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What Is Bixby?

Bixby is an AI assistant thatโ€™s packed right into your Samsung device. It does more than just answer your questions and listen to voice commands; it can also use its โ€œeyesโ€ (a.k.a. your camera) to identify objects.

Samsung is constantly working to improve Bixby. Currently, Bixbyโ€™s central function is to assist you in navigating your device and help you get through your day. Bixby learns from your habits and tailors itself to your needs. It even goes so far as to recognize individual voices and change its response based on whoโ€™s asking.

What Does Bixby Do?

Bixby is a smart assistant that lets you voice control your phone, but it can do a lot more. Bixby Voice, Bixby Vision, Bixby Home, and Bixby Routines are Bixbyโ€™s main features that you should get acquainted with. These handy tools allow you to interact with Bixby by speaking, opening your camera, or tapping your screen.

Bixby Voice

To open Bixby Voice, you can either hold the Bixby button on the side of your phone or simply say โ€œHi Bixby.โ€

Before you try activating Bixby Voice with voice wake-up, make sure that youโ€™ve registered your voice. The first time you press the Bixby button, Bixby will prompt you to say โ€œHi Bixbyโ€ several times so it can get accustomed to your voice.

When you get set up, you can start asking Bixby basic questions about the weather, movie times, and your schedule. But these simple commands donโ€™t unlock the true power of Bixby Voice. This AI assistant can conduct two-part commands and even complete app-specific requests.

You can send text messages, set reminders, read emails, and make phone calls completely hands-free. Tell Bixby to โ€œRead my latest text message,โ€ and itโ€™ll read your most recent message aloud, while also giving you the option to hear your last 20 messages. In order for Bixby to read your messages, youโ€™ll have to use the default Samsung texting app.

Want to start diving into some of Bixbyโ€™s more advanced commands? Ask Bixby to upload a selfie to Instagram, create a photo album with a name of your choice, play a specific artist on Spotify, and even rate your Uber driver.

You can also use Bixby alongside several apps. To see the full list of available apps, press the Bixby button, tap on the three dots at the right corner of the screen, and hit Tutorials > What Bixby can do > See all services. Samsung already has a pretty hefty list of compatible apps, and thereโ€™s more to come.

Bixby Vision

When you want to start using Bixby Vision, open your Camera app, and select Bixby Vision in the top-left corner of the screen (or open it through the Bixby Vision app). With Bixby Vision, you no longer have to struggle to figure out the identity of an object or an animal. Bixbyโ€™s huge database of knowledge can match an image of almost anything to a search result.

You can interact with Bixby Vision in several different ways. Scrolling through the menu bar on the bottom of your screen gives you an idea of Bixbyโ€™s capabilities. Bixby translates text, identifies images, finds shopping results from major retailers, locates nearby attractions, scans QR codes, identifies food and its calories, discovers new wines with Vivino, and even lets you test out makeup products.

Identifying objects, food, and shopping results is as easy as it sounds. Aim your camera at whatever you wish to identify, and Bixby will automatically scan it for you and pull up results.

Finding new attractions is just as simple. Select the Place option, and Bixby will use Foursquare to show you attractions in the direction that youโ€™re pointing your camera. Tapping a waypoint on your screen will bring up some information about it.

Bixbyโ€™s makeup feature is definitely innovative, and a little wackyโ€”it makes you feel as if youโ€™re using a Snapchat filter. It allows you to virtually try on real-life makeup products. Use Bixby Vision to try on Sephoraโ€™s lipstick or Covergirlโ€™s eyelashes before you make the purchase.

Itโ€™s common for a userโ€™s Bixby review to state that Bixby doesnโ€™t always give the most accurate image matches. Iโ€™ve found this to be true as well, but you just have to keep in mind that Bixby is always learning.

Bixby Home

If you donโ€™t feel like fiddling with Bixby Voice or Bixby Vision, then swipe left on your home screen to access Bixby Home (or just quickly press the Bixby button). Youโ€™ll see a screen thatโ€™s completely tailored to your preferences. It can show you anything from the news to a suggested contact. In addition it displays todayโ€™s weather and can even help you track your fitness.

Add more items to your Bixby Home screen by selecting the three dots in the right corner of the screen and then tapping Cards. Choose from a wide range of supported apps, and theyโ€™ll appear on your feed.

Bixby Routines

Bixby Routines is Samsungโ€™s latest addition to Bixbyโ€™s skill set. This feature makes it even more convenient to use the service, as it actually lessens the amount of time that you have to interact with Bixby. If you use Google Assistant routines or IFTTT, youโ€™ll quickly get the hang of Bixby Routines.

How to Use Google Assistant Routines to Automate Your Entire DayRoutines are the most useful feature...

With Bixby Routines, Bixby will automatically activate at certain times during your daily schedule. Letโ€™s say that you always hook up your phone to Bluetooth and use Google Maps when you get into your car. When you enable Bixby Routines, you can โ€œteachโ€ Bixby to turn on Google Maps when you hook up your phone to your carโ€™s Bluetooth.

For now, this awesome feature is only supported on the Galaxy S10 and Note 10.

Which Devices Support Bixby?

Samsung directly incorporated Bixby into the Galaxy S8, S9, and S10, along with the Note 8, 9, and 10. All of these devices have a dedicated Bixby button, which makes the assistant easy to access.

However, you can sideload Bixby onto the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, as well as the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, using a Bixby APK. You need at least Android Nougat or later to do this. 

Phones arenโ€™t the only devices that come equipped with Bixbyโ€”youโ€™ll find the smart assistant in Samsungโ€™s newest smart TVs and smart refrigerator.