Bixby Routines vs Siri Shortcuts: Samsung and Apple switched roles?

Bixby Routines vs Siri Shortcuts: Samsung and Apple switched roles?
We are slowly but surely getting to the point where we will have some wicked automation options on our smartphones. It all started years ago with apps like ITTT (If This Then That), which allowed users to choose and automate specific settings whenever certain conditions were met. Then, there was an app named Workflow for iOS, which offered the same but to a kind of limited extent since — you know — iOS doesn't let 3rd party developers to tooch too many toggles.

But then Apple bought the Workflow app and the team behind it to create Siri Shortcuts — the iOS 12 automation app, which lets you create some pretty wicked, off-the-wall recipes. Samsung was quick to respond with its own Bixby Routines, which offers the same.

Here's the kicker. Of the two, we'd say that Bixby Routines is the simple, clean, user-friendly solution. Siri Shortcuts is... insane — it's super-capable and there are some pretty impressive user-made automations out there. But it's so hard to wrap your mind around, it feels like you need basic programming skills to get something going with it. Here's how they look:



Creating a routine in Bixby is quite easy. You just start a new recipe and pick from a list of conditions — IF you are at a specific location and / or IF the phone is connected to something particular and / or IF you open a specific app, THEN do one of the following actions. You are presented with a basic list of actions to pick from, which include muting the phone, locking screen rotation, sending a Do Not Disturb Me text message, et cetera. It's very straightforward, very easy to wrap your mind around. Its downside? It can be limiting and you really can't do anything too crazy with it. It's useful, but not an insane automation by itself.

Siri Shortcuts are a bit different. You can't have the app constantly be monitoring for conditions to automatically do stuff for you. Instead, the Shortcuts are automated strings of multiple actions, which get activated by you, the user. Wrapping your mind around how to make one of these and what you can actually do with them is... hard! Thankfully, there's a library of pre-made Shortcuts as well as many user-made ones you can get off the Internet. Yeah, the Shortcuts are shareable, thank goodness for that. Just check out this recipe we got off the Gallery — it lets you select multiple photos and make them into a collage.



But there's a light in the Apple tunnel


iOS 13 Beta is here and Shortcuts is just a bi-i-it different on it. There's a new "Automation" tab on the bottom. And, as the name suggests, Siri Automations look and work a lot like the Bixby Routines. In other words, come iOS 13, iPhones will have both the benefits of the super-complex but also very capable Siri Shortcuts and the simplicity of the Siri Automations.



We are curious if Samsung will come up with an answer to this by giving us more potent and diverse Bixby Routines toggles.

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31 Comments

2. adecvat

Posts: 638; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Samsung copied Apple. Again.

7. cmdacos

Posts: 4100; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

I think you have it backwards in this situation.

13. sgodsell

Posts: 7207; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The thing is Siri shortcuts is an excuse for Apple to not make Siri and SiriKit actually better. It's so far behind that it's not funny. Especially when you compare her to all the other assistants, and what they offer and bring to the table.

3. iloveapps

Posts: 855; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

What is Bixby?

5. Tipus

Posts: 847; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

It's like Siri but not that dumb :))

8. cmdacos

Posts: 4100; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

To be fair, Siri and Peaceboy are on the same level of intellect and value.

16. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

He probably is Siri

21. lyndon420

Posts: 6736; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

@cmdacos - Wow....Siri is really that bad?? lmao!!

22. iloveapps

Posts: 855; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

At least not the same with your useless Bixby where user actually wanted it gone. Besides, Siri is the second best assistant moron! And Bixby didn’t make it to the top.

25. sgodsell

Posts: 7207; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

No the real morons are those that try to compare Siri to other voice assistants. It's articles like these that try to pump up Siri with things like Siri Shortcuts. Why? Because Siri and SiriKit are so restrictive and limiting in terms of capabilities, that it makes Siri a POS. The vast majority of iOS developers are not making Siri enabled apps. Apple themselves even restrict the categories or domains that Siri can be used under. The other voice assistants don't have such a restriction. The real problem with Siri (SiriKit) is it's locked to iOS, or basically Apple platforms. If a developer wants to make a Siri app, then users have to load that app on an Apple platform. The other Assistants allow developers to make voice apps that are not tied to any platform. An agnostic voice assistant platform means the voice assistant (s) can run on any supported hardware. That's why we see assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant on toasters, coffee makers, fridges, stoves, ovens, thermostats, bikes, toys, clocks, and lots of other things, including smart speakers, and smart displays. Siri isn't on anything, except one smart speaker which is also running a version of iOS. Siri doesn't even support smart displays. As long as Siri is coupled to an actual platform, then Siri is not moving forward like the other assistants. Plus you will never see anything with Siri embedded in it. Don't get this confused with HomeKit. I am actually talking about items with an embedded voice assistant on board.

