What Is Samsung Bixby?

An introduction to Samsung's voice assistant, Bixby

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is quickly becoming a part of everyday life by adding voice assistance to many consumer home and mobile devices. One AI voice assistant that is available on many Samsung Android devices is Samsung's Bixby.

Bixby was initially featured on Samsung's Galaxy Note 8, S8 and S8+ smartphones, and can be added to Samsung smartphones that run Android 7.0 Nougat or higher.

Lifewire / Miguel Co 

What Samsung Bixby Can Do

To fully use Bixby on a compatible device, you need internet access and a Samsung account. Bixby can operate almost all the functions of the device, including basic and advanced settings, as well as access other local and internet apps.

Bixby has four core features: Voice, Vision, Reminder, and Recommend.

How to Use Bixby Voice

Bixby can understand voice commands and respond back with its own voice. You can talk to Bixby using English or Korean languages.

Voice interaction can be initiated by pressing and holding the Bixby button on the left side of a compatible phone or saying "Hi Bixby". In addition to voice response, Bixby often displays a text version. You can also turn off Bixby's vocal responses – it will still perform verbally requested tasks.

You can use Bixby Voice to manage almost all of your device settings, download, install, and use apps, initiate phone calls, send text messages, post something on twitter or facebook (includes photos), get directions, ask about the weather or traffic, play music, and more. With weather or traffic, if there is a map or graph available, Bixby will display that on the phone screen as well.

Bixby Voice allows the creation of verbal shortcuts (quick commands) for complex tasks. For example, instead of saying something like "Hi Bixby - Open YouTube and play cat videos" you can create a quick command, such as "cats" and Bixby will do the rest.

How to Use Bixby Vision

Using the phone's built-in camera, in combination with the Gallery app and internet connectivity, Bixby can:

  • Identify: Take a photo of a landmark or location. Bixby will identify it and also provide a listing of what is nearby. This comes in handy when trying to find out what is in a shopping center.
  • Shop: Point the camera at a product and then touch the Bixby Vision icon to get more info on it and where/how you can buy it.
  • Translate: Although you can only communicate verbally with Bixby using English or Korean, it can translate just about any language text. Use the camera to take a photo of text written in a specific language, and Bixby will display a text translation on your phone screen.
  • Read QR codes: Bixby can read QR codes without having to download and install a special app. If the QR code is designed to initiate an action, Bixby will perform that task (such as go to a specific website or start an app download).

How to Use Bixby Reminders

You can use Bixby to create and remember appointments or a shopping list.

For example, you can tell Bixby to remind you that your favorite TV program is on at 8 pm on Mondays. You can also tell Bixby where you parked your car and then, upon returning, it can remind you where you parked.

You can also ask Bixby to remember and retrieve a specific email, photo, web page, and more.

About Bixby Recommendations

The more you use Bixby, the more it learns your routines and interests. Bixby can then tailor your apps and search more closely for what you like via its recommendation capability.

The Bottom Line

Samsung's Bixby is similar to other voice assistant systems, such as Alexa, Google Assistant, Cortana, and Siri. However, what makes Bixby a little different is that it can be used to manage almost all device settings and maintenance tasks, as well as perform a series of tasks via a single command. The other voice assistants don't typically perform all those tasks.

Bixby can be used to mirror or share content from your phone on most Samsung smart TVs.

The Bixby voice assistant has also been incorporated into select Samsung Smart TVs beginning with the 2018 model year. "Bixby on TV" allows viewers to navigate through TV setup menus, access and manage content through the TV's Smart Hub, as well as access information and control other compatible smart home devices, directly from the TV's Bixby-enabled voice remote.

In addition, following the lead of the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod, Samsung is incorporating the Bixby voice control platform into its own smart speaker carrying the Samsung Galaxy Home label.

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