Bixby update is bringing Text Call support in English, custom wake words

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Samsung introduced the Bixby Text Call feature with One UI 5, but the initial version was only limited to Korean. Now the company is updating its virtual assistant to also handle calls in English.

In case you missed this feature, Text Call turns basic voice calls into text chats. It listens to what the other side is saying and transcribes it into text, then lets you enter a response that will be read out by the text-to-speech system. This is similar to Google’s Screen Call feature.

This is handy for environments where you can’t talk, e.g. it’s too noisy or the opposite, you don’t 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 solution to that, Bixby can learn to imitate your voice – you can record different phrases and let the software make an AI-powered copy. Bixby Custom Voice Creator is still only available in Korean, at least for now. There are plans to use the customized voice in other Samsung apps in the future, so this will go beyond text calls.

A nice improvement to Bixby is that you can now set a custom wake word. Previously, you could only use “Hey, Bixby” or just “Bixby”. When this update hits, you’ll be able to live out your dreams of being Jean-Luc Picard and addressing your phone as “computer.”

Bixby is also getting smarter and can now understand context that spans different apps. For example, you can ask it to start a workout in Samsung Health and then say “play music for this workout”, the AI ​​will automatically choose songs that fit the type of workout you started. Bixby can also work with the Calendar app and save your schedules for you.

Much of modern artificial intelligence lives in the cloud, raising privacy concerns. To solve them, Samsung has worked to make commonly used commands run completely offline. These include setting a timer, taking a screenshot and turning on the flashlight. AI-based voice dictation is also available offline.

The new features described above are coming to Bixby with a software update that will be released this month. Check this side for more information.

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