Bixby 2.0 could potentially be on its way to the Galaxy S9 and other flagship Samsung phones, as the South Korean tech giant has appointed a new exec to oversee the second-generation virtual assistant.
Former vice chief of Samsung Research in America, Chung Eui-suk, is now the head of Samsung’s service intelligence group at its HQ in South Korea, having been appointed to oversee the next steps for Bixby which will aim to reverse the lacklustre response the virtual assistant has had, according to the Korean Herald.
Eui-suk will not directly replace head of Bixby development Rhee In-jong, but will help head-up Bixby 2.0, which is under development with the goal to improve upon the first-generation Bixby, which made its debut in the Galaxy S8.
Samsung’s mobile business chief, Koh Dong-jin recently noted that Bixby hasn’t been a resounding success, and that Bixby 2.0 would address the shortcomings of its predecessor.
“We will supplement the incomplete parts of Bixby 1.0 at Bixby 2.0,” Dong-jin said. “Outside developers will participate in the development of Bixby 2.0 although they could not for Bixby 1.0 due to time shortage.”
When Bixby first arrived on the Galaxy S8 it was limited to use in South Korea and then the US; UK support finally arrived in August, but Bixby failed to win a huge amount of approval.
This could be down to the lack of support and integration it offers with a range of services and products, but blame could also be laid at the door of the Google Assistant, which was present and fully functional on the Galaxy S8 from its launch.
The Google Assistant has a swathe of machine learning tech and power behind it and is arguably the smartest smartphone-based virtual assistant available. So if Bixby 2.0 is ready in time for a Galaxy S9 debut it will need to bring a lot more a lot sooner to the virtual assistant table. Of course Samsung could opt to not allow the Google Assistant on its next flagship phone, thus forcing people to get more familiar with Bixby.
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