Samsung Bixby 2.0 to debut in Galaxy Note 9, "Magbee" speaker

AI-powered chatbots are all the rage now and anyone and everyone has one. Of course, not all of them are successful and that's true even for big companies like Samsung or Microsoft. Samsung's Bixby assistant, in particular, promised a lot of things and fell flat on its face, becoming almost one of the more reviled assistants to hit smartphones. Now a year and a half later, Samsung reportedly went back to the drawing board and will soon be ready to launch version 2.0 with features that were sorely lacking in version 1.

Some Bixby's promised features were pretty much standard fare for AI assistants, like surfacing relevant content and appointments or identifying objects in the camera's viewfinder. One feature that captured users' imaginations was the ability to almost completely control over smartphone functions using only voice. It's a bit of a smoke and mirrors thing, though, with Bixby emulating touch screen taps to achieve that functionality.

Unfortunately, reality was far less impressive. Bixby Voice came terribly late, the number of supported apps was low, and the Bixby button left Galaxy phone owners with a bad taste in their mouth. Furthermore, Samsung's integration with third-party apps and services left much to be desired, lagging far behind even Apple Siri, whose list of integrations was already short compared to, say, Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

Bixby 2.0 will supposedly fix that, or at least Samsung hopes. According to The Bell, the company reportedly started from scratch, which would explain how long it took to get to this major update. Samsung is opening up Bixby to third-party services and will even have an API and SDK for them to hook into.

Bixby 2.0 is expected to first appear on the Galaxy Note 9 due next month. Hopefully, it will also be the version that ships with the Bixby smart speaker which, according to Ice universe above, might be called "Magbee".