Samsung to discontinue some of Bixby’s AR features this month

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Samsung is discontinuing a handful of Bixby’s augmented reality features starting at the end of October, according to a notice being shown to users in its camera app. A screenshot published by Android Police says the Places, Makeup, Home Decor, and Styling features will soon no longer be supported in Bixby Vision.

The affected features offer a range of different AR functionality. The Places feature overlaid map icons on Samsung’s camera to highlight local landmarks, restaurants, and stores to help with navigation, while Makeup put virtual lipstick, blush, eye shadow, and other makeup on your face, similar to a Snapchat filter. Home Decor provided virtual furniture and appliances that could be placed in a home, and Styling offered virtual sunglasses for you to try on.

However, as Android Police notes, these removals don’t cover every augmented reality feature Bixby currently offers. The platform also includes a real-time translation feature as well as accessibility options like quick reader meant to help users with visual impairments by reading out text seen by the camera. Since these aren’t explicitly mentioned, it sounds as if they’re sticking around, but we’ve followed up with Samsung to confirm.

First introduced in 2017 alongside the Samsung Galaxy S8, Bixby is Samsung’s attempt to compete with Google Assistant and other Google augmented reality services. The South Korean manufacturer has promoted it aggressively, often giving its Android phones dedicated Bixby buttons to summon the assistant. However, there are reports Samsung is in negotiations with Google to show the Android maker’s own services more prominently on Samsung devices, according to Bloomberg.

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