Bixby voice is at your service, you just need to know how to talk to it


After setting up and getting started with Samsung‘s Bixby Voice service, the list of commands the company throws at you in the tutorial can be overwhelming.

Bixby Voice is a mixture of a personal assistant you can ask questions and command to set reminders, and an automation tool you can instruct to open apps, tap on buttons and enter text without touching your phone.

If that sounds confusing, that’s because it is. It’s certainly different from what we’ve grown accustomed to from Google’s Assistant and Apple’s Siri, but it’s also more powerful.

Here are some of the more useful commands you can give Bixby:


“Hi, Bixby open [app name].” In general, that’s how the majority of your interactions with Bixby will start. Whether it’s “Open Messages and text my wife,” or, “Open Gmail and show me all unread emails from my boss.”


Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Bixby can also answer questions similar to how Siri or Google Assistant can, but you have to open an app first. 

Samsung included a Q&A app with Bixby for your questions: Start with “Open Q&A,” then ask away.

Install apps


Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

The next time you’re talking with someone and they recommend an app, have Bixby install it for you.

“Open the Play Store and install the CNET app” will launch the Play Store, search for the CNET app, and automatically install it. If there are multiple results and Bixby isn’t sure which one you want to install, you’ll have to manually select it.

Alternatively, you can tell Bixby, “Download the CNET app from the Play Store” and achieve the same result.

Quickly share a screenshot

“Take a screenshot and send it as a message to [contact name].”

Bixby will take a screenshot of whatever is on your screen at that time, then bring up the share menu.

Be more efficient with Gmail

Gmail commands are something I’m still trying to get the hang of, but I can see them being incredibly useful. 

Start with basic commands such as, “Open Gmail and show me unread messages,” and then progress to commands such as, “Show the last email from [contact name] that has an attachment.”

App-specific commands

If an app is open when you summon Bixby, any commands you give will stay specific to that app. For example, if you have Facebook Messenger open and tell Bixby to send a message, it will assume you want to do so in Facebook Messenger.

Developers don’t need to integrate with Bixby’s commands in order to work. Instead, you have to learn what actions are called within apps.

As another example, the Twitter app Flamingo isn’t officially supported by Bixby, but when using the app I can compose a new tweet and if it’s ready to be posted, I can tell Bixby, “Tweet.” (The name of the button to post a new tweet is actually “Tweet.” If it was “submit” or “send” you’d use that instead, because Bixby can read the command names.)

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