Smart Home

Guide on how to use Bixby, the virtual assistant of Samsung

Do you know how to use Bixby, the virtual assistant from Samsung? There is No doubt that the wizard that is found on their latest phones is very different from Siri of Apple, Alexa, Amazon, and Google Assistant. The attempts of Samsung to anticipate your needs and provide reminders contextualized allow Bixby to edit photos, send messages, and compose emails. In the background, anything that you do on your phone “touch”, you should be able to do it through your voice with Bixby. You can also control some of the smart appliances and devices, IoT, including refrigerators, smart tvs, and dozens of other Samsung devices.

As we will explain below how to configure Bixby, what brings them back and all you can do with it.

New improvements

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Bixby is not perfect, yes: but it is improving slowly. Bixby Voice still has a limited support of languages; the app currently supports Korean, English and simplified chinese, although Samsung promises that we will see more in the future. However, if you speak any of these languages, you can use the app in 200 countries.

The ability of Bixby 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 meet them with voice commands very simple. While it is not as refined as Google’s Assistant or Amazon Echo, the improvements in this last time have been remarkable.

Bixby has also been expanded to other products. It has compatibility with some Samsung smart tv, refrigerators, Family Hub and other smart products Samsung. The horn Galaxy Home powered by Bixby is also on the way.

With the release of the Galaxy S9 there were additions interesting to the Bixby Vision. For example, the new category of Makeup, which allows you to test makeup products using Augmented Reality.

Bixby Vision

Bixby Vision uses the machine learning and the associations of databases to make your camera serve for something more than take photos. In fact, Bixby Vision recognises several categories of objects: Place, Text, Image, Food, QR Codes, Wine, and Shopping. To start, tap the button Bixby in the camera app of the Galaxy S9 or Note 9, or the icon of Bixby Vision on the left side. You can also find Bixby Vision in the Gallery application.

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

By default, Bixby Vision is opened in text mode, which allows you to translate a foreign language to the chosen language. It is compatible with a wide variety of languages and works in a similar way to other examples of this type, like Google Lens.

Aligns the text that you want translated into the box on the screen and you will see a translation in real-time. You may not be at first, but eventually you’ll get it.

As you said, the category newest it is Makeup (make-up). Here, virtually you can try different products from Sephora. Once you find the one you like, you can capture your image and Bixby Vision will provide you with details and links to products for purchase.

The places of Bixby Vision using FourSquare to identify landmarks and interesting places around you, if you ever are looking for a place to visit or something to do. The tool Food allows you to direct the camera towards what you’re going to eat to see information about the calories, which then can be added to the app Samsung Health. Although he could not recognize some Pringles, a bar, Cliff, or other pre-packed food in our office, yes managed to identify the a salad prepared. Yes, provided calorie information ridiculously inaccurate.

With Shopping, point the camera towards the shoes, clothes, or other products, and Bixby will try to find it on Amazon, Nordstrom and some other retailers. With Wine, Bixby Vision uses the database of the Vivino so that you can scan the labels of the wines and find out more about the bottle you have in front of you; there are those that say that this works very well.

Without doubt, Samsung is on the right track with Bixby Vision, but needs to improve the accuracy in some of these categories to make the function more useful.

How to set up and use Bixby and Bixby Voice

The configuration could not be easier. The Galaxy S8 and the samsung Galaxy S8 Plus feature with a dedicated button of Bixby on the right side, just below the volume. To the touch it appears Bixby Home, the center of the wizard and the configuration screen. If you’re in the start screen of the Galaxy S8, you can access the wizard by sliding to the right. When the locks for the first time, you will be asked to accept the terms of service and that you grant access to your data. Press “Accept all” (after reading terms) and then select “Allow” when prompted to grant permissions to Bixby.

To access the Settings screen, tap the settings icon in the upper-right corner of Bixby Home, and then tap Settings in the drop-down menu. You’ll see options for the cards Bixby Home, a list of compatible applications, and more. The Galaxy S8 and the S8 Plus include three services of the assistant of Samsung: Bixby Voice, Bixby Home and Bixby Vision.

Bixby Voice

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Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Bixby Voice is like Siri but with many more functions. In fact, you can even insult Siri in Korean to the rhythm of rap. Not only that, but it is designed to adapt to the way of speaking of a person, instead of the opposite. According to Samsung, the wizard will be able to understand all the variations of the same command.
Bixby Voice is now available for all owners of Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus. If you have not received a message to enable it, tap the button Bixby to start the update.

Once you’ve installed the software and completed the tutorial Bixby Voice of Samsung, you can activate it by saying “Hey Bixby” or by pressing the button Bixby while you talk. If you don’t want to sound like you’re talking to your phone in public, you can talk with Bixby holding your phone in the ear, like a telephone call.

Bixby can perform tasks such as sending text messages through the app Messages Galaxy S8, and respond to basic questions about the weather, your next meeting, sports scores and schedules of the movies. But that is only the tip of the iceberg: the voice assistant works in apps such as the dialer calls the Galaxy S8, the configuration menus, the application of camera, the contacts list and the Gallery.

Bixby can handle complicated tasks such as opening an app in split screen, rotate photos out of alignment, to remind you where you parked, to play videos on a tv near you, and even write emails for you. You can also perform actions of two steps like, “Open Uber and qualify the driver with 5 stars” or “Open Instagram and post my most recent photo”.

Bixby Voice is customizable, you can change the gender of the assistant, and supports direct access to shorten the commands long you use most often in a single word or phrase. There are also new functions hands-free. For example, you can now ask the assistant to “read the past posts”, and read your text messages or e-mails from native apps of Samsung.

Bixby Voice is also customizable: you can change the gender of the wizard on the fly and is compatible with the shortcuts: you can shorten the commands long you use most often in a single word or phrase.

Samsung says that Bixby supports more than 3,000 commands, including some specific to the application in Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Uber, Gmail, Google Maps, and more. The company is constantly improving the app and adding support for additional third-party applications and more commands.

Bixby Home

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Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Samsung calls to Bixby Home a “streamer social for your device”, and that is more or less accurate. It is a similar interface to cards reminders, contextually relevant information and social networking updates. Something like a cross between Google Now and BlinkFeed of HTC.

Bixby Home can be customized to a certain extent. You can discard, save, or hide permanently the cards by touching the gear icon in the upper-right corner of an individual tab of the Bixby Home. You can also set up quick commands. For example, you can configure the wizard to turn off all the lights in your house and enable your alarm when you say the command “I’m going to bed”.

The default applications Samsung provide most of the content of the Bixby Home. You’ll see a local weather forecast, statistics of activity of the Health app of Samsung and local files in the music app on the Galaxy S8.

Eventually, Samsung says that Bixby Home will be able to learn your routine and be updated to reflect how you use your phone during the day. An iteration future will present specific buttons that will control the lights and door locks smart, you will have direct access to the applications you use most often, and more, all in function of the time of day, your location and other factors custom.


The Reminders of Bixby are a little more solid reminders that you can create with Siri or the Google Assistant. Is integrated in the native applications on the Galaxy S9 and Note 9, and allow you to attach media such as videos, websites, photos and messages.

You can set a specific time in which you would like to see a reminder or even a specific location. When the conditions are met, the reminder will appear in the form of a notification which you can dismiss, snooze, or mark.

*Updated on December 19, 2018 by Daniel Matus.

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