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How to use Bixby, the virtual assistant for Samsung phones

There is no doubt that Samsung Bixby, the virtual assistant of the flagship models of the Korean company, is very different from Siri from Apple, Alexa from Amazon and Google Assistant. Samsung's attempts to anticipate your needs and give you contextualized reminders make Bixby edit photos, send messages and compose emails. Actually, whatever you do on your phone by touching it, you should be able to do it through your voice … If you know how to use Bixby before, of course.

how to use BixbyBrenda Stolyar / Digital Trends

The best thing is that you can also control some smart appliances and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, including smart refrigerators, televisions and dozens of other Samsung devices. Next, we explain how to configure Bixby, what's new in this wizard and everything you can do with it.

In constant improvement

It is an unquestionable reality: Bixby is not perfect, but it has been slowly improving. Although initially limited, Bixby Voice language support has been constantly expanded. Now you will find support for Spanish, French, German and Italian, join the supports for Korean, English and Simplified Chinese.

Bixby's ability to understand voice commands has improved exponentially in the last year. Its integration with third-party applications also allows Bixby to better anticipate your needs and fulfill them with simple voice commands. While it is not as refined as Google Assistant or Amazon Echo, its improvements are remarkable.

bixby new assistant for samsung note 9 review top half 768x768Julian Chokkattu / Digital Trends

Bixby has also expanded to other products. You will now find compatibility with Bixby on some Samsung smart TVs, Family Hub refrigerators and other Samsung smart products. The Galaxy Homecompatible smart speaker with Bixby is also on its way.

The launch of the Galaxy S9 brought some interesting additions to Bixby Vision. For example, the new Makeup category allows you to try makeup products through augmented reality. For its part, the Galaxy S10 has introduced the Bixby Routines, a way to activate certain applications using Bixby, depending on your location or phone use.

Bixby Routines

If you have used IFTTT (If This, Then That: If this, then this), then you will have a decent idea of ​​what to expect with Bixby Routines. Simply put, the Routines They allow you to configure Bixby to handle several repetitive tasks by understanding several triggers. For example, if you listen to the same Spotify playlist while you go to work, then you can set up a Routine that opens Spotify and starts playing a playlist as soon as you connect to your car's Bluetooth. It is a powerful tool, and even if you don't use Bixby a lot, it's worth checking out if there's anything you can automate to save time.

The configuration of the Bixby Routines implies diving into your settings, but the matter is quite simple:

  • Open your configuration application, scroll down and open the advanced features.
  • Set the Bixby Routines switch to the on position (blue).

Bixby's routines are now on. But don't close that menu yet, since you'll need it to set up your first routine.

  • Touch Bixby Routines to open your options.
  • To start, you can select one of the preset routines, or you can set up a new routine for yourself.
  • To configure a new routine, select the + symbol in the upper right.
  • Next, you want to name your routine and select a trigger: this will be your action “If This; Yes this".
  • Touch the + symbol to add to your trigger. If you want to configure the example of the car mentioned above, select the Bluetooth connection of your car from the list.
  • Press Following and the + symbol to move to the selection of your action “ Then That; Then this".
  • Choose Play music, then Spotify on the list.

This is the easiest way to set up a routine. But it is only the beginning. Do you want Bixby to read your notifications while driving? You can add this to your routines too. What about a routine that turns on your smart bulbs when you get home? Connect it to your home Wi-Fi network and you can also do it. The best way to use Bixby Routines is to just start experimenting and discover what else you can do.

Bixby Vision

Bixby Vision uses machine learning and database associations to make your camera work for more than just taking photos. In fact, Bixby Vision recognizes several categories of objects: Place, Text, Image, Food, QR Codes, Wine and Shopping. To start it, touch the Bixby button on the camera application of the Galaxy S9 or Note 9, or the Bixby Vision cone on the left side. You can also find Bixby Vision in the Galera application.

Like Google Lens or Amazon Flow, the Bixby Vision image search will try to analyze what is in front of the camera (thanks to the Pinterest Lens tool), and offer you information based on what you find.

By default, Bixby Vision opens in text mode, allowing you to translate a foreign language into the chosen language. It is compatible with a wide variety of languages ​​and works similarly to other examples of this type, such as Google Lens.