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Bixby

My long-term experience with Bixby: The sky’s the limit

After seven seemingly long months with Samsung’s coveted personal assistant, Bixby, it is safe to say that I have a pretty solid gauge as to its abilities and disabilities. This post will take a deep dive into my long-term experience integrating Bixby into my everyday life.

When Bixby was first announced and showcased at the first 2017 Galaxy Unpacked Event, I could not wait to get my paws on it. Watching the event live, I knew that Bixby would be monumental, but I also understood that Samsung’s initial entry into the artificial intelligence space would not be without its quirks, just like any other such service or product.

I immediately preordered the Galaxy S8, but before my shipment arrived, the rather unfortunate news hit. Bixby Voice, the most important of its features would not be available in the US by the release date. I was crushed, but I was soon able to get my hands on the beta (which launched first in the US and South Korea), and so began my journey.

Bixby Home

Of all the things that Bixby is capable of, Bixby Home is my least favorite. I have a rather minimal use for it, but that’s not to say that it is useless. Disabling swiping right on the home screen to access Bixby Home was definitely a must for me because there always seemed to be lag when executing the swipe. Mind you, I still allow a press of the button to access Bixby Home when I need it.

The Google Play Music card is very handy, though, reminding me of what music I typically listen to at certain times of the day. Without having to open Google Play Music manually, I can still get my daily jam on. That is the extent to which I use Bixby Home. I can view weather forecasts via the weather widget on my home screen, Google Now to stay up-to-date on daily news, and the calendar Edge Panel to see what events I have scheduled for the day. I would like to get in the habit of taking advantage of the Trending Twitter feed card, but at the moment, I don’t need the other cards that Bixby Home provides.

Bixby Voice

Bixby Voice has worked extremely well for me. It does what I tell it to do when I tell it to do it. I have registered my voice for voice wake-up and enhanced voice recognition numerous times, but I have noticed hiccups while ambient noise is present. Also, much earlier in Bixby’s lifetime, when summoning Bixby via ‘Hi Bixby’, I could immediately begin speaking and Bixby would start registering whatever I am saying. As it currently stands, I must wait for the tone before I begin speaking my command. I am not sure why this was changed, and I most definitely would like it changed back!

As far as my voice character goes, I use Julia as the speaking style, short feedback for feedback style, and the background color is blue-green that fades to black. I have spent time using the full feedback style, but as my excitement wore off with time, I noticed I prefer Bixby to be straight to the point with no unnecessary fluff.

Bixby review: A story of unfulfilled potential

Quick Commands

Quick commands are definitely something that I take advantage of on a regular basis. The convenience of a single phrase executing a chain of commands is second to none. The feature has worked flawlessly for me 95 percent of the time. One instance in which a quick command was not executed was just the other day when the Samsung Pay app was updated in the US. I had to tweak the voice command to achieve the same task of opening Samsung Pay and immediately beginning the iris scan to use a specific bank’s card.

The updates to Bixby have most definitely improved the quick command function. As I recall, previously while executing a series of commands, Bixby would show every single command on screen, whereas now, you have the option of only seeing the final command.

 

Bixby Vision

Bixby Vision has proven useless for me. Early on, I tried giving it a go a few times, and it just seemed gimmicky. I am also not the type of individual to see an item and immediately shop for it. Although I was recently able to help my mother locate a pair of sunglasses via a screenshot, I have not had a scenario where Bixby Vision was useful to me personally. AR Place is also useless to me at the moment, because I simply open Google Maps when trying to locate a store or seeing what establishments are around me.

This is not to say Bixby Vision, in general, is useless. I simply mean that it is of no use to me. If we could see some added functionality to AR Place, it may become useful. For example, it would be handy if I am at a theme park or festival and AR Place could locate a family member or friend, thus leading me to their location.

