After months of delays, Samsung started rolling out its homegrown digital assistant Bixby to Galaxy S8 phones in the US on Wednesday.
The launch itself was already a blunder. Samsung started hyping Bixby before the Galaxy S8 even launched and even put a dedicated button for the assistant on the side of the phone.
Shortly after that, it had to delay Bixby’s launch until after the S8’s launch in April. Then it delayed Bixby again until the summer.
So now that Bixby is here, is it any good? And, more importantly, how does Bixby fit into the crowded assistant space?
Here’s are some quick thoughts:
Bixby is too late
Developing a digital assistant from the ground up in 2017 is a mistake. Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft all have huge head starts on Samsung, and they have greater influence to build an ecosystem around each one. Good luck getting a significant number of developers to make their apps work with a digital assistant that only works with one phone model in one country.
It’s also pretty dumb
Bixby is mostly designed to control your phone’s functions, not answer questions. But that’s not how we’ve been trained to use assistants over the years. Many queries to Bixby usually kick you into a list of Google search results, which isn’t helpful at all.
It competes with Google’s Assistant, which is also on the Galaxy S8
Of all the big tech companies,…