Not so long ago, Samsung acquired Viv, an AI platform that lets developers come in with intelligent, conversational UI for just about anything. With this move, it was mooted that Samsung Galaxy S8 will be the first phone to benefit from the purchase.
This is not a surprise in any case as Samsung Galaxy S8 is the only hope that the Korean tech giant has with respect to killing off the Galaxy Note 7 saga. As a result, it would make total sense for the flagship to come in with a feature that will bring it on the same levels as the likes of Google Pixel and Apple iPhone, all of which come with support for AI-based assistants in the shape of Google Assistant and Siri, respectively.
But if the latest reports are to be believed, it is possible that Samsung Galaxy S8 will not be integrated with Viv’s AI assistant technology thanks to an agreement between Google and Samsung that dates back to 2014. At the time, the two tech giants penned a deal that included a “non-compete” clause, meaning that Samsung will never come in with a feature that aims at directly competing with what Google already offers on its Android software, unless the Korean tech company is willing to drop the use of this popular mobile OS.
Top industry analysts believe that due to this agreement, Samsung may find it tricky to include Viv’s technology in the Galaxy S8 as it looks to differentiate its own products from the rest of the party. Since Google has plans to eventually include the Google Assistant on all Android devices, it is possible that Samsung Galaxy S8 will ship without Viv.
At the moment, those who wish to enjoy the services of the Google Assistant on a Samsung Galaxy phone can do so via the Google Allo app, otherwise, they’ll have to ditch their Samsung phone and go for any of Google Pixel or Pixel XL. These two come with full integration of the digital assistant.
There is some doubt in this report, especially since Samsung already equips its phones with a Samsung Pay service that directly competes with Google’s Android Pay. But since neither company has responded to the report, it is better to take the story with a grain of salt, especially since Samsung Galaxy S8 still has some months before it is finally unveiled to the world.