Bixby, Samsung’s next-generation virtual assistant, is no longer exclusive to the new Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. Fans have discovered that with very little effort, Bixby can be installed on any Samsung Galaxy device running Android 7.0 Nougat.
Samsung is late to the game with Bixby, but that doesn’t matter. Its virtual assistant offers the same kind of functionality you would expect from the likes of Siri, Cortana, and the Google Assistant — but it has some unique tricks up its sleeve.
Bixby uses augmented reality to identify objects in the real world, then fetches information about them and helps you shop for them. It has also been designed to allow you to interact with almost any aspect of your Galaxy S8 using only your voice. Bixby can change settings, control apps, carry out specific actions, and more.
Bixby is one of the biggest selling points of the Galaxy S8 series, but you don’t need to upgrade to get your hands on it. So long as your existing Samsung Galaxy phone is running a version of Nougat, you can install Bixby yourself. You don’t need a rooted device, a custom ROM, or any dodgy hacks, either.
What you will need is the Galaxy S8’s new launcher and the Bixby app — both of which can be download from the XDA Developers forum by following the source link at the bottom of this post. The APK files then need to be side-loaded on your Galaxy device after you have given it permission to install apps from “unknown sources.”
Once installed, activate the Galaxy S8 launcher, then enter its settings by holding your finger down on the home screen. You can then activate Bixby before rebooting your device, and it should be available once your handset has restarted.
As you might expect, the experience isn’t completely seamless, and some users are reporting a number of issues. However, others say that they’ve been using Bixby without any problems whatsoever. For more information, check out the original XDA thread.