Samsung announced Bixby, its entry in the virtual assistant world, in March 2017. While there are a few aspects to Bixby, the headlining feature is Bixby Voice, allowing users to give their device simple commands to carry out tasks rather than having to tap through multiple apps and menus. It comes built in to the Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note 8 through a dedicated button.
To activate Bixby, you can click that button, or you can swipe from left to right on the TouchWiz home screen. Once it's activated, you can even wake your phone by saying "Hi Bixby."
In October 2017, Samsung announced Bixby 2.0, which brings with it superior support for natural language and an SDK that will allow even more apps to integrate with Bixby. This AI has the potential to save you a tremendous amount of time, if you learn to use it properly. Here are a few of the best tips and tricks to get you started.
Learn Bixby from Bixby
The sheer volume of tasks that you can carry out with Bixby can be a little overwhelming when you first start using it, but thankfully, Bixby itself is a great source for information on what you can get done. When you bring up Bixby on your device, you can tap the Full Screen text to pull up a list of Bixby commands. Swipe left on this screen and you will be taken to the top 100 commands for Bixby. This list is extremely enlightening in terms of the scope of Bixby's skills and the phrasing that will work best. Among many other things, Bixby can tell you the time, set reminders, dictate, calculate, get directions, open apps and read messages.
Translate with Bixby
If you need a quick translation of a street sign, menu or document, Bixby Vision can handle that task in a few seconds. Just open the camera app and tap the Bixby Vision button (it looks like an eye). Bixby will attempt to recognize the content and then tap the Text button to select the area with the text you wish to translate. Then select Translate and highlight the passage you would like to translate. Currently, Bixby Vision recognizes 40 languages, including Japanese, Norwegian, Russian and Vietnamese.
Capture better photos with Bixby
Whether it's snapping a selfie or a group photo that everyone wants in on, Bixby will let you get it done without the need for a selfie stick or stretching your arm to hit a button on your phone and turning everything into a blurry angled mess. Just trigger Bixby and tell it to "take a selfie" or "take a photo" depending on your needs. It will open the camera app, flip to the front camera and starts a three-second countdown time to give you time to get your smile just right. You can also offer up other camera-related voice commands, such as "turn the flash off" or "turn off HDR."
Master your settings with Bixby
While Google and Samsung are always working to make the operating system easier to navigate, finding and toggling the right settings can still be daunting. Bixby can help. Virtually every setting on your phone can be controlled via Bixby, so if you want to disable Bluetooth or turn on the power-saving mode, save yourself some swiping and tapping through menus and just tell Bixby what you want.
Social media management with Bixby
If you are looking to save yourself some time with your social media apps, Bixby could be the answer. If that last photo you took would be perfect for Instagram, just tell Bixby, "Open Instagram and post my most recent photo." You will still have the chance to caption and hit Post on the image, but Bixby handles the rest.
Renovating your Bixby Home
Bixby Home is another incredibly useful component of Bixby that at first glance may not seem that useful depending on your interests. The key to getting the most out of Bixby Home is just doing a little customization at the beginning, and then you have a screen of the most important information for you always just a swipe or tap away. To customize the content in Bixby Home, tap the menu button in the upper right corner. Then tap Settings > Cards.
Scroll through the list of apps that are compatible with Bixby Home and toggle them on or off as you see fit. If you see text below the app name, that means you can make more granular selections regarding what will be presented for that app in Bixby Home. Just tap the app to drill down and make these selections.
Talk to Bixby via text
While the ability to talk to your virtual assistant is certainly one of its big advantages, there are plenty of situations where that isn't a viable option. Not a problem with Bixby. You trigger Bixby as normal, tap Full Screen on the resulting pop-up and finally tap Search Commands. From there you can type your command into the text box and hit Enter to set Bixby to work.
Not everyone loves Bixby, despite what it can do. And with the Bixby button placement directly below the volume keys, it has proven to be a frustration for many owners of Galaxy S8+, S8 and Note 8. Now a recent update allows you to completely disable it. If you've run that update, you must press the Bixby button. If prompted, accept the update. Then slide the Bixby key toggle to off. If you are not offered the update, tap the three-dot menu on the top right. Then tap Settings > Bixby key and set it to Don't Open Anything.
Then you'll want to disable Bixby Voice. In the Bixby app, tap the three-dot menu on the top right. Then tap Settings > Bixby Voice and tap Turn Off.
But there's still one other way that Bixby might get in your way. If you swipe from left to right on your home screen, it opens Bixby through the TouchWiz launcher. To disable this, hold down on an empty space until the menu appears. Swipe to the right to reach the left home panel, then toggle off Bixby Home.