At CES this week, Samsung announced its plan to make Bixby, its digital assistant smarter by adding support for Google apps. VentureBeat reports that Samsung will be adding support for Google Maps, Google Play, YouTube and Gmail to Bixby 2.0. Samsung has introduced Bixby 2.0 with the launch of Galaxy Note 9 and it was extended to the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ with the release of One UI based on Android 9 Pie last month. At the time of its release, Samsung said that Bixby 2.0 makes the digital assistant faster to recognize and understand things and also brings a revamped user interface.
The service also brings deeper integration within apps and with the announcement at CES 2019, Samsung is planning a deeper support for Google apps within Bixby. It is not clear how this implementation will work. It is not expected to be anything deeper than what we have seen on some of the existing apps. Bixby 1.0, which was introduced alongside the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, was able to control some of the built-in apps on Samsung smartphones.
The feature allowed users to post photos to social media platforms and control or play music through Google Play Music or tweet with just the help of voice. While the version 1.0 already had integration for Google apps, the version 2.0 of Bixby is expected to add even closer and tighter integration. Bixby was launched as Samsung’s answer to Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa but the assistant has failed to catch up to its rivals.
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Since its launch, Bixby has been plagued by a number of issues including lack of support for languages and delayed launch with limited functionalities. The fact that Google Assistant is already available on all Samsung Galaxy smartphones only makes it difficult for its adoption to grow any further. Samsung might announce more details on this Google apps integration alongside the launch of Galaxy S10 next month.