When Samsung revealed its Galaxy S10 last week, one feature caused a buzz: the ability to remap the phone’s Bixby button so that it opens any app. On older phones, the Bixby button simply opened Samsung’s voice assistant, but that changed today. A software update is rolling out that allows you to remap the Bixby button on a handful of older models: Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S9/S9+ and the Galaxy S8/S8+.
Once you set your preferences, you simply need to double- or single-tap the button to open your app of choice. If the single-tap opens your favorite app, the double-tap will open Bixby Home, and vice versa. Holding the button will still summon Bixby Voice.
As we noted when the remapping feature was first announced, this is a bit of a compromise. It’s no secret Bixby is losing the popularity contest among AI voice assistants, and rather than do away with the button (or Bixby) entirely, Samsung is attempting to make both more appealing. In the past, Galaxy users have resorted to workarounds that remapped the button to open other digital assistants, like Google Assistant. Following this update, a number of people have noticed you can’t use the button to opt for another assistant, which Samsung has confirmed to Engadget. That just goes to show how much Samsung wants you to try Bixby and not opt for frankly more useful options like the Google Assistant.
my S10+ review unit has received an update to the Bixby app that lets me natively remap the button to a more useful command. guess what app CAN’T be mapped to it?
Google Assistant. pic.twitter.com/732k0E5vDp
— the Original Tweeter™️ (@dcseifert) February 28, 2019