Bixby is the name for Samsung’s new “intelligent interface,” which the company promises will serve as a “new way to interact with your phone.” The voice assistant will arrive first on the Samsung Galaxy S8, which is expected to launch in the coming weeks.
Unlike other voice assistants on the market, including Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google Assistant, Bixby will support nearly every task an application is capable of performing using touch commands. In doing so, Samsung promises to end the confusion many users have on what works and doesn’t work by voice command.
Additionally, Bixby will understand what a user has already done within an app, which could improve workflow. This context awareness will “allow users to weave various modes of interactions including touch or voice at any context of the application, whichever they feel is most comfortable and intuitive.”
Finally, Bixby offers cognitive tolerance, which is supposed to make the interface more natural and easier to use.
Samsung notes, “Bixby will be smart enough to understand commands with incomplete information and execute the commanded task to the best of its knowledge, and then will prompt users to provide more information and take the execution of the task in piecemeal.”
I would expect Bixby will remain exclusive to Samsung-based products, at least for the rest of the year. However, by the time the 2018 iPhones are announced, I wouldn’t be all that surprised to see a Bixby app on the Apple App Store.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is likely to be announced in April. It will take on the Apple “iPhone 8,” which isn’t expected to launch until this fall.