Samsung announced today on its newsroom, that Bixby Marketplace is launching in the US and South Korea today.
Bixby Marketplace is exactly what it sounds like. Essentially a store that Galaxy owners can use to find new functionality for Bixby. Samsung is bundling these things in "Capsules" which are all free, and made by developers.
These capsules will allow users to change the default service for different commands. Like using the Google Calendar instead of the Samsung Calendar and so forth. Another good example of this is, asking Bixby for a ride to the airport. Instead of Bixby prompting you which service you want to use, you can have it pre-defined to Uber or Lyft, and Bixby will know to use that service to find you a ride to the airport.
To access the Bixby Marketplace, you'll just need to press that Bixby button on your Samsung smartphone. Then you can swipe left to the Bixby Marketplace. That's where you'll find all of the available capsules. These are going to be arranged in categories. Which include Business and Finance, Sports, Shopping, Productivity and more. It also has sections for popular, new and staff picks, just as Samsung does in its Galaxy Apps store.
Samsung opening Bixby up to third parties is actually a pretty big deal. That is what makes Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa so popular. Being able to do things that you would normally need to open up and app and do yourself, instead you can do that with your voice through these voice assistants and now Bixby is one of those assistants that work with it.
Bixby has had a pretty rough start, since it launched on the Galaxy S8 in 2017. It was competing against Amazon, Apple and Google, all of whom have had pretty big leads in the voice assistant race. Google, believe it or not, has been at it since around 2012 with Google Now. Apple has been at it since about 2011 with Siri, and Amazon is the relative newcomer. Bixby got a bad rap since Samsung decided to put a button on the side of everyone's phone for it, and it was not remappable, nor could you disable it.
On top of that button, Bixby was just not ready for primetime when it first launched in 2017. Since then, it has really grown and matured. Turning into a pretty decent voice assistant. It's not perfect, but it is getting there, and if you already own some of Samsung's newer appliances, then Bixby is going to be the better voice assistant. And with the addition of capsules today, it's going to make it an even better voice assistant.
Samsung is rolling out this update now, to everyone in the US and South Korea. It also noted that it is going to share more details on the Bixby Marketplace at its annual Developer Conference (SDC) in October. This is going to work very similarly to Amazon's Skills for Alexa. But for now, it's still a very limited set of capsules.