Samsung has announced Bixby, it’s new way to interact with your phone, and the firm’s answer to Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant.
Bixby will feature in the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus – which launch on March 29 – but the assistant won’t be exclusive to these two handsets.
Samsung is promising a seamless and intuitive experience with Bixby, something different to the solutions already on the market, with an aim of reducing the amount of friction with voice commands and forcing few users to revert back to using the touch screen.
The announcement also revealed that the new Galaxy S8 (and we assume S8 Plus as well) will feature a dedicated Bixby button, allowing you to launch the assistant at any point – and saving you precious seconds according to Samsung.
That’s all very good, but until we can put Samsung Bixby through its paces we’re not jumping to any conclusions.
Only the first step
Bixby is still very much a work in progress though, with Samsung stating “Bixby will be our first step on a journey to completely open up new ways of interacting with your phone.
“At the launch of the Galaxy S8, a subset of pre-installed applications will be Bixby-enabled. This set will continue to expand over time.”
That means Bixby could be rather limited at launch, which may make it a harder to convince consumers of its use, as they will be hoping for a feature-packed offering such as Amazon’s Alexa on the Echo and Echo Dot.
All is not lost, as Samsung states “our plan is to eventually release a tool (in SDK) to enable third-party developers to make their applications and services Bixby-enabled easily,” but that could take a while to come to fruition.
As the Samsung Galaxy S8 will run Android, Samsung also has Google’s Assistant at its disposal, which itself offers a similar service to rival the likes of Siri, Alexa and now Bixby.