and answer questions like "Did it snow in New York City three weeks ago?" VIV also works with third parties allowing users to place orders, wire money and more. And while VIV seems like a perfect replacement for S Voice, the technology might not be found on an upcoming Android powered Samsung handset.

According to the latest buzz around the water cooler, Samsung's adaptation of Android Nougat will result in a jump directly to Android 7.1.1. And that includes Google's highly touted Google Assistant and its more conversational approach to chatting with humans. But there's the rub, as Google most likely wouldn't be pleased if Samsung's upcoming Android powered models had both Google Assistant and VIV on board.

As a result, Google is rumored to have requested that Samsung keep VIV off of its upcoming Android powered phones, at least for the time being. Sure, that opens up the new feature to be used on Tizen, but we don't think that Tizen was what the VIV team had in mind when it sold out to Sammy a couple of months ago. In fact, at the time of the sale's announcement, VIV co-founder Dag Kittlaus said that Samsung was chosen because the company ships 500 million handsets a year. But Tizen does not account for many of these phones.

Last month, Samsung registered trademarks for two names that will supposedly be used with VIV on the Samsung Galaxy S8. Those names are Bixby and Kestra. Bixby will reportedly be the male-voiced version of VIV, while Kestra will be the female-voiced version of the AI assistant. Will we see VIV on the next version of Samsung's flagship phone? That is yet to be known. We do expect the Galaxy S8 and the larger version of the phone to be unveiled on February 26th just before MWC 2017 opens.

source: CNBC, PocketNow

Related phones

Galaxy S8
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  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2350 MHz
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  • Battery 3000 mAh(30h talk time)



1. cmdacos

Posts: 4388; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Hope it's not true. Viv has potential to be a contender against Google and Amazon.

20. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Sammy still has tizen so they can add it to tizen powered phones, I really would like to see the launch a high-end tizen phone with viv.

34. lyndon420

Posts: 6915; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Have to agree with you there. Would be a good way to market Tizen if they can get their assistant to really shine and define the meaning of a true assistant.

23. vincelongman

Posts: 5808; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Hopefully Google and Samsung make a compromise deal Samsung should use Actions on Google to allow uses to use both Google Assissant and VIV Google should work with Samsung to improve Actions on Google so that it doesn't hinder VIV Thats would be a win win for everyone

37. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

Well, Samsung gave so much to Google.(and to Apple) But Google and Apple(US) just wanna f... Samsung . Ugly.

41. vincelongman

Posts: 5808; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

It goes both ways Samsung gave so much to Google Google gave so much to Samsung

36. Klinton

Posts: 1409; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

Google can't ban some Assistant. There are so many in Google Play problem. This news smells.

40. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Alright... But there's a difference between an Assistant being available in the Play Store versus it being pre-installed an Android device. The latter is Google's worry and concern over the VIV Assistant.

2. darkkjedii

Posts: 31764; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Just get me my Note 8...stat!

3. ctdog4748

Posts: 797; Member since: Mar 05, 2016

Samsung has no choice but to obey Google until they finally get Tizen up and running (read: apps) and are able to ditch Google. And before anyone tries and 'corrects' me, keep in mind the upcoming S8's and Note 8 will say on their boot screen, wait for it.....................powered by android. Meaning powered by Google.

4. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2517; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Actually Samsung has all the leverage in this situation if they bother to use it. Samsung is the top Android manufacturer and part of the reason that Android is so popular worldwide. Can you imagine if Samsung wasn't happy with Google and decided to really push Tizen? Or even if they decided to make less devices that run on Android? Suffice to say, until Google's Pixel line can match the sales of the S line or even the Note line, they need Samsung to help be the face of Android.

7. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1354; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

In their current iterations how many people are buying Blackberry, Windows or Tizen? All the new Galaxies say "POWERED BY ANDROID" at startup. With the Pixel line, Google is preparing Android to survive without Samsung. Neither can yet quite endure parting with each other but in a few years time perhaps both will be ready.

29. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2517; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Actually for an immature OS like Tizen, it still managed to sell 3 million phones in 2015. And that's with them offering like 2 low end phones. Also they were only sold in like India I think. Just to put that in perspective: the Pixel phones are only on track to sell around 5 million total through next year. And that's with a major marketing campaign, availability in major markets, and having Android as the OS. You also have to remember Tizen while being an immature OS for smartphones, runs on every Samsung appliance from TVs to washing machines. People buy into ecosystems and that'll be a deciding factor once Tizen becomes a more mature OS.

