Rumor: Samsung News Today App Features Podcasts, Bixby

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Samsung is rumored to be working on a news app, to be called “News Today”, which will feature support for podcasts, and Bixby Voice integration. The news comes from an anonymous source. The app will reportedly allow users to search for and browse various podcasts, and the Bixby Voice integration will come in the form of being able to enlist Bixby’s help in navigating the app and finding podcasts. Other details on the app are scarce, leaving functions beyond podcast support and Bixby Voice integration a mystery. The app could end up integrated into more Samsung products than just smartphones, such as a Bixby-powered Google Home competitor that’s rumored to be in the works.

Samsung currently does not have its own solution for a news app, and packs in Flipboard or UPDAY with some of its devices, depending on the market. It is quite possible that News Today could become Samsung’s flagship news delivery product, and perhaps even usurp other apps’ places on Galaxy users’ homescreens. These packed-in news apps can be used as a feed of sorts on a user’s homescreen, and in an independent fashion that allows their full functionality to shine through. Presumably, if News Today is indeed poised to supplant the likes of Flipboard, it will similarly have more than one mode of operation. While a homescreen addon that allows you to listen to podcasts sounds difficult to implement or cumbersome on paper, that is also a possibility.

In the larger area, Samsung’s app would be competing with a number of dedicated apps. It would have to contend with traditional news delivery apps, more niche apps for individual categories or news websites, and dedicated podcast apps. Bixby Voice integration may well be News Today’s secret weapon that helps differentiate it from competing apps, and could even wind up being the conduit through which Bixby expands onto non-Galaxy smartphones and tablets, if Samsung chooses to pursue such an avenue. Bixby is currently in a fairly early stage, so it would have a hard time competing on level with the likes of Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant purely on its own merits. This means that Samsung could reap the dual benefits of News Today attracting non-Galaxy owners to Bixby, and vice versa, should the company choose to expand News Today or Bixby beyond its own product lineup.