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Samsung Bixby to support Google apps, first 5G phone coming in H1 2019

The expansion of Bixby to include Google apps is a big win for Samsung, as it tries to make the digital assistant more popular.

Published onJanuary 7, 2019

samsung galaxy s9 one ui review bixby

Samsung’s CES 2019 press event had a number of big announcements from the company, but perhaps the most surprising was the reveal that its home-grown Bixby digital assistant will soon be able to control apps made by Google.

The press event didn’t reveal this news on stage, but Samsung briefly mentioned it in its CES 2019 press release. A report from TechCrunch adds that the list of Google apps that Bixby will be able to control will include Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps and Google Play. Considering Google has been pushing its own Google Assistant service hard, it’s very interesting that the company is allowing a rival digital helper like Bixby to control some of its apps. There’s no word yet on when the support for Bixby in Google’s apps will be put in place.

Samsung also announced that Bixby will be added into the company’s 2019 QLED and premium TVs, along with its new lineup of smart appliances. In addition, it has added in new software partners like Uber, Ticketmaster, and iHeartRadio. Oddly, there was no mention today on when the long-awaited Samsung Galaxy Home smart speaker, which also supports Bixby, will go on sale.

Samsung also confirmed today that its first smartphone that will connect to 5G networks will be released sometime in the first half of 2019. That’s not exactly huge news, as all four major U.S. carriers (Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon) have all confirmed they will start selling a Samsung 5G phone sometime in 2019.

Some of the other cool product announcements Samsung revealed today included a new version of its Family Hub smart refrigerators, a new high-end gaming laptop, the Notebook Odyssey, and even some new robots — including Samsung Bot Care — which is designed to help people with their health.

Head here for more CES 2019 coverage!