Remember Bixby, Samsung’s voice-activated assistant? While the company doesn’t seem any closer to finally abandoning the AI, it is at least becoming more open to letting people use Google Assistant on its devices. Starting in January, Google and Samsung plan to integrate their respective platforms more closely together. To start, you’ll be able to control your Nest devices, including cameras, thermostats and doorbells, through Samsung’s SmartThings apps. If you happen to own a compatible Samsung smart TV or appliance, you’ll be able to control those Nest devices from there too.
The two companies have also streamlined the process of enabling Assistant on your Samsung devices to encourage you to try the AI. Setup now involves going into any one of several Samsung apps, including SmartThings, and linking Assistant. What’s more, it’s possible to interact with Samsung devices through Assistant in six additional languages, including French, German, Portuguese, Japanese and, perhaps most notably from Samsung’s perspective, Korean.
The announcement comes after Samsung recently added support for Assistant on its latest lineup of smart TVs. Moving forward, Google says you can expect more Samsung devices to come with the software built-in. Lastly, Google is working with the company to bring Android 11’s devices feature, which allows you to see all the connected devices in your home from the operating system’s Quick Panel, to Samsung’s new Galaxy phones.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Samsung is becoming more open to Assistant. Outside of the company’s home of Korea, Bixby hasn’t had as much success as alternatives like Alexa and Assistant, and at least from the outside looking in, it seems Samsung has scaled back its ambitions for the digital assistant. But whatever the future of Bixby, most people probably won’t complain when presented with the option to use their Samsung and Google products more closely together.