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Bixby: Samsung Smart Assistant Explained

Bixby is the native smart assistant found on the majority of Samsung devices. Like most smart assistants, Bixby has the ability to take on voice commands to execute a variety of tasks such as pulling up applications, creating shopping lists, and conducting online searches, among other things. The software is able to understand natural language, which means that you don’t need to rely on special phrases to get the software to act on your requests. The smart assistant also possesses real-time image analysis and search capabilities.

In this article, we’ll discover exactly what this lesser-known smart assistant has to offer and how you can access Bixby through your Samsung device.

 

Bixby Official Logo
Photo by Samsung via Samsung Official Website

 

What Is Bixby?

Bixby is a built-in smart assistant found in most of the recent models of Samsung devices. The software is Samsung’s first attempt at creating a smart assistant. It’s also their way of competing with highly popular smart assistants like Google Assistant, Siri, and Microsoft CortanaLike these other bands of smart assistants, Bixby is also capable of executing tasks and responding to queries using artificial intelligence. The software is also integrated with a bunch of native apps on Samsung devices, including Bixby Voice and Samsung Marketplace.
 
The primary way that you can interface with the software is by using your voice. There is also a dedicated app on each Samsung device for Bixby that should allow for specific touch-based functions. Another important thing to note about Bixby’s functionality is you can speak naturally to the software. You will no longer need to use special commands with keywords. Its AI technology gives the software the ability to distinguish individual voices. This in turn allows it to customize responses depending on who is issuing the commands.
 
Samsung has also incorporated the smart assistant into their Family Hub fridges and TVs. The following devices carry Bixby as their built-in smart assistant: Galaxy S20, S20+, S20 Ultra, Note10, Note10+, S10e, S10, S10+, Fold, Note9, S9, S9+, Note9, S8, and S8+. The smart assistant is also available as downloadable software for Windows 7, 8, and 10.

 

What Can You Do With Bixby?

Bixby Smart Assistant
Photo by Samsung via Samsung Newsroom

 

Bixby is able to perform a wide range of tasks as well as respond to queries. The software essentially acts as the link between you and your Samsung device. One of the most important things you can do with Bixby is to do hands-free search queries on the internet. You can also play music from external apps like Amazon Music, Google Play, Apple Music, Spotify, and Tidal. Just as long as you have a subscription to any of these apps, Bixby can play any song from your playlist.
If you want to keep track of your appointments, you can also instruct the software to do so through a simple request. If you have items written in a foreign language, Bixby can also help you translate that just as easily. You can also instruct it to initiate hands-free calls and texts. Just give Bixby access to your contacts and issue the command to initiate a call or to type in your message.
 
Bixby also has the ability to keep track of your preferences and routines. With its deep knowledge and links to your online searches, the digital assistant can provide recommendations for things to do, things to shop for, or music to listen to. Other things you can do with Bixby include having it read you a bedtime story from the internet, post a photo or message on your Facebook or Twitter account, or activate in-app functions on other apps on your phone, all by using verbal commands.

 

What Is Bixby Vision?

Bixby Vision
Photo by Samsung via Samsung Newsroom

 

Bixby Vision is a special variation of the smart assistant that works with visual input. The feature works similarly to Google Lens or Amazon Shopping. One of the key features of this version of Bixby is object identification. That is, it can identify and present information about objects or places. Thanks to its optical recognition scanner, it can identify and lift text from images. For example, you can point the camera at a box with instructions in a foreign language, and the software will translate its contents.

It’s also able to generate product suggestions based on images. For example, if you take a photo of Nike rubber shoes, the software will recognize the brand and open up search results. It will also offer to open the Amazon Assistant app to recommend similar products that you might want to buy. Take note, though, that this feature works best when the product is still in its original packaging.

Bixby will also help you identify places using the photostream. Suppose you point your camera in different directions from the same spot within an unknown area. In that case, the software will try to use the visual cues to identify where you are. Bixby can also bring up similar images to objects that you point your camera at, say a vase with flowers. You can also take a picture of a text in a foreign language, and the software will translate it for you in your selected language. For wine connoisseurs, there’s even a special wine search built-in. If you point at a wine bottle, the software will generate information or reviews about the particular brand of the wine.

 

How to Access Bixby Smart Assistant on Samsung Devices

Bixby Button
Photo by Samsung via Samsung Official Website

 

Like other smart assistants, Bixby is always on standby mode, ready to take your instructions and queries. The software makes use of a pre-set wake word in addition to dedicated software that executes the instructions. And it really only takes a few seconds to get Bixby to pay attention to you, and the methods aren’t difficult at all. Here are the steps to wake up the smart assistant on your Samsung device:

  1. Press and hold the dedicated Bixby button on the main interface of your Samsung device. Alternatively, you can say the wake word “Hi Bixby.”
  2. Speak any command using natural language. Like Google Assistant, the software is able to understand unstructured instructions that are delivered in a casual manner.
    Take note, though, that these instructions must fall in line with the capabilities of the voice assistant. There are also other applications on your device like the Bixby Vision that functions independently and don’t require the voice assistant at all.
  3. Here are some examples of the instructions you can issue:
    • Say “Reflect YouTube on my TV” to have the contents of your Samsung phone screen reflected onto a Samsung Smart TV.
    • Issue the command “Open Facebook” to get the software to do just that.
    • Say “Take a photo and share it with Facebook” to prompt the device to snap a picture of yourself or a group and post it.
    • Issue the command “Remind me about my appointment at 10 am” so that Bixby will save the appointment.
    • Say “read out my latest messages” to get the software to read your unread text messages or emails.
  4. Make sure to release the Bixby button after issuing the command.

 

Final Thoughts on Bixby Voice Assistant

Bixby on Galaxy Phone
Photo by Samsung via Samsung Newsroom Malaysia

 

Bixby doesn’t come close to the popularity of heavyweights Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or Siri. But after reviewing the software, it’s clear that its unpopularity is caused mostly by its exclusive user base and not because of weaknesses in the software. In fact, the software seems to have everything that anyone can want from a smart assistant. It’s clear from these features that the software was always mindful of the user experience. And they never veered away from their main purpose, which is to provide a more efficient experience with their Samsung devices.

We also appreciate its ability to understand and respond to causal instructions, which hints at next-level AI. Overall, there’s just a lot to love about this feature-packed and subtle, smart assistant. If you like Samsung products, you might also want to check out this review of the Samsung Galaxy smartwatch as well as the Samsung robot vacuum. 

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