Officially unveiled well ahead of today’s Galaxy S8 Unpacked event with bombastic (and vague) objectives of “opening up new ways of interacting with your phone” and “making life easier” by “offering a deeper experience” than other voice assistants on the market, Bixby finally goes into actual detail.
The Galaxy S8’s “intelligent interface” is about way more than voice commands, maximizing convenience by using voice and touch controls “interchangeably”, as well as offering three other key features.
There’s Bixby Vision, always ready to serve up “information in a snap”, a neat Reminder function, and Home, giving you all the important content in “one convenient place.”
Still, the assistant’s voice features are bound to hog most of the users’ attention, promising to adapt to everyone’s unique speaking style (even a strong Eastern European accent?), and perhaps more importantly, asking for additional info whenever it has trouble understanding you.
Meanwhile, the Vision “interface” works pretty much as expected, aiming to instantly translate text captured with the GS8’s camera, search for images and related information, and yes, help you shop online for that cool watch your frenemy’s been wearing to school lately, and you’re too proud to ask for details on.
The big deal about Bixby Reminders is they’re purportedly contextual, based on user habits, location and so on, whereas the AI’s Home screen is a simple swipe left away (or short press of the dedicated Bixby physical button), bringing together a bunch of familiar-sounding cards.
You’ll be able to get all your social media updates in one place, as well as any news of interest, music-related cards and much more, everything being neatly organized and also “put into context.”
At launch, Bixby will support English and Korean for Voice, 11 countries, including the US, UK and Korea, as far as its shopping service goes, and native apps like Call, Camera, Gallery, Settings and Message, with more, as well as third-party titles, to be added to the capabilities list “in the near future.”
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