Samsung’s smart assistant ‘Bixby’ will reportedly support third party apps later this year – news which is tipped to lift adoption, whilst combat Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.
Speaking to CNBC, Samsung Mobile boss, DJ Koh, confirms from November third-party developers can build apps to support Bixby.
“So I do not want to see just six months or nine months performance, no. Because this is like a long journey; it’s just starting because with the new Bixby embedded in the Note 9, a new baby was born,” Koh asserts.
Samsung’s announcement mirrors the steps of rival Amazon, who has already allowed developers to build Alexa “skills” – reportedly now over 30,000.
It coincides with the unveiling of Samsung’s first smart speaker – the ‘Galaxy Home’ – at IFA 2018, which is also powered by Bixby.
Koh claims Samsung will release a software developer kit (SDK) and API in November. The first will enable developers to make apps with Bixby, whilst the later will integrate Bixby with other apps.
Despite criticism that Bixby’s functionality is significantly behind Google Assistant and Alexa, Samsung has continued to input a dedicated ‘Bixby’ hard-button on its smartphones.
Bixby also remains the central voice assistant for Samung’s SmartThings connected home hub – e.g. asking Bixby to turn on a Samsung washing machine or TV.
The Korean giant has come under fire for not allowing users to disable Bixby on its new Galaxy Note 9, unlike the former Galaxy S9/S9+.
As previously reported, Samsung Deutschland asserts a new software update will restore disability sometime this year.