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15 handy Samsung Bixby tricks you need to know

These voice assistant tricks will make your life easier, and may even make you laugh.

Josh Miller/CNET

Samsung's assistant Bixby can do a wide range of tasks on your phone. Once you've learned the basics, here are 15 additional tricks that will help you get the most out of your assistant.

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Add quick commands

Don't want to memorize long strings of commands? You can shorten them by going to My Bixby > Quick Commands. From there, press Make Your Own Quick Command. Then, tap +Bixby Command and choose the command you want to replace. To finish up, tap the microphone icon and record your new command. For example, the command, "Turn off Bluetooth and turn on WiFi," can become "Home settings."

Tell people where you're at

A few months ago, I was going to visit a friend two states away. As soon as I got to her state (Kansas), I was completely lost. Luckily, I had Bixby. I said,"Hi Bixby, text Angie my location." My friend saw on the texted map where I was and called me with directions.

Find out where you are

If your friend is no help, Bixby can also tell you where you are. Open your camera and tap Bixby Vision > AR and point your phone at the ground. Bixby will look for information about the place and show you on the screen.

Kill the Bixby button

Are you always accidentally pressing the Bixby button when you're trying to adjust the volume on your phone? There's a fix for that, sort of. You can disable the Bixby button with these instructions. Don't worry, you'll still be able to use it without the button.

Turn on an elusive setting

I'm horrible at remembering how to turn certain features on and off. Bixby is a lifesaver for people like me. All you need to do is tell it what setting you would like to change and it will take you to that screen and toggle the setting.

For example, I couldn't remember how to turn on my lock screen, so instead of fumbling around for five minutes I just said, "Hi Bixby, turn on lock screen." Within a second or so, Bixby had completed the task.  

Use Bixby Vision as a translator

Next time you see something written in another language and wonder what it means, try putting Bixby on the case. 

Open your camera and tap the Vision button (the icon that looks like an eye) while focusing the camera on the words. Tap Text, then crop to the words you want translated and tap Translate. Drag your finger across the words you want translated and Bixby will tell you what they mean.

Use Vision to turn a photo into text

You can also use the Vision button to basically type any words you see instead of typing them out yourself. This can be useful when you need to copy a co-worker's meeting notes, or want to use a quote you found in a book.

Open your camera and tap the Vision button while focusing the camera on the words. Tap Text, then tap Extract. The words can then be edited, saved or shared.

Put Bixby cards on your lock screen

You know how when you press the Bixby button handy little cards pop up that show you your latest social media activity, sports news, weather and more? You can add them to your lock screen so you are instantly updated every time you look at your phone. 

Open Bixby and go to Settings in the menu. Then, tap Show on Lock Screen, toggle the switch beside the app you want as a card and you're done. From now on, that app with appear on your lock screen with updates.

bixby

Cards on my lock screen.

Screenshot by Alina Bradford/CNET

Use Bixby as your personal photographer

If you've ever missed a perfect shot because you couldn't get your camera open in time, you'll love this feature. 

Whenever you want to take a selfie, strike a pose and say, "Hi, Bixby, take a selfie." The camera will turn on and snap a shot. "Hi, Bixby, take a photo," works, too. Bixby will take a photo using whatever camera you have enabled for this command.

You can also change the camera settings to whatever you need. For example, after the camera opens say, "Take a panoramic photo," or "Zoom in 50 percent."

Fix Bixby when he's being stubborn

Can't get Bixby to listen to your commands? The listening sensitivity may be too low. Tap on the Bixby button > Menu> Settings > Voice wake-up and slide the sensitivity bar to Medium or High.

Get a laugh

Like Siri, Bixby is quite the jokester. Here are some commands that may make you laugh:

  • "Rap for me."
  • "Tell me a joke."
  • "Beatbox for me."
  • "I love you."
  • "OK, Google."
bixby-rap

Bixby's rap is pretty funny.

Screenshot by Alina Bradford/CNET

Find photos

I hate thumbing through my gallery to find a photo. Thankfully, you can get Bixby to do the searching for you. Just say something like, "Hi, Bixby, open gallery and find images taken in Paris," or "Hi, Bixby, open gallery and find photos of pets."

Take notes

Typing out long notes on your keyboard can be a chore. You can have Bixby type for you. Say, "Hi, Bixby, dictate," while your note taking app is open. After you say "dictate" say what you want Bixby to type. It's like having an on-call secretary. 

Post to social media

You can post a photo to social media with just a command. For example, you can say, "Hi, Bixby, post my last photo to Instagram." Bixby will open the app and start a new post. All you need to do is add a caption and hit the post button.

Set up a voice password

You can unlock your phone using Bixby. Go to Settings > Unlock with voice password, then follow the directions on the screen.

Editor's note: This article was originally published on Sept. 8, 2017 and has been updated.

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