Join Transform 2021 for the most important themes in enterprise AI & Data. Learn more.


That was fast. Bixby, Samsung’s new virtual assistant for the company’s new Galaxy S8 flagship smartphone, is now working on older Samsung phones running Android 7.0 Nougat.

But not officially. A person who goes by the handle takerhbk in a forum on the Android website XDA-Developers managed to get Bixby working on top of the S8’s launcher, which leaked earlier this week. And then takerhbk shared the Android Package Kit (APK) file for Bixby itself, alongside the APK for the launcher.

XDA-Developers’ Mishaal Rahman noted that he got Bixby working on his Galaxy S7, and others in the forum succeeded in deploying Bixby, too.

APKs can appear before app updates arrive in the Google Play Store. But Samsung doesn’t have plans to bring Bixby to the Play Store. Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Older Samsung phones, like the Galaxy S7 from last year, don’t have a dedicated hardware button for accessing Bixby, whereas there is one on the Galaxy S8, which is now available for preorder starting at $720. So the experience could end up being different.

Bixby isn’t the only virtual assistant that you can use if you have a Samsung phone running Nougat. Google has been working to bring the Google Assistant to phones running Android Marshmallow and Android Nougat. And Microsoft’s Cortana is available on the Google Play Store. Meanwhile, Amazon has begun bringing Alexa to smartphones. Of course, Apple’s Siri is only available on iOS.

VentureBeat

VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact. Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:
  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform
  • networking features, and more
Become a member