Samsung’s Bixby 2.0 virtual assistant performs worse at certain tasks than the original Bixby 1.0, according to Sam Mobile. The updated assistant, which launched with the Galaxy Note 9 and started rolling out to the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus with Android Pie earlier this week, can’t perform some actions that its predecessor can.
Sam Mobile said it asked Bixby to check for a new software update, to enable Dolby Atmos, and to show YouTube subscriptions, all of which it failed to pull off (presumably, these work on Bixby 1.0). Bixby also can’t launch the Uber app with both the S9 Plus on Pie and the Galaxy Note 9 on Oreo running Bixby 2.0, so this isn’t a problem inherent to the Pie update.
Samsung has been working on Bixby 2.0 for more than a year now and it’s supposed to offer better voice recognition capabilities, better IoT product integration, and more. Though the Galaxy Note 9 has been around since August, I expect these issues will be fixed in an over-the-air patch at some point — especially now they’re being experienced by Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus owners. Still, it’s a shame they’re there at all, given the lengthy development time and anticipation surrounding the new assistant.
You’re stuck with Bixby 2.0 for now if you have a Note 9, but if you have an S9 and are a Bixby fan, you can avoid the poorer experience by not upgrading to Pie. I expect most people would prefer Android Pie than a supposedly slightly better Bixby, though.