|Original author(s)||Samsung Electronics|
|Initial release||21 April 2017|
|Operating system||Android (7.0 "Nougat" and later) |
|Available in||US English, British English, Indian English, French, Korean, Chinese (China), German, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese (Brazilian Portuguese)|
|Type||Intelligent personal assistant|
Bixby is a virtual assistant developed by Samsung Electronics. It represents a major reboot for S Voice, Samsung's voice assistant app introduced in 2012 with the Galaxy S III. S Voice was later discontinued on 1 June 2020. In May 2017, Samsung announced that Bixby would be coming to its line of Family Hub 2.0 refrigerators, making it the first non-mobile product to include the virtual assistant.
On 20 March 2017, Samsung announced the voice-powered digital assistant named "Bixby". Bixby was introduced alongside the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+, as well as the Samsung Galaxy Tab A during the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2017 event, which was held on 29 March 2017. Samsung officially unveiled Bixby a week before launch but it only made its first appearance during the event. Bixby can also be sideloaded on older Galaxy devices running Android Nougat.
In October 2017, Samsung announced the release of Bixby 2.0 during its annual developer conference in San Francisco. The then-new version was rolled out across the company's line of connected products, including smartphones, TVs, and refrigerators. Also, third parties are allowed to develop applications for Bixby using the Samsung Developer Kit.
In June 2021, screenshots surfaced for a replacement to Bixby. The three-dimensional virtual assistant, Sam, was popular on social media though it was unclear whether Samsung devices would include full voice and virtual assistance.
Bixby comes in three parts, known as "Bixby Voice", "Bixby Vision", "Bixby Home" (which has been recently replaced with "Samsung Free" in the latest One UI software update), which Samsung had recently started developing.
"Bixby Voice" is the name for the method of activating Bixby by calling it or doing a long press of the Bixby Button, located below the volume rocker. A while before the phone's release, the Bixby Button was reprogrammable and could be set to open other applications or assistants, such as Google Assistant. However, near the phone's release, this ability was removed with a firmware update but can be remapped using third-party apps. "Bixby Vision" is an augmented reality camera that can identify objects in real-time and potentially offer the user to purchase them online, translate text, read QR codes, and recognize landmarks. "Bixby Home" is a vertically scrolling list of information that Bixby can interact with,[clarification needed] for example weather, fitness activity and buttons for controlling their smart home gadgets. "Bixby Touch" makes recommendations based on intelligent recognition. You can easily access services such as translation, online shopping, and media by touching the screen. This app is still in its development period and hasn't been publicly released yet. Of course,[editorializing] its APK has been publicly leaked and can be installed and used with some workaround.
At the beginning Bixby supported three languages: English, Korean and Chinese. It also supports contextual search and visual search.
Samsung reported that Bixby would not be operational on the US version of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ when the devices were first shipped to customers on 21 April 2017. Samsung stated that the key features of Bixby, including Vision, Home and Reminder, would be available with the global launch of the smartphones. Bixby Voice was intended to be made available in the US on the Galaxy S8 and S8+ later that spring. However, the release of the English version was postponed as Samsung had problems getting Bixby to fully understand the language.
As of April 2018, Bixby is available in over 195 countries, but only in Korean, English (US only), and Chinese (Mandarin). The Chinese version of Bixby is only available on devices officially sold in Mainland China. Bixby Korean was launched on 1 May 2017 (KST).
As of December 2018, Samsung has deployed Bixby's voice command function in French.
On 20 February 2019, Samsung announced the addition of further languages: English (British), German, Italian and Spanish (Spain).
On 22 February 2020, Samsung announced the addition of Portuguese (Brazil), for Galaxy S10 & Note10, in Beta, and later for other models.