Bixby will gain third-party app support soon as Samsung tries to properly challenge Amazon
It certainly didn’t help the chaebol’s cause that there was no Bixby-powered smart speaker rival for the likes of the Google Home, Apple HomePod, and Amazon’s extensive Echo family.
The way Samsung shoved the voice assistant down the throat of high-end Galaxy phone users also generated a lot of negative energy, and last but not least, Bixby is simply not that impressive in terms of “skills” and capabilities.
Believe it or not, all that might be about to change with the impending arrival of the Galaxy Home device, Google’s help in improving Bixby’s knowledge set, a Galaxy Note 9 button deactivation feature, and yes, third-party app support.
Get ready, devs, as Samsung Mobile CEO DJ Koh has told CNBC both an SDK and API are in the pipeline. The software development kit will allow anyone to build apps and services compatible with the company’s digital assistant, while the application programming interface is meant to enable Bixby integration with existing apps.
Those are hardly innovative tools, as Google, Amazon, and even Apple have long supported efforts from outside developers to boost the Assistant, Alexa, and Siri’s skills. But right now, Samsung badly needs to level the playing field, at least in theory, before trying to find ways to actually differentiate Bixby.
Koh believes Bixby’s “long journey” has barely started with the launch of a 2.0 version embedded in the Note 9, expecting “this baby to grow” once its “ecosystem” is opened in November. That’s right, the aforementioned SDK and API are scheduled to roll out soon, although unfortunately, we still don’t have an exact release date or price point for the company’s Galaxy Home smart speaker.