Samsung announced Bixby 2.0, which will be a major upgrade to the company's personal digital assistant just six months after it was launched alongside the Galaxy S8.
Bixby has run into several problems since its release and has so far not proven to be a worthy challenger to other assistants such as Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri, and Google Assistant. Will Bixby 2.0 be more of the same, or will it turn things around for Samsung?
Samsung Bixby 2.0: What Changed?
Samsung Bixby 2.0, which was announced at the company's developer conference in San Francisco, comes with a renewed focus on smart home devices, compared to the original version of Bixby that was only associated with the Galaxy S8 and eventually the Galaxy Note 8.
The change means that Samsung is looking to better position Bixby 2.0 as a competitor in the digital assistant space, as other companies have incorporated their offerings into smart home platforms. Alexa has powered Amazon's Echo line of products, Google Assistant has done the same for Google Home, and the Apple HomePod coming in December will likewise have Siri inside.
Samsung wants to have Bixby 2.0 in devices beyond smart speakers though, and this is where Samsung might have an advantage over its rivals. In a press release accompanying its announcement, Samsung said that Bixby 2.0 will function as "the control hub of your device ecosystem," which will include smartphones, TVs, refrigerators, and other connected devices.
Compared to Amazon, Apple, and Google, Samsung has been in the electronic appliances business for a much longer time. If Samsung takes advantage of its expansive smart product line-up, the adoption of Bixby 2.0 will vastly increase.
Will Samsung Be Able To Recover From Failed Bixby Launch?
The launch of Bixby in the United States was a failure, as its defining Bixby Voice service was not ready in time to be released with the rest of the platform in April. The Bixby Voice delay worsened in July, as reports claimed that the English version of the service was experiencing difficulties.
When Samsung allowed users to disable the dedicated Bixby button, you know that there's a problem. We'll have to find out if Samsung and Bixby can recover from all this through Bixby 2.0.