Samsung will start letting application developers connect into Bixby, and hardware companies will be able to build the voice assistant to their products, too.
A year and a half since Bixby's release, Samsung has already brought the assistant to phones, refrigerators, televisions and more, but they were all Samsung handsets. With today's news, other companies will be able to start building it into their hardware as well as as an alternative to Alexa's Amazon and Google's assistant – or, more likely, as an additional option for users who want to live in Samsung's ecosystem.
Consumers may have more reason to embrace Bixby in the future, too, since third party developers will begin to be able to build services that connect it. Samsung has shown a demonstration of Bixby pulling out the various interfaces you need to invite a hotel to stay – but Samsung promises to make Bixby so open that developers will be able to do something that Samsung itself can do.
Samsung's Samsung CEO Doug Kittelos says it's the most powerful tool ever made: "Get the other guys ahead," says Kittalos, "and it's not even close."
Samsung also plans to launch Bixby in several new languages in the coming months, including German, Italian and French. It will also launch Spanish targeted for Spanish and English Local for UK; Both of these languages are already available, but only with the localization of the US.
The wise helpers in general are not yet so smart, but Bixby in particular seems to be one of the weakest. It was criticized at launch, and owners of some of Samsung's new phones still complain about the dedicated Bixby button because they can not recap.
Samsung is moving fast – much faster than Apple, for example – to build what Bixby is able to do by providing deep access to third parties. It is unclear how this will spread to these third party Bixby features or how it will ensure that they are safe and functional. But if it works, Bixby can start looking for a lot more like Alexa, which has more than 50,000 third party skills.