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Samsung launches a Bixby app store to better compete with Alexa and Google Home

Samsung launches a Bixby app store to better compete with Alexa and Google Home


It’s called Bixby marketplace

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Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Samsung has opened a new app store for Bixby so Galaxy users can discover new shortcuts they can use with the assistant. Called Bixby marketplace, users can browse for “Bixby capsules.” Despite sounding like some kind of prescription drug, these tools are akin to Amazon’s Alexa skills that let you easily access certain functionalities of an app with a voice command.

Bixby already offers quick commands that integrate with third-party apps, but the marketplace makes it easier to browse through different categories of apps, like games, productivity, travel, and music. Users can also customize their capsule to a specific need. For example, if you prefer to use Uber or Lyft, you can select the transportation capsule to always request Uber rides when you ask Bixby for a car to the airport. Popular third-party apps include Spotify, Yelp, YouTube, NPR, and Google Maps (though, obviously Google Assistant is also available on Samsung phones and might be a better way to get the most out of Google-specific apps.)

Samsung claims Bixby marketplace and capsules won’t allow visual ads, though it isn’t clear if audio-based ads (like the experimental one users heard on the Google Assistant purporting to promote a Disney movie) will be allowed.

With the launch of Bixby marketplace, Samsung is hoping to get more developers on the Bixby platform and says it plans to unveil more later this fall at Samsung’s developer conference in San Jose, CA. Users in the US and Korea can start using the marketplace today.