All of the focus (and quite rightfully so) is still on the Samsung Galaxy S8’s design. The lack of bezel and consequently huge display are game-changers for a mobile device, but Samsung didn’t stop with the hardware. To help users get the most out of its new device, it included a different kind of virtual assistant.
Called Bixby in the style of a techno-dystopian English butler, it’s meant to help you navigate around the Galaxy S8’s features and provide an alternative to actually moving your fingers to accomplish things. Now, thanks to the work of people on the XDA Develoeprs forum, anyone with a Samsung phone running Android 7.0 Nougat can try Bixby on their own device.
The install process should be familiar to anyone who’s used to adding unofficial apps that aren’t on the Google Play Store. First, you need to download the Galaxy S8’s launcher software from this thread. It’s an unofficial app, so you download at your own risk, and you’ll have to click through a few warnings to install.
Once the S8’s launcher software is installed, you’ll need to go to the launcher settings and hit the toggle button to enable Bixby. Once that’s been done, you’ll need to reboot, and then you can enable Bixby by swiping left on the home screen. On the Galaxy S8, Bixby is enabled using a dedicated hardware button, but that obviously isn’t an option on other Samsung devices.
In theory, this should work on any Touchwiz device running Android 7.0, but the demos we’ve seen so far have all involved the Galaxy S7. The Nougat update for the Galaxy S6 has already rolled out widely, while the update for the Note 5 appears to be coming, but is still only available in limited regions.