Major Samsung Bixby update leaves Google Assistant in the dust

Bixby Voice on the Galaxy S20 Ultra
(Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Samsung Bixby has received significant new improvements for better language recognition and offline tasks.
  • You can also now customize the wake words to summon the voice assistant.
  • Bixby's Text Call feature now supports English, and a new AI-generated voice tool has been added.

Samsung's in-house digital assistant has been on the backburner in recent years, but Bixby is now picking up a major upgrade that should make it a much smarter AI tool for communication and improve its language recognition skills.

Custom wake words are one of the most requested features for voice assistants, and while Google Assistant appears to be a long way from adding this capability, Bixby is now providing it. Samsung says in a press release that you can now personalize the wake phrases you can use to summon Bixby.

However, the feature is only available in Korean for the time being, and it's currently limited to the latest and greatest Samsung phones, including the Galaxy S23, S23+, and S23 Ultra.

The Bixby Text Call feature, which allows you to answer calls by typing a message, is now available in English. Bixby will listen for your response and convert the message to audio before transmitting it to the person on the other end of the line. It's compatible with the Galaxy S23 series, Galaxy Z Fold 4, and Z Flip 4, as well as other Galaxy models running One UI 5.1.

You can also change the sound of your Bixby Text Call audio message using AI-generated versions of your voice. This is possible with the new Bixby Custom Voice Creator, which allows you to record different sentences. The system then analyzes the recordings and creates AI copies of your voice and tone as custom replies.

Samsung Bixby text call feature

(Image credit: Samsung)

At the moment, the AI-generated voice feature is only available in Korean, and Samsung plans to bring it to its other apps in the future.

Bixby can also now understand context and handle follow-up requests. For example, you can start a Samsung Health workout and then ask Bixby to "play music for this workout." Songs that match your workout mood will then start to play.

And on occasions when you're out and about with no internet connection, the digital assistant now supports on-device mode. This means that even when Bixby is offline, it will be able to recognize and process basic tasks like taking a screenshot or setting an alarm on your Galaxy phone. However, on-device support is only available in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Korean.

Samsung’s latest Bixby update is rolling out to eligible Galaxy phones in February through a software update.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.