Samsung’s Bixby 2.0 will ship first on the company’s newly revealed Galaxy Note 9 phablet but the firm appears to be getting some help from Google with its updated voice assistant. As announced during the Samsung Unpacked 2018 event today, the new Bixby not only features native support for the search giant’s widely used Maps application but collaborative efforts are also ongoing between the two companies. As of this writing, Samsung has not given away any details with regard to what other Google features or services will be incorporated in support of Bixby 2.0 in the future. Instead, the company only indicated that a number of other “key services” are also being supported by the apparent partnership. While that statement is relatively vague, the announcement could mean that more of Googles products will be used to help prop up Samsung’s A.I.-driven digital assistant in future updates.
Samsung could feasibly include native support for anything from Google’s music or video offerings to email and there are a lot of ways the latter company’s expertise with A.I. could be beneficial to Bixby. For example, Bixby 2.0’s interactivity with third-party apps and services, machine vision tools, and natural responsiveness are aspects that’s Google’s own experience would be useful in helping flesh out. Having said that, Samsung’s vagueness may be more simply explained as an indication that the features being created in conjunction with Google simply aren’t ready to roll out yet. Bearing that in mind, more information on the two companies’ efforts will most likely be unveiled as the virtual assistant lands on more devices and begins receiving updates.
On the other hand, there doesn’t seem to be much to gain for Google from the collaboration. More directly, the arrangement seems to suggest that Google doesn’t currently view Bixby as a competing service at all at this point. The search giant has spent the majority of its time in the A.I. assistant market in the shadow of Amazon’s hugely popular Alexa. That’s in spite of at least a few reports that suggest Google Assistant is far more accurate and responsive than most of its competition. In light of that, working with one of the world’s top Android device manufacturers could be helpful in promoting its own services without having to invest too many resources.