Samsung prepares to strip Bixby Vision of AR features

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra and Note 20 Ultra (Image credit: Hayato Huseman / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Samsung is disabling App mode, the AR-powered side of Bixby Vision from the end of October.
  • Bixby Vision will still work for non-AR things like getting translations.
  • Samsung has been rumored to be dropping Bixby due to pressure from Google.

Samsung is killing off one of Bixby's differentiating features, the AR support you can find on Bixby Vision. As reported by Android Police, Bixby Vision will now warn users about the loss of AR features starting from the end of October. This means users won't be able to things like try on makeup or test out furniture virtually with the app.

Bixby Vision offers a bit more than that though. What's being killed off is what Samsung calls "Apps" mode. Lens mode still remains active, allowing users to do things like run translations, find similar items in a photo, and things like that — essentially, what Google Lens offers in the Google Photos app.

Bixby isn't exactly a loved product, and it's standing as one that duplicates a feature that already ships on Android has led to it being criticised roundly. Google is said to be working on nudging Samsung to move towards the Assistant and away from Google, Bloomberg reported earlier this summer.

Samsung at the time issued a vague non-committal statement:

Samsung remains committed to our own ecosystem and services. At the same time, Samsung closely works with Google and other partners to offer the best mobile experiences for our users.

However, with Bixby losing one of its differentiating factors, we can't help but wonder if Samsung may be de-emphasising Bixby in preparation for a focus on Assistant.

Michael Allison