Not once throughout Samsung’s Unpacked event for the new Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus did anyone on stage say the word “Bixby.” Samsung’s virtual assistant — positioned as an alternative to Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri — was ne’er directly mentioned throughout the Note’s introduction and several|and several other} other product sequences that include the Galaxy Watch Active 2, Galaxy Tab S6, and alternative devices. Bixby wasn’t enclosed in any demonstrations of the Note 10’s several new software tricks, productivity enhancements, and features designed with convenience in mind.
It was a noteworthy exclusion from Samsung after years of attempting to establish Bixby as central to Samsung’s in-house software efforts and AI advancements. The absence was particularly noticeable since at this point last year, Samsung was showcasing Bixby 2.0 on stage within the same room, listing off all the enhancements it had created to the assistant’s smarts and voice command processing. surely a “Hey Bixby” voice command could’ve been squeezed into the presentation somewhere, right? It ne’er came.
There area unit alternative signs that Bixby may be less of a priority for Samsung in 2019. in contrast to its last many flagship phones, the Galaxy Note 10 doesn’t embrace an infatuated Bixby button. Instead, users are ready to trigger Bixby with the ability button. however, you wouldn’t realize it, as a result of this was ne’er shown on stage.
By default, pressing and holding the ability button can remark Bixby — regardless of however long you hold it down for. If you thought a standalone Bixby button was annoying before, this out-of-box behavior can be thought of even worse. If you would like to use the ability button to, you know, flip the phone off, you’ll have to disable Bixby altogether. There may be a power/volume button dance orchestra that helps you to put off the phone additional simply (Apple will this on the iPhone X and later), however, Samsung’s default goes to lead to additional unwanted Bixby interactions and client frustration.
So Bixby continues to be alive and well on phones. It’s conjointly on Samsung smartwatches, TVs, and refrigerators. however, the Galaxy Home (a Bixby-powered good speaker just like the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod) remained absent from the keynote a year once being introduced at Barclays Center in 2018. Samsung incomprehensible the Home’s Gregorian calendar month unharness target and last the company has claimed it’ll ship someday within the third quarter of this year. Maybe so, however, this product is taking a protracted time to the purpose that it risks turning into Samsung’s AirPower. Having remained a no-show at the Note event, it’s doable we’ll finally hear additional concerning the Galaxy Home at next month’s IFA conference in Berlin. If nothing additional is thought by then, well…
Bixby was featured throughout the pre-event videos that were running within the arena even though it didn’t earn a keynote mention. And in fairness, Samsung had loads of ground to cover: additionally to hardware and buzzy business topics like 5G, the corporate mentioned several partnerships with Microsoft, beneath Armour, Discord, and even the world organization.
Does an absence of stage time mean Bixby goes anywhere? No, not at all. however, it would indicate that Samsung’s assistant is taking a back seat and can become one thing that simply types of there — once you free your Note 10’s power button from it, that is. Those who fancy victimization Bixby for its deep integration with phone settings and multi-step actions can still have it at their disposal. except for everybody else, Bixby has forever felt disposable. Today, it felt like Samsung got the message.
Other things Samsung didn’t mention on stage today:
- Why it got rid of the headphone jack on the Note 10. Apple’s “courage” explanation didn’t go over very well, so maybe it’s best to just avoid the subject under the stage lights.
- The aforementioned Galaxy Home.
- An exact release date for the Galaxy Fold.