Samsung introduced Bixby text calling in One UI 5, but this initial release is limited to Korean. Now the company is updating its virtual assistant to handle calls in English as well.
In case you missed this feature, Text Call basically turns voice calls into text chats. It listens to what the other person says and transcribes it into text, then lets you type in a reply that the text-to-speech system will speak. This is similar to Google’s Screen Call feature.
This is handy for situations where you cannot speak, for example if it is too loud or, conversely, you do not want to disturb other people near you. But having an artificial voice that doesn’t sound like you might not be the ideal solution.
There is a workaround, Bixby can learn to mimic your voice — you can record a different sentence and have the software create an AI-powered copy. Bixby Custom Voice Creator is still only available in Korean, but at least for now. There are future plans to use custom voices in other Samsung apps, so this goes beyond text calls.
A neat improvement to Bixby is that now you can set a custom wake word. Previously, you could only use “Hey, Bixby” or “Bixby.” With this update, you’ll be able to live out your dream of being Jean-Luc Picard and calling your phone a “computer”.
Bixby has also gotten smarter and now understands context across different apps. For example, you can tell it to start a workout in Samsung Health, then say “play music for this workout,” and the AI will automatically pick the right song for the type of workout you’re starting. Bixby also works with the Calendar app and saves your schedule for you.
Much of modern AI resides in the cloud, which raises privacy concerns. To address these issues, Samsung has been working on making common commands work completely offline. These include setting timers, taking screenshots, and turning on the flashlight. AI-based voice dictation also works offline.
The above new features will come to Bixby via a software update released this month. Check out this page for more information.