How I Found This App
In a previous post for PenUp, I mentioned my tendency to do an app cleansing periodically (this is a weird thing I do with all my gadgets). Well, while I was perusing yet again to do my cleaning on the ol’ cellular device, I came across another app I had no recollection of downloading. Samsung’s Bixby. I’m sure that she comes up during phone start-up, but i never really delved into it. Probably, because when you get a new phone all you want to do is get it running so you can check it out! However, my curiosity was already peaked. I had to dig more into this nifty app and see what all it could do for me. Although, it would take me a while to actually LOOK UP what Bixby can do. So rather than watch a tutorial made just for people like me, I pressed random buttons.
What Does Bixby Signify?
When I was looking over it initially, it did not really occur to me that I was using something that would look very odd to somebody from like 10 years ago. This was me shouting at my phone “BIXBY! BEATBOX FOR ME!” and then it would do a half-decent beatbox. Where as most people from then would be more accustomed to phones like these.
Now I can just ask my what the weather is tomorrow, to set an alarm or timer for me, to search for a quick answer to a question I have, or to even call a loved one for me. This is a very impressive example of not only accessibility, but also just how much we are in the future, and don’t even think about it.
A.I. development is a topic that most people know is happening, but do not really take a lot of time to dig into. An example is Wired’s Article for AI in 2017, featuring AIs like Sophia who was introduced to the United Nations, and was granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia. They are becoming more and more prevalent on the consumer level, and we don’t even think about it!
Features of Bixby
So what can Bixby actually do? Well in my usual fashion, I will be crafting a list! Although, I need to preface this by saying that Bixby actually has FOUR different iterations across your Samsung 10th Gen phones. That’s right, freaking FOUR. You should have these.
- Bixby Home
- Bixby Voice
- Bixby Vision
- Bixby Routines
So let’s just break these into smaller pieces shall we? Don’t worry I will not mention every single little thing that these apps can do!
Basically, this is like a smart homepage. Samsung’s Bixby Website says
“Bixby learns your routine, so you’ll have the right content ready when you need it. By looking for patterns in your app usage by time and location, Bixby can predict what you might be looking for.”
Now for full disclosure, I have to tell you I haven’t tested the capabilities of the app’s learning abilities. But, from everything I have read it seems to function very very well.
The truth is that Bixby Home doesn’t really boast anything all the intuitive, it just crams everything into a single smart-page that you can see the stuff you would probably just use on it’s own.
This can do what you would expect from a voice service. But Bixby does it VERY well. Just allow me to name a couple.
- Read Inbound Messages/Emails
- Set Alarms,Timers and Reminders
- Forecast the Weather
- Increase or Decrease Volume/Brightness
- Search the Web for You
- Send Messages and Emails
- Integration With Other Smart-Tech
What is very neat is that Bixby actually understand natural language. Meaning it will not just need you to say “Bixby, read the weather for tomorrow”. You can speak more naturally and she will be able to deduce what you are asking it to do.
Now THIS is one of the things that I have been having a lot of fun with personally, and look forward to testing even further. She can look through your camera and identify certain landmarks, items and even people (normally famous). So in my experience this can be a little spotty, but I am very interested to see where Samsung takes this. I have had it identify many things that I ask it about, just sometimes it can be weird. My personal favorite part is that you can scan text and save it.
Above all else, this is what I find to be the coolest one. Assuming you have experience with “if:this then:that” then it is fairly simple. Depending on location, event or time, it will activate a sequence of functions. Of course, you can also set manual functions so that you are not solely relying on the contextual learning of this AI. An example routine from Samsung’s Galaxy Page says
“When your Galaxy S10 series phone or Galaxy Fold connects to the Bluetooth in your car, Bixby Routines can do a variety of apps and settings—like pulling up the Maps app, opening your music app, and keeping your phone unlocked for easy access—to add convenience to your drive.“
This is obviously a very convenient process, and I think this is a good example. Well done Samsung, and since I have stroked your ego sufficiently, I demand tester items immediately!
Personal Ponderings on Possibilities Presented
You see what I did there? Anyway, I find this to be a very welcome feature to my Samsung phone, but as you all know, I am a Samsung and Google fanboy. I just love their products what can I say? It’s a nice feature that just comes with the phone. I find it kind of hard to complain about that. Obviously, there are probably some things that can be ironed out a bit more, but that is the nature of Technology. But if you take one second to think about how insane this really is, it is mind-boggling. You can set up automatic routines on your phone for Christ’s sake. And don’t get me started on the Galaxy Fold.
I am wondering just how much you can use this app, and I would like if you folks could let me know down below what you think of Bixby, and what some possibilities of mobile AI in the future could be. It has been a genuine pleasure writing this, and have a wonderful day!