Dictation

Dictation is an incredible feature, but it most definitely has its quirks. Holding down the Bixby key like a walkie-talkie and speaking is immensely convenient for me. That being said, the only gripe that I have is the functionality. For example, when I am in the Messages app and dictating a message, I must hold down the Bixby key until Bixby has recognized and completely typed out everything I’ve said. This bothers me because, on the other hand, when simply giving Bixby a command, I hold down the key, say what I need to say and release as soon as I am doing speaking, and Bixby catches it all.

Additionally, when I am using dictation, Bixby seems to complicate simple words. For example, speaking the word ‘gym’ while in dictation mode will be picked up as ‘Jim’. But, when giving a quick command I have preset with the word gym, Bixby gets it right every time. There seems to be a miscommunication between speaking to Bixby Voice and Bixby dictation. Now, I am not sure if this is a matter of me simply needing to register my voice a couple more times or if there is an actual issue present within Bixby, but it’s something that stands out like a sore thumb.


All in all, I want to remind you that this is my personal experience with Bixby, and I am well aware of the fact that your experience may have been better or worse. As Bixby continues to improve, and we see the release of Bixby 2.0, we will continue to give you updates as quickly as possible on our experience. That’s all for now!

Do let us know in the comments what your favorite Bixby features are, in addition to whether you’ve had a similar, better, or worse experience with Bixby.

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Journyman16
Journyman16

I’m new to Bixby and I guess PA’s. Tried Assistant from Play and Google versions a couple of times but they weren’t ‘market ready’ in my view.

Thanks for this article, it’s made some interesting points about using Bixby – I wish there was a way to customise how it opens (the voice command) but maybe I haven’t looked enough.

Does anyone have experience of using Bixby in a noisy environment? (shops or pub etc.?) Does it still work well? Also how about on a BT headset?

PeerBr
PeerBr

Sorry, you bash EVERY feature of Bixby (Home is “my least favorite”, Voice has worsened, Vision is “useless”, dictation “has quirks”).

How can you title this article “The sky is the limit”? That’s just clickbait.

Biransahin
Biransahin

Nice review. I do use some of the options you personally don’t find useful, but every user is different. I never used any voice assistant before Bixby as you can’t control the phone, which is what I wanted. Nothing beats Bixby for controlling the device.. It’s incredibly good. It’s weak on web search but hopefully that will improve, however web searching is not something that interests me too much.

Jumhaeg
Jumhaeg

I’ve noticed similar things with word confusion during the dictation of responses or creation of Reminders with Bixby. I really do hope that this issue is resolved either through repeated training of Bixby or through future updates to Bixby by Samsung. Having Bixby dictate recent text messages to me and allowing me to respond via voice is very handy.

goga1
goga1

Why bixby voice still is not activated on some places? I live in Georgia and Bixby is as useless as it was when I bought s8 in June.

o0MHJ0o
o0MHJ0o

If you use Bixby, you’ll like Bixby Brief on Oreo, when it gets to you! its actually really cool!

ryka93
ryka93

bixby is quite good if you get use to it, my native lenguage is spanish (latinamerica) so I don’t really use it. But looking into all the different commands it has, it’s really surprising. I hope samsung works more on bixby, I see real potential.

mitkodimitroffbg
mitkodimitroffbg

Which version of Bixby Home and Bixby Voice you use?

o0MHJ0o
o0MHJ0o

Has anyone played the last of Batman in WBs Arkham series. I programmed Bixby to restart my phone when I say “initiate nightfall protocol” lol

Abhijeet
Abhijeet

Is that from Arkham Knight? That’s one game I didn’t play in the series because all those Batmobile sections put me off. 😀

o0MHJ0o
o0MHJ0o

I loved Arkham knight! and yes it is! lol, he tells the computer to do it! Batmobile was loads of fun 😀

whqhdrbs
whqhdrbs

I’m waiting for bixby 2.0 which is built by Siri creators…let’s see what they bring

antonmassoud
antonmassoud

I never thought of using quick commands like this, this is interesting 😀

Allyn K C
Allyn K C

I’m sorry, the most favorable thing I can say about Bixby is that at least it’s better than Cortana. Bixby has a lot of promise; but actual implementation by Samsung still seems lacking.