Samsung’s Galaxy S8 is finally here, and it’s a looker. The South Korean company’s phone packs a gorgeous edge-to-edge curved screen, a beefed-up front-facing camera, a top-of-the-line processor, and a new virtual assistant powered by artificial intelligence. But like many devices of the Galaxy S8’s caliber, not every feature is easy to use — or find.
Luckily, we’ve spent enough time with the Galaxy S8 to get a handle on a few of its most useful functions. Here’s what you need to know.
S8 tips for Bixby, S-Health, and emojis
How to use Bixby
Bixby, Samsung’s new AI-powered assistant, is a tap away from every screen. The Galaxy S8 has a dedicated Bixby button that will eventually trigger actions like sending a photo to a friend and casting a video to a smart TV. For now, though, it pulls up Bixby Home, Samsung’s take on a Google Now-style anticipatory assistant.
Bixby Home consists of cards highlighting the weather forecast, breaking news, and more. But it’s more than just an organizer. Home learns your preferences and habits over time — if you typically call a loved one after work, for example, it’ll serve up contact info at the appropriate time each day.
There’s more to Bixby than Home. Saying “Hey Bixby” pulls up Bixby Voice, a Siri-like voice assistant that gives restaurant recommendations, dictates text messages, controls Samsung’s Connected line of smart home products, and more. Bixby Vision, yet another component of the overarching AI, recognizes objects and text in images and directs you to relevant shopping links.
How to schedule a doctor’s appointment with S Health
Whether you’re feeling under the weather or due for a physical, the Galaxy S8’s built-in S Health app has you covered. Thanks to deep integration with WebMD and Amwell, you can browse symptoms and drugs, find nearby pharmacies, schedule an online visit with a doctor, and reserve a video appointment with a certified physician.
The new S Health app is capable of more. It can store information regarding upcoming appointments like symptoms, photos, prescriptions, and insurance information, and it offers quick access to emergency services.
How to use the new emoji
The Galaxy S8 ships with a bundle of new emoji from Emoji 4.0, the newest collection of icons approved by the Unicode Consortium. They include a giraffe, broccoli, a pretzel, chopsticks, a scientist, judge, pilot, teacher, and a boy with bunny ears.
Using them is as easy as pulling up the Galaxy S8’s default keyboard and tapping the emoji button. Then, it’s just a matter of scrolling through the the list until you find the one you want.