Samsung buried the name Bixby inside a local privacy page, practically confirming the name of the voice-based virtual assistant that we expect to see in the Galaxy S8. This isn’t the first time we see evidence that links Bixby to Samsung’s assistant innovations, but it’s the first time Samsung has actually used it in its documentation. From the sounds of it, Bixby could either be a huge game-changer for the mobile market or a total letdown.
“Depending on your model and region, you will be able to tell your Mobile Device to activate certain functions, such as playing songs from a playlist or looking up for something on the web using S Voice,” the translation of the paragraph in question reads. “In addition to that, you will be able to control all the operations made with the touch interface using voice commands with Bixby.”
Obviously, Samsung would not want to spill the beans on Bixby just yet. But it sounds like Bixby will coexist with S Voice, the uninteresting voice assistant that’s already available on Galaxy devices.
The translation seems to imply that Bixby will be able to handle everything you can do on the phone using the touch-based interface. If true, and depending on how advanced Bixby is, that could mark a huge improvement over what other assistants can do.
On the other hand, the fact that S Voice will live as an independent component might be somewhat confusing, especially if some commands will be restricted to S Voice and others to Bixby. It’s hard enough to control one virtual assistant.
One other thing to consider, that’s not addressed by this policy, is that S Voice and Bixby will compete directly against Google’s search-based Assistant which is also expected to run on all Android 7.0 Nougat handsets that launch this year.
Does this mean we’ll have three assistants to worry about on the Galaxy S8? Samsung will likely explain it all during its March 29th Galaxy S8 media event.