Bixby 2.0 was announced last week, right on schedule, during Samsung’s annual developer conference. Bixby is only a mere six months old, and yet, version 2.0 is on its way. Here’s a roundup of what to expect out of Samsung’s second-generation Bixby AI assistant.
Bixby 2.0 is being described by Samsung as a “bold reinvention of the platform.” In other words, the company admitted much wrongdoing and failure experienced with the first version of Bixby. That message has not gone unnoticed, especially considering the need for a major revamp just six months after the initial release on Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8.
Bixby 2.0 is all about gaining the support of the developer community and being open to third-party device makers. The first way Samsung is going about this is by making Bixby more user-friendly by enhancing its natural language capabilities. Bixby 2.0 should be more “conversational,” as already are the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Next, Samsung has opened Bixby 2.0 development beyond its own products. Third-party hardware makers will have the opportunity to embed Bixby inside products of their own: speakers, TVs, appliances, and more! You’re only limited to your own imagination. This should increase Bixby adoption by making it accessible in more places.
To help foster Bixby 2.0, Samsung has secured partnerships with app developers as well, who will be given the option to choose how users can interact with Bixby through their own applications. All will be made possible through a new Bixby SDK (currently in beta). Samsung has also agreed to provide cash as an incentive for developers to create platforms with Bixby on board.
Bixby 2.0 is expected to land very soon, at which time users will begin to benefit from the above mentioned additions across their Bixby devices (limited to just a few phones right now). Success will take time to achieve, and will ultimately depend on the support gained from third-parties. But first, Samsung must make Bixby enticing enough so that its own users stop remapping the dedicated button to a different app. Samsung says it has some surprises in store, and we’re looking forward to them, considering how bland the platform is when faced off with rivals. Something needs to change here, and Samsung, by reinventing the entire platform from nearly scratch based on what the company has learned over recent months, hopes to do just that. Let’s hope Samsung stays true to its word and delivers something neat with no delays this time.