Samsung is opening up its Bixby voice assistant to allow third-party apps

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Aiming to boost its Bixby voice assistant into the big leagues, Samsung has announced that it will allow third-party developers to produce apps for the platform in an effort to compete with category giants like Google and Amazon.

Samsung’s mobile division CEO, DJ Koh, has told CNBC that the company will release a software developer kit (SDK) and application programming interface (API) so that more third-party apps can be integrated with Bixby, hence expanding its usefulness in the same way Amazon Alexa has done with its “skills”.

With Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home devices squarely in its sites, Samsung is hoping that Bixby’s new capabilities will make its impending Galaxy Home smart speaker a viable competitor in the field. 

The assistant first launched with a dedicated button on the Galaxy S8 flagship in 2017, and has since found a 2.0 version arrive with the new Galaxy Note 9, but it has so far done little but draw the ire of critics and consumers alike.

In the interview, Koh pointed to a November release of the aforementioned developer tools, stating that he “does not want to see just six months or nine months performance, no. Because this is like a long journey; it's just starting because with the new Bixby embedded in the Note 9, a new baby was born."