Update, November 7, 2018 (1:39 PM EST): As described below, Samsung announced today that it is opening up Bixby to developers for the creation of new apps, products, and services. The company emphasized that the amount of access third-party developers will have to Bixby will be “unprecedented,” making third-party developers almost like Samsung’s internal developers.
Samsung also explained that it is unconcerned with the competition from its much larger rivals like Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa. In fact, it used Google as an example: Samsung compared Bixby to Google in that when Google Search first landed, there were 14 other search engine products available online. In other words, just because Bixby is not as big as its competitors right now, doesn’t mean it can’t be the biggest and best eventually.
Original Article, November 2, 2018 (3:55PM EST): According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Samsung will make an announcement at the Samsung Developers Conference next week. It’s expected Samsung will open up Bixby for development by third-parties.
This wouldn’t be the first time Samsung has allowed third-party developers to work with Bixby, but it would be the first time Samsung’s opened the doors so wide to the public.
It’s likely that Samsung hopes third-party devs will help Bixby catch up to its more-prominent rivals: Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s Siri. As of now, Bixby is behind even Microsoft’s Cortana when it comes to usage by the general public.
At the Developers Conference, Samsung will outline how engineers can create “capsules” for Bixby, which sound a lot like the Skills developers already create for Alexa. These Skills enable Alexa to perform tasks like read the news, play games, or book a table at a restaurant.
Although Bixby is way behind when it comes to general adoption, Samsung has an ace up its sleeve: the fact that it sells over 500 million electronic products each year, everything from televisions to refrigerators to smartphones. Every single one of those products could receive Bixby integration, which Samsung plans to do by 2020.
By harnessing the talents of third-party developers, Samsung could turn Bixby into a major competitor to Alexa and Google Assistant. However, it’s an uphill battle for Samsung, especially when you consider the company’s household smart speaker — the Samsung Galaxy Home — is still MIA with no release date in sight.
At the Samsung Developers Conference, we also expect to finally hear some concrete details about its upcoming foldable smartphone, which the company has been working on for years.