We’re barely a week away from the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and among the phone’s unique hardware features, Samsung is also looking to introduce some new software tricks, spearheaded by the Bixby AI assistant. Today, Samsung has made that new assistant official.
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In a press release, Samsung explains what Bixby is and how it compares to other assistants available today, like Google Assistant and Siri and explaining that it will be “fundamentally different from other voice agents or assistants in the market.”
According to the company, Bixby is different in three key areas, the first being “completeness.” Samsung says that unlike other assistants available right now, Bixby will be able to take complete control over supported apps, unlike its competitors which can only take care of limited tasks. Instead, Bixby will take the guesswork out of using an assistant for controlling an app.
Bixby will also be context aware, allowing users to activate Bixby within a particular application and have it “understand the current context and state of the application and will allow users to carry out the current work-in-progress continuously.” Samsung isn’t being very specific on exactly how this will work, but I’m assuming this will act something like an enhanced Google Now on Tap.
In the press release, Samsung also confirms that this will be enabled on an app-by-app basis, with a few pre-installed apps supporting it at launch, and an SDK being available for developers to add compatibility to their applications.
Lastly, Samsung says that Bixby will be better at understanding user commands by being able to handle incomplete commands and executing a task based on the available information. Essentially, it will use natural language for interaction and only ask for more information if it absolutely crucial.
To make it easier to adjust to using Bixby, Samsung has included a dedicated button on the side of the phone to access the assistant, just like we’ve seen in previous leaks. Obviously, there’s still a lot we don’t know about Bixby, but we’ll find out a lot more next week at the Galaxy S8 launch. Over time, Samsung also intends to expand Bixby to other platforms, including its home appliances.