With this morning’s official announcement of the Galaxy S8, we finally got our first look at Samsung’s brand new smart assistant called Bixby. This isn’t just a refreshed S Voice, though, as Bixby is capable (according to Samsung) of doing everything you could do if you picked up the Galaxy S8…
So you might be wondering what the point of having Bixby is if Google Assistant will already be built-in. Well, these two smart assistants really serve two different purposes. The Google Assistant, built into every Android phone running Marshmallow or higher, is great at searching the web to answer user questions, running small system-side operations like setting a timer or alarm, but is mainly great at controlling smart home appliances.
Bixby, on the other hand, is all about helping the user intelligently navigate the Galaxy S8. By simply clicking the Bixby button located on the side of the handset, you will launch Bixby which will assist you with your phone, allow you to shop online, use image recognition to identify nearby places, and much more. Additionally, you will be able to interact with Bixby not only by voice but also by touch and text input.
Unfortunately, at launch, Bixby will only be able to interface with several of Samsung’s native apps including the camera, contacts, gallery, messages, and settings. Now that it is announced, Samsung will be working to expand the smart assistant’s functionality by working with third-party developers to hopefully bring Bixby integration to other applications.