Bixby: Samsung's virtual assistant

A guide to the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8's virtual assistant...
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Bixby: Samsung's virtual assistant

Everything you need to know about Bixby

Bixby is Samsung’s answer to the likes of Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa – built into the Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, and Galaxy Note8. If you have one of these smartphones you can summon the little helper by saying: “Hi Bixby”, or by pressing and holding the dedicated button on the left hand side of your device underneath the volume rocker.

But how does Bixby differ from the competition, and is there actually room for another virtual assistant?

What makes Bixby special?

Bixby is split into three sections - Bixby Voice, Vision, and Home. This doesn’t mean there are three different apps for Bixby, but rather it has three different platforms to gather and translate information.

Bixby Voice

Using your voice to command your virtual assistant is the most common way of interaction. You can ask it to do all sorts, like ordering a cab, setting a reminder, playing a video, or searching the internet. All pretty basic stuff.

Bixby Vision

Bixby Vision lets the assistant identify what you’re looking at. And it’s here where we start to see it pulling ahead of the likes of Siri and Alexa. By using the camera, you can get more information on that historical building, find a website for those sunglasses your friend is wearing, or translate foreign text on a menu.

Google is working on a technology very similar to this called Google Lens, revealed at the company’s I/O conference earlier this year. It hasn’t made its way to smartphones just yet, but we’ve got a feeling this sentence will age very quickly.

One of Google Lens’ most headline-grabbing features was its ability read and understand the little stickers you get on the back of Wi-Fi routers. All you’d need to do is snap a photo of the passwords, and you’re connected. Hopefully Bixby will be able to do something like this soon, too.

Bixby Home

Samsung is heavily invested in Bixby, with hopes that it will one day be able control, and link, all the smart tech in your home. Speaking through your phone you could set your washing machine to start, turn on the kettle, or dim the lights, and Bixby would control them all.

Are you a Bixby-user? Are you about to be one? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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