Samsung's much-mocked personal assistant Bixby keeps on trucking no matter what people think about it. The last meaningful update introduced some Google Assistant-inspired design changes, one of which meant it wouldn't open in full-screen whenever launched. With this latest update, some results will also be confined to the lower portion of the screen for a much less obtrusive look.
Samsung has operated its own app store for years, the Galaxy Store, seemingly as a backup ecosystem in case the company's relationship with Google ever soured. There aren't many reasons to use the Galaxy Store over the Play Store, but Samsung now turning Epic Games and Google's ongoing legal battles to its advantage with a new marketing push.
Perhaps the biggest gripe many of us still have with Samsung’s interface is the sheer amount of unnecessary and duplicate apps that come preinstalled on Galaxy phones. While the count has come down a bit over the years, we're still looking at a lot of redundancy. That could be further toned down in the future as Google and Samsung are reportedly in the process of cutting a deal to promote Google Assistant and the Play Store over Bixby and the Galaxy Store.
Like most companies, Samsung would just love it if you were to buy as many of its products as possible. And to help entice you to stay in the Samsung ecosystem, it offers shoppers the opportunity to earn Samsung Rewards points that can be redeemed for even more Samsung gear. Now the company is introducing a new way to earn and spend Samsung Rewards points through gaming on the Galaxy Store.
Samsung held its annual Unpacked event yesterday, revealing a plethora of products, such as the new S20 line of phones. In an effort to make these phones look appealing to gamers, Samsung also announced that Microsoft's racer Forza Street will come to the Galaxy Store this spring as a free-to-play release. Of course, the game is already available for pre-registration on the Google Play Store, and seeing that I'm an extremely impatient person, I've sideloaded the APK (V29.0.9) to take the title for a spin to see exactly what it has to offer.
Back in 2017, Samsung pushed a ton of its appsover to the Play Store, but now one is making the opposite journey. Samsung has recently updated its Play Store app listing for SoundAssist to warn users that new versions will be distributed through the Galaxy Store.
The Galaxy Store began as the black sheep of the Android store family, offering little incentive to use it and existing as almost entirely bloatware. As with most of Samsung's first-party efforts, that's slowly changed over the last few years, with One UI's rollout being extremely well received and One UI 2.0 just around the corner for most. Samsung has brought its flagship store's design up to date with the latest version release, introducing a One UI-themed storefront along with dark mode and a few aesthetic changes that bring it in line with the rest of its apps.
Like most everybody else, Samsung is kicking off the holiday sales a little early with numerous deals on its popular phones, wearables, and other electronic gadgets. The trade-in promotion on the Galaxy S10 and Note10 are especially nice as long as the phone you're trading is relatively new. More Samsung deals are available from Walmart, Costco, and Best Buy.
In classic Niantic fashion, the studio has upset fans of one of its games once again, and this time around, the kerfuffle surrounds the Galaxy Store version of Pokémon GO. Apparently, before the update to version 0.157.0 on the Galaxy Store, users could play both the Play Store version of the game in tandem with the Galaxy Store version when using separate accounts, all from the same device. Clearly, this loophole was unintentional, and so was taken advantage of by cheaters by running two apps at the same time, but there was also a legitimate use for families that share devices, which is why so many people are upset with this change.
Progressive Web Apps (often shortened to PWAs) are web apps designed to closely mirror the functionality of native apps, with features like offline support and notifications. Earlier this year, Google introduced a new technology for compiling PWAs into Android apps for submission to the Play Store, and now Samsung is inviting web apps to its Galaxy Store.