Samsung is pushing ahead with its personal assistant, Bixby. Today the company is launching a marketplace full of third-party apps that Bixby can connect to. Think of it as the equivalent of Amazon Alexa’s “Skills.” The marketplace will available in both the U.S. and Korea.
Since its debut in 2017, Bixby has had a mixed reception. After all, Siri has been in our ears since 2011 and Amazon’s Alexa is five years old. Bixby came out after Google had already brought its voice presence to Android devices, and Bixby also had several false starts before finally launching. That’s a tough start for such a latecomer to the voice assistant space.
Marketplace is Samsung’s effort to propel the voice platform forward, now that users can link it to other applications and create preferences. Among the “capsules” that Bixby will have access to are Google Maps, iHeart Radio, Yelp, and Spotify.
Though Bixby is behind in the voice-powered race, it does have a lot of potential. Not only does Samsung still sell a lot of phones and tablets, but the company has plans to put its assistant on all the smart devices it makes—refrigerators, televisions, and vacuums, for example—by 2020.