24. iloveapps

Posts: 855; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

You and Bixby are both dumber. Bixby knows only the settings on the phone but it sucks to get more complex actions. Just like Sammy, best in spec but sucks in performance, function and design.

26. wickedwilly

Posts: 667; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

When you have actually used Bixby you can comment, you obviously have not. I use Bixby extensively and it can goes way beyond settings. I also use Siri shortcuts on my iPad for IOS they are a big step forward, but not up to Bixbys standards due to Apples limitations as touched upon in this article.

29. iushnt

Posts: 3086; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

What did I just read?, peaceboy referring Sammy as best in specs. How can the kid praise anything of Sammy? Can’t believe it.

6. Papa_Ji

Posts: 838; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

2022 version of SIRI.

15. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

It's kinda like Siri, but far more functional.

31. tedkord

Posts: 17307; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Just the latest thing Apple had copied

4. diimaan

Posts: 1; Member since: Jul 16, 2019

I believe it is IFTTT and not ITTT!

9. peschiera

Posts: 9; Member since: Sep 17, 2017

Preslav wrote: "Samsung was quick to respond with its own Bixby Routines, which offers the same." This is not true. Since 2017 you can use Bixby Quick Commands. If someone was quick to respond, it was Apple who responded to Samsung. Bixby Routines is just the next level of Bixby Quick Commands.

10. ShadowSnypa786

Posts: 554; Member since: Jan 06, 2017

So Samsung did Bixby quick commands 1st and Apple copied and did their Siri Shortcuts in IOS 12 which were too complicated. Now in IOS 13 Apple are going to make them more simple and they look ALOT like Samsungs Bixby routines. Who said Apple are the best in Software and that Samsung are the worst? Samsung has the better Music player, Internet browser, File manager and Bixby routines. And at least Android OEM's have camera settings in the CAMERA APP!!!!

11. ahmadkun

Posts: 563; Member since: May 02, 2016

I use google assistance on my Android and iPhone .. After you get used to google you can’t use Siri or bixby .. although google is collecting my data but boooooy I can’t leave google assistance

27. wickedwilly

Posts: 667; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

Google is far better for getting info and I use this for that purpose on my phone. I also use Bixby for my automation's which are better than what Google can do.

32. blastertoad

Posts: 40; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

Google is fantastic for general tasks and info. If you need device specific tasks, modifications or automation those are just not it's strong points and where Bixby can shine. Also since Google seems content to push changes and update with minimal testing it seems or make server side changes on a whim their assistant can never be relied upon. For you and I we probably would not be bothered by the hiccups in assistant, however I have a blind client who relies on voice assistants heavily. Even though he prefers Google Assistant we have Bixby set up for him ( and previously S voice) as it is significantly more stable.

12. apple-rulz

Posts: 2020; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Whenever Bixby is mentioned Samsung fanboys get all riled up, yet none of them actually use Bixby. The two most popular videos on YouTube about Bixby are 1) How to disable the Bixby button, followed closely by 2) How to remap Bixby button. #factz

14. sgodsell

Posts: 7207; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Samsung people are not FORCED to use only one voice assistant. They have choices. As a matter of fact right out of the box Samsung customers have both Bixby and Google Assistant. I think Apple-nutz users are sad because they are stuck with only one voice assistant out of the box. Plus it's the dumbest voice assistant. Apple should be investing more in Siri and SiriKit, than the stupid limiting bandage called Siri Shortcuts.

18. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Yeah, Siri needs hella work.

19. apple-rulz

Posts: 2020; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Yes, and they choose not to use Bixby.

23. iloveapps

Posts: 855; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Samsung put useless and stupid features. Just like you techie, useless without customizations.

28. wickedwilly

Posts: 667; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

I am a Samsung user and I use Bixby extensively, so do many of my friends. There are may videos on using Bixby and they have thousands of views, why would that be if no one wanted to use it? Many iPhone users do not use Siri either, some do, so you do not have a point.

30. iushnt

Posts: 3086; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Says someone who just used YouTube views as real life reference.

17. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Bixby is much better, than Siri at executing actions. Shortcuts on Siri take forever to setup, and work 50% of the time. The wifi shortcut is useless on my Max.

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