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Samsung could unveil Bixby version 2.0 next week

A report from South Korea suggests that Samsung may launch a new and improved version of its Bixby digital assistant on October 19.

Published onOctober 12, 2017

Samsung’s Bixby digital assistant wasn’t greeted with the enthusiasm that Samsung might have hoped it would when it first launched. Arriving a few months ago with the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus, many saw it as a step behind competing products like Google Assistant and Siri.

Even after receiving its delayed English voice component, Bixby is still yet to offer a critical function that Google Assitant — which comes as standard with basically all Android phones — does not. News out for South Korea today suggests that some Bixby improvements could be coming soon, though.

According to The Korea Herald, Samsung is expected to reveal a new and improved version of Bixby, Bixby 2.0, at the company’s San Francisco Developer Conference on October 18. The Korea Herald also notes that Version 2.0 may integrate with third-party services and devices other than smartphones. Given Samsung’s developments in the Smart Home market, it’s likely that we’ll see some kind of action there.

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Samsung recently employed a new Head of Service Intelligence at its South Korea headquarters, Chung Eui-suk, to help develop Bixby and other AI services. Some analysts have suggested that the move would see Chung essentially replace Rhee In-jong, Samsung Mobile’s Chief Technology Officer who had played a significant role in Bixby’s development, as he stops working on the digital assistant. Samsung has denied the claims.

Meanwhile, Samsung Mobile chief Koh Dong-jin was quoted as saying “We will supplement the incomplete parts of Bixby 1.0 at Bixby 2.0,” during the recent Galaxy Note 8 launch in South Korea — an admission that Bixby is currently in an unfinished state.

So, it seems that Samsung is definitely at work on a Bixby upgrade, but whether it will be announced next week remains to be seen. Stay tuned.

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