Last week, a report surfaced with the claim that Samsung would be announcing a brand new version of Bixby on October 18 at its Samsung Developer Conference. October 18 is upon us, and wouldn't you believe it, we've got some Bixby news to talk about.

Samsung used its developer conference to formally announce Bixby 2.0, and while the core Bixby experience will remain the same for those using the assistant on the Galaxy S8, Note 8, etc., there are some big under-the-hood changes that aim to make Bixby even smarter and more powerful than it currently is.

The first big update has to do with the fact that Samsung is opening up the Bixby SDK to third parties. Samsung will be using a private beta program to initially release the SDK to select developers, and over time, the company's hope is to allow anyone to create new skills and services for its AI.

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Per Samsung's Vice President and Head of Service Intelligence of Mobile Communications, Eui-Suk Chung:

We know Samsung cannot deliver on this paradigm shift by ourselves - it can only happen if we all, across all industries, work together, in partnership. With Bixby 2.0, the doors will be wide open for developers to choose and model how users interact with Bixby in their services across all application domains e.g., sports, food, entertainment, or travel – the opportunities are truly endless.

This is easily the biggest change to Bixby, but that's not all that Samsung announced. Bixby 2.0 will bring the assistant to other connected devices (including refrigerators, TVs, speakers, etc.) and use improved language capabilities to sound more natural and perform more complex tasks. With this update, Samsung says that Bixby will be able to "really get to know and understand not only who you are, but who members of your family are, and tailor its response and actions appropriately."

Bixby didn't have the smoothest launch here in the States, and while it will probably take some time for the changes in 2.0 to have a noticeable impact on most people's day-to-day use, we're still excited to see Samsung double-down on the platform. Bixby has a lot of room to grow, but what we're seeing here is encouraging.

Samsung Bixby: Everything you need to know!