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Is Bixby On The Way Out As Samsung Cuts AR Features?

Samsung is cutting a number of Bixby augmented reality features, in a sign that the days of its much-maligned virtual assistant could be numbered.

Samsung users attempting to open the Bixby Vision AR service from within their phones’ camera apps are now seeing a notice that the Places, Makeup, Home Décor, and Styling functions of Bixby Vision will disappear at the end of October.

First introduced in 2017 alongside the Galaxy S8 range, Bixby has been relentlessly pushed by Samsung as a competitor to Google Assistant, with Samsung phones often including a physical key to launch the assistant.

Bixby has struggled to gain traction, however, with many users remapping or disabling the key entirely; this year’s S20 phones – including the new S20 FE – have removed the Bixby key, relegating its functions to the side key, where it can be remapped to remove all Bixby functionality.

Additionally, Google has been in negotiations with Samsung to prioritise its own apps and functionality – including Google Assistant – over Samsung’s equivalents.

Despite this, however, Bixby is gaining other functionality including expanded routines in the new OneUI 3.0 release accompanying Android 11 later this year, and it remains in use across Samsung’s wearables and smart devices including the Galaxy Watch 3, meaning it may be too soon to count it out just yet.

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