Days after unveiling Bixby 2.0 and launching Galaxy Home speaker, Samsung is now planning to let third-party developers build apps for Bixby. The new move that is probably a part of the company's strategy to take on Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant could get an official shape sometime in November. Bixby has already been powering all the top-end Galaxy-Series smartphones, and it recently expanded to the refrigerator and even a smart speaker that is aimed to compete against Amazon Echo and Google Home speakers. Separately, Samsung is working on a way to help users disable the dedicated Bixby button on the Galaxy Note 9. The option to disable the Bixby button on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 arrived last year.
Samsung is set to release a software developer kit (SDK) and an application programming interface (API) to enable developers to build new experiences based on Bixby, reports CNBC, citing Samsung's mobile chief DJ Koh. Notably, Amazon and Google are already offering SDKs and APIs of their native voice assistants. Koh said that the release of Bixby SDK and API would take place at the Samsung Developer Conference in San Francisco, California in November. The developer-focused event will help the company convince a large number of developers to start adding a Bixby integration within their apps.
The release of an SDK and API is highly predictable at this stage as Samsung has Bixby-enabled smartphones, including the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9, Family Hub smart refrigerator, and Galaxy Home smart speaker. However, unlike Google Assistant that has been a part of various non-Google devices, Bixby has so far been limited to Samsung devices. This might resist developers from using their skills in building apps specifically to a single ecosystem.
Alongside having plans to open up Bixby to third-party developers, Samsung is set to provide an option to let the Galaxy Note 9 users disable the dedicated Bixby button. Samsung Germany while responding to a user query confirmed that will bring the option to deactivate the Bixby button on the Galaxy Note 9 sometime before the end of September.
It isn't clear whether the update will be part of a major update or a minor build. Also, Samsung hasn't revealed whether the option to disable the Bixby button on the Galaxy Note 9 will be identical to how users disable the functionality on the Galaxy S9. Nonetheless, it is confirmed that the Galaxy Note 9 is finally receiving the way to disable the Bixby button that sits below the volume rocker.