Bixby Routines Showcases True Smartphone Automation Beyond Commands

In conjunction with today's ongoing Samsung Unpacked 2019 mobile event, the company has now unveiled a new truly AI automation feature coming to its latest flagships called Bixby Routines. Featured on Samsung's new Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10, and Galaxy S10+, Bixby Routines breaks away from the standards set by modern AI equivalents from Google and Amazon by removing setup requirements in some instances.

Summarily, with Bixby Routines, the new Galaxy-branded smartphones will utilize AI to learn how users are interacting with their devices and coordinate changes based on that use. For instance, Samsung lists three different routines the gadgets might learn, including two for bedtime and one for driving.

The latter of those is fairly straightforward. The phone senses when the user is in a moving vehicle and learns how the phone is used in those circumstances. So it might turn on auto-rotation to ready the phone for placement in a dash mount, activate voice controls and turn on music, and lock down the phone so it isn't used while driving.

The other examples shine more light on how useful Bixby Routines might be in more complex situations. Samsung's new flagships can eventually learn when a user goes to bed and activate or deactivate features accordingly. When bedtime approaches, for example, the AI might help users get ready by turning on blue-light filtering, muting notifications, and making similar preparations. When the user puts their phone down for the night, the device might automatically turn off network radios, the Always-On display, and other features to save battery.

Customization, anyone?

Samsung is also catering to users more accustomed to creating their own routines for activation on command with similar functionality to that on offer from Google and Amazon. That confirms at least some suspicions about Bixby Routines that were put forward when it was first spotted in a trademark filing earlier this week.

Using a feature called My Routines, found within Bixby Routines, users of Samsung's new AI-driven smartphones will be able to customize routines. Samsung hasn't provided too many details about what, exactly, that might entail. So the functionality in My Routines won't necessarily be exactly like setting up command keywords to activate features or a string of voice controls with Assistant or Alexa.

At very least, the implication is that users will be able to customize how Bixby Routines work.

An S10 exclusive but maybe not all of them

Bixby will be getting plenty of other changes with the Samsung Galaxy S10 series of handset too, including the ability to remap the now-standard designated hardware button to do something other than launch Bixby. As with that recently reported capability though, the new Bixby Routines feature appears to be entirely limited to the newest Samsung flagships. Unless the AI-powered routines require specialized hardware, there is a chance that they will eventually come to older Galaxy-branded flagships as well but that's not guaranteed.

Aside from older handsets apparently missing out on Bixby Routines, Samsung also only specifies that the feature will show up on its Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10, and Galaxy S10+. That seems to suggest that the feature will not make an appearance on the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, although that implication may be the result of miscommunication on the OEM's part.

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Daniel Golightly

Junior Editor
Daniel has been writing for AndroidHeadlines since 2016. As a Senior Staff Writer for the site, Daniel specializes in reviewing a diverse range of technology products and covering topics related to Chrome OS and Chromebooks. Daniel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering and has a background in Writing and Graphics Design that drives his passion for Android, Google products, the science behind the technology, and the direction it's heading. Contact him at [email protected]