24. 22MNasby

Posts: 6; Member since: Feb 20, 2016

Tizen is not even close to being ready. I have a tizen device there are no app. Also no google play services. This is what would happen Samsung would leave. A bunch of people would buy there phone because it SAMSUNG. Then a whole bunch of people's would return because it wouldn't have a play store because no google services. Please don't reply that al they would have to do is install it. Most people are not that techs savvy lol.

10. willard12 unregistered

Thanks for clearing that up. I had no idea the "powered by Google" is the determining factor on what an OEM puts on an Android handset. I suspect the S8 and Note 8 won't have apps for gallery, music, internet, galaxy app store (financial competition), calendar, messages, S health, or S Voice (including an improved version of it) because Google already has apps that support all of that. I can't imagine anyone would ever dare to correct your absolutely ingenious hypothesis. But, since Samsung has never needed to get bailed out by a competing tech firm in order to exist, they may not need to obey as much as one might think. In other words, trolling isn't your strong suit.

13. ctdog4748

Posts: 797; Member since: Mar 05, 2016

"Trolling isn't your strong suit" Ahhhh gotta love it! When a person realizes they're can't produce tangible counterpoints, nothing beats the "troll" rollout. Dimwit, those double ups that you mentioned are big points of contention among most Samsung users; two music players two calendar two messenger apps and on and on.

14. John-Knotts

Posts: 380; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

... And I love how people now call out the use of the word Troll as a defense to being called one.

15. ctdog4748

Posts: 797; Member since: Mar 05, 2016

If that's all you have to contribute, please go away and come back when your parents or guardians let you actually own a phone.

17. John-Knotts

Posts: 380; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

Awww...heal those got burned.

18. ctdog4748

Posts: 797; Member since: Mar 05, 2016

OK champ, right you are!

21. willard12 unregistered

Samsung users don't have to see any of those double ups. Most impressively, they don't even have to create a "junk apps folder" to avoid them.

22. ctdog4748

Posts: 797; Member since: Mar 05, 2016

All the junk goes into the app drawer. Don't even try kid, I own an S7, Samsung is definitely on the losing side of the Google versus Samsung argument.

26. willard12 unregistered

Cool. By the way "Mr. S7 owner", there is only one messenger app installed on the S7, the Google calendar is a widget, and all of the apps you mentioned can be removed from to the app drawer.

43. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Its clear that you dont own S7.

11. tedkord

Posts: 17512; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

And, that very same Android is open source, meaning they can modify it any way they like.

5. ctdog4748

Posts: 797; Member since: Mar 05, 2016

Imagine if Google suddenly refused to let Samsung use the android OS, how financially boned Samsung would be. Tens of billions it would cost to try and lure in app developers, plus tens of billions to get Tizen functional as an OS. Even with all that money spent there'd be no guarantee of the results; consider Samsung has been using Tizen as an OS on wearables for, what four years. Look at the dismal app selection there. No, I'd say it's Samsung that is over the proverbial barrel in a power struggle.

8. Tziggy14

Posts: 626; Member since: Sep 02, 2014

Umm. Google would lose just as much as Samsung. Samsung sells by far the most phones of any Android partner and losing them would be a major blow to Google and to Android's reach.

25. 22MNasby

Posts: 6; Member since: Feb 20, 2016

Google sells 100x more phone that are not Samsung phones than Samsung sells tizen phones. Look at Huawei there like third or fourth. Xiaomi is bigger in china than Samsung is. Sony doesn't sell good in the states but really well in Europe. OnePlus is starting to sell a lot more phone. So I think google would do just fine. Tizen on the other hand who has no app. You can't sell an OS with no apps just look at Microsoft

9. Macready

Posts: 1830; Member since: Dec 08, 2014

It's two years for the smartwatches and two and a half years for wearables. But your whole argument is your pipe dream since Google would never ditch its largest Android customer (the next in line isn't even close) and largest OEM contributor to the development of Android itself. A huge part of the core features comes from Samsung and even many of the bugfixes do (they often roll out tp Samsung devices before becoming part of Android updates). The precedent alone would kill the platform since others wouldn't risk the same and join whichever alternative is created (such as Tizen, see also Android Wear OEM manufacturers thinking about joining Tizen).

12. tedkord

Posts: 17512; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Open source. Meaning they can't refuse to let them use it.

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