Samsung’s Bixby Assistant is the red-headed stepchild of the personal assistant world and is largely considered an inconvenience by a number of Samsung Galaxy smartphone users.
Now the company is hoping to bring Bixby out of the bad books, by launching an app portal in the United States and South Korea. There’s no news on when it’ll launch in the UK, but we’ve asked Samsung for comment.
The new Bixby Marketplace features high profile portals for Google Maps, Spotify, iHeartRadio, NPR and Yelp, among others, Samsung says.
“The Bixby Marketplace takes these customized experiences to the next level by offering easy access to a wide range of capsules that make Bixby more powerful, making it easier for users to tailor Bixby to suit their needs,” Samsung wrote in a Newsroom blog post on Monday.
Integration with third-party apps is key to the development of Bixby on a smartphone, as well as the forthcoming Galaxy Home speaker, which has been delayed beyond its planned release in the first half of 2019.
Users will be able to search the portal for so-called ‘capsules’, which are organised by categories such as productivity, finance, sports and shopping. Once users have found the capsule of their choosing, they’ll be able to install them with a single tap.
The company is also allowing users to set ‘preferred capsules’ for those occasions where more than one app will get the job done.
The company adds: “For example, if a user says “Get me a ride to San Francisco airport”, Bixby will prompt the user to pick one of the supported Rideshare capsules. Users will have the option to set their favorite provider as their preferred Rideshare capsule. Once that is set, any Rideshare request would automatically go to the user’s preferred provider, even if the user does not mention the capsule name.”
The launch comes as Samsung looks to catch up with the might of the Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa, while Siri has become a tool that plays much more nicely with third-parties in recent years.