Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant has more than 30,000 apps, and estimates put the Google Assistant’s total at about 3,000. Now Samsung wants a slice of the pie. DJ Koh, CEO of Samsung’s mobile division, today told CNBC that the company will allow developers to build apps for Bixby later this year.
As previously announced, the South Korean electronics giant will introduce a software development kit (SDK) at the annual Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco on November 7 and 8, along with an API. The former will pack all the resources and documentation necessary to build apps for Bixby, while the API will allow third parties to integrate Bixby with new and existing apps.
Both will presumably slot under the Bixby Developer Program, which launched in private beta earlier this year.
The progress update comes weeks after Samsung formally launched Bixby 2.0, an improved version of its digital assistant, alongside the Galaxy Note9. It gave developers greater control and customization over the way Bixby interacts with in-app interfaces and set the stage for deep integration of Viv, the technology platform Samsung acquired in 2016.
The improved Bixby has better natural language processing, faster response times, and built-in noise reduction tech. It’s also more conversational; if you ask it about upcoming concerts over Labor Day weekend, for example, it’ll remember the date range for future searches.
Bixby is at the heart of the Galaxy Home, Samsung’s upcoming smart speaker that will compete with the likes of Apple’s HomePod, Amazon’s Echo lineup, and the Google Home. Like its…