With the latest update from Samsung, you can now remap the Bixby button on your Galaxy S8, S9, S10, Note 8 and Note 9 to open any app. This feature is available on the Galaxy S10 out of the box and is now available via an update that is being rolled out on the rest of the aforementioned devices.
Bixby is Samsung’s AI voice assistant that was made to rival Apple’s Siri and Google’s Assistant. It was launched back in 2017 along with the Galaxy S8. Samsung wanted to signify it so much that they gave it a dedicated button on all of their upcoming flagships. The “Bixby Button” was highly criticized by people as being a bold move for a feature which might not even take off.
And that is exactly what seems to be happening. Bixby may not be the worst voice assistant out there, however, compared to Siri and Google Assistant, it’s lagging behind. The fact that Google Assistant can be used on all devices running the Android operating system makes it even worse for Samsung. The Bixby button was then useless as no one used Bixby and it could not be reprogrammed.
However, it is now possible on all the devices that had this button, to change what it does. Here’s how you can do it:
Check if your Bixby Voice app is updated to the latest version. This feature only works on app versions 2.104.18 or later.
Open the app, click on the 3 dots the right under the welcome message. A drop-down menu will open, click on Settings.
You will be redirected to the settings page. Scroll down till you find Bixby Key written. Click on it.
Once done, you will be presented with 2 options. You can either single press the Button to activate Bixby and double press for another app/command. Or you can single press for an app/command and double press for Bixby. Choose whatever suits you best.
Choose between opening an app or running a command. Once done, choose the app or command that you want to assign to the button. You have successfully remapped your Bixby button to something other than opening Bixby.
Samsung has, however, put up some conditions. Firstly, as you’ve noticed, there’s no way to completely strip the button away from Bixby. Secondly, this feature does not allow you to assign the button to open Google Assistant. Looks like Samsung still has hopes for its voice assistant.
Samsung hasn’t really been known to produce good voice assistants. In 2012, it launched S-Voice in the Galaxy S3 to rival Siri, which was new back then. While we saw Siri improve with time, S Voice remained unrefined as if Samsung had completely abandoned its development. It was then replaced by Bixby in 2017.
Samsung will probably enable us to completely turn off Bixby in future updates. Until that happens, we are happy that our Bixby buttons are finally a tad bit useful.