Samsung is giving new powers to its digital voice assistant Bixby. The AI-powered virtual assistant can now accept incoming calls quicker, with one less command. If you have an incoming call, you can simply say “accept call” and Bixby will accept it for you. No need to wake up the assistant first with the “Hi, Bixby” command. It will be already listening to you when there’s an incoming call on the device.
This feature also works for alarms. When your alarm goes off in the morning, saying “stop the alarm” will silence the ringing. Bixby will be actively listening for the command.
Google Assistant already boasts these abilities. The company calls them quick phrases and supports many more actions than just accepting/rejecting incoming calls and silencing alarms. But interestingly, those were the first two actions that Google Assistant could perform without the “Hey, Google” command. So Samsung might be just getting started as well.
The new Bixby feature isn’t yet available on all Samsung smartphones though. As spotted by SamMobile, it only works for English and Korean languages on the Galaxy S22 trio, Galaxy Z Fold 3, and Galaxy Z Flip 3. Samsung will add support for more devices “soon”.
The latest update for Bixby also brings additional functional improvements and bug fixes. The new version (v126.96.36.199) is now rolling out via the Galaxy Store.
Samsung is silently improving Bixby
Samsung has stopped pushing Bixby to the masses as much as it did in the past. It once offered a dedicated hardware button for the virtual assistant on its flagship smartphones. But the company now hardly talks about it when launching new devices. Perhaps Samsung has realized that Bixby has a long way to go before it’s ready to serve as a competent digital voice assistant for Android users. It knows, as things stand, people would always prefer Google Assistant over Bixby for obvious reasons.
But as the latest update suggests, the Korean behemoth hasn’t abandoned Bixby altogether. In fact, it’s working behind the scenes to improve the voice assistant. At its Galaxy Unpacked event announcing the Galaxy Z Fold 3, Galaxy Z Flip 3, and Galaxy Watch 4 series last year, Samsung revealed that Bixby now “detects and processes your voice all on-device, without having to go through the server”. This allows for faster processing, with the company claiming an improvement of 35 percent.
Of course, Bixby still isn’t anywhere near Google Assistant when it comes to the skill set and capabilities. But Samsung hopes it can someday challenge Google’s digital assistant in the Android space. In the meantime, you can install the latest version of Bixby from the Galaxy Store to take advantage of its newest capabilities.