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    Samsung needs to share its vision for Bixby if it wants users to care

    Opinion
    By 

    Last updated: February 21st, 2023 at 13:48 UTC+01:00

    Bixby is a feature that a lot of Samsung fans love to hate. It may have something to do with how Bixby was imposed, for lack of a better word, on users when it arrived with the Galaxy S8 back in 2017. The device featured a separate Bixby key that you couldn't use for anything else. By then, most users were already relying on Google Assistant, and they saw little value in moving to Bixby, even though it was capable of doing a lot more on Samsung devices.

    Samsung used to talk a lot more about Bixby in the past than it does now. It was a way for the company to instill confidence in this feature, to get users to see what Bixby was and what it could be. That did work to an extent as people become more aware of its capabilities and were willing to give it a try.

    Bixby's feature set was expanded as well and Samsung made major improvements to make it faster. We'd keep hearing about Bixby and all that Samsung intended to do with it during its product launch and developer events. It was a way for the company to share its vision behind Bixby and keep fans interested in the feature.

    However, it's no longer hyping up Bixby the way it used to before, opting for silence on the future of Bixby. The communication has been so scarce that you'll forgive people for even forgetting that something like Bixby exists. A lot of people who are new to Samsung phones and don't follow the tech media may not even find out what Bixby can do. Since there's no dedicated Bixby key on Samsung phones anymore, their ability to even discover the assistant is limited.

    There also appears to be a lack of interest on its part to make any significant upgrades or improvements to the assistant. It's been a while since Samsung made any major changes to Bixby, which is probably one of the reasons why it doesn't talk about it anymore. Bixby barely got a mention during the Galaxy S23 Unpacked event earlier this month.

    This lack of clarity is making those who know about Bixby and those rare few who use it question what Samsung's plans are for Bixby. Does the company intend to keep upgrading its capabilities or is Bixby only going to stick around in its current form because that's the most Samsung is willing to extract out of it? Given Bixby's integration into Samsung's ecosystem, it's unlikely that the company discontinues it, but it could effectively be frozen in time if no further upgrades are planned.

    Those who still use it will begin to care less if they start believing that Samsung doesn't care much about this feature beyond it simply existing. If the company wants users to care, it should be willing to share its vision for Bixby. How does it intend to improve it, what capabilities could it get, how it can be optimized future, etc, etc? This will show users that Samsung remains invested in Bixby and that it will continue to have a pivotal role in future devices.

    We've discussed recently how ChatGPT could help Bixby improve and what that could mean for the future of AI assistants on smartphones. It's safe to say that Samsung may be considering the idea, hard to imagine that with all the buzz around AI these days that Samsung isn't at least looking into like.

    Whether or not that materializes is another question. What fans and users deserve is a bit more open communication from the company about the direction it intends to take here. Keeping them in the dark will be counterproductive and may lead to a further erosion in people's interest.

    Opinion Bixby

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