Today’s Samsung Developer Conference event wasn’t chock full of surprises, but it was nice to finally see the foldable smartphone concept become a reality. Samsung also announced One UI on stage, their Android Pie-based software. We already knew a lot about how One UI would look thanks to many leaks, but now we know Samsung’s timeline for their Android Pie update on the Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+, and Galaxy Note 9—January of 2019. Samsung also confirmed official support for the German, French, Italian, and Spanish languages in Bixby, something we’ve also expected. But, let’s discuss an announcement of yet another expected update: An official API for third-party services to interface with Samsung Bixby.
Despite early setbacks, Bixby has grown to be a competent on-device digital assistant thanks to the service’s integration with the Galaxy smartphones. However, Bixby lacks the third-party integrations that Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa offer. We can tell that Samsung is dedicated to the success of their virtual assistant considering they put a hardware button dedicated to it on their flagship devices. To make Bixby more competitive with the assistants from Google or Amazon, Samsung has opened up the Bixby Developer Studio. The ‘studio’ offers tools such as a dedicated IDE, developer center, and a marketplace. The services which will be developed by third-party developers are called Capsules, and they can be found in the Bixby Marketplace in the near future. The best way to develop these Capsules is to use Bixby Developer Studio—the official integrated development environment.
More detailed information and the links for the mentioned services can be found below. It’s good that the company is finally allowing developers to unleash the full potential of their digital assistant. Competition is good in this space because it’ll encourage companies to continue improving their own offerings, so we hope to see Google pick up on some of Samsung’s strengths—namely, better integration with device settings and automation.