Samsung has launched its Bixby Marketplace in the US and South Korea, which is a dedicated store for Bixby-compatible apps and services for supported Samsung hardware.

While Siri, Alexa, and the Google Assistant have had a massive headstart, Bixby isn’t actually as bad as you often hear. It does work well on Samsung smartphones and tablets but given you can use the Google Assistant on Samsung devices too, it tends to get overlooked in favor of the vastly superior Google option.

Bixby Marketplace is now open and available through the main Bixby portal on your Samsung smartphone, with Samsung looking to eventually merge this within its main Galaxy App Store.

With the marketplace launched, you can search for all kinds of services and plugins that Samsung is calling “capsules” to enhance the capabilities of the Bixby voice assistant. Searching through the store has been simplified, meaning that each add-on is found in one of the following sections: travel and transport, food and drink, sports, shopping, productivity, with more on top.

Users access the Bixby Marketplace from the Bixby main page. Once the user launches the Bixby main page by pressing the Bixby key, they swipe left to get to the Bixby Marketplace. Capsules are organized by categories such as Productivity, Business and Finance, Sports, Shopping, etc.

Searching by capsule name, developer or keyword makes it easy to find the capsules you need, while curated staff picks and user reviews highlight capsules that users will find particularly useful. Capsules can be added with a single tap of a button, and users can also rate and review capsules to ensure the highest quality Bixby capsules are the most visible to users in the Bixby Marketplace.

To add even more customization, users can set a capsule as the “preferred capsule” for certain types of requests. For example, if a user says “Get me a ride to San Francisco airport”, Bixby will prompt the user to pick one of the supported Rideshare capsules. Users will have the option to set their favorite provider as their preferred Rideshare capsule.

Once that is set, any Rideshare request would automatically go to the user’s preferred provider, even if the user does not mention the capsule name. The ability for users to customize their own personal Bixby experience allows them to easily incorporate a wide range of capsules into their everyday lives.

Bixby Marketplace storefront

At launch, the Bixby Marketplace won’t offer any paid-for subscription add-ons or “premium capsules”, but they will come at some point in the future. There are options for paid capsules though, with services like Uber and food take-out providers.

It will be interesting to see how the Bixby Marketplace develops over time, especially given the competition with the Google Assistant on the exact same platform. If you’re an ardent Bixby user, let us know in the comments section below why that is.

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