Samsung finally lets you disable the Bixby button on the Galaxy S8

Samsung took a huge gamble on the Galaxy S8 when it went all in on its virtual assistant and included a dedicated button to launch Bixby.

Unfortunately for consumers, Bixby wasn’t ready. That, unfortunately, left the Bixby button as merely a quick launch for Bixby Home, which housed some basic information from your calendar and news feed. There were some workarounds but Samsung kept responding to break the method used to remap the button.

It seems that Samsung may now finally be listening as a new update finally allows the Bixby button to be officially disabled. Unfortunately, it doesn’t go any further than that so you’re left with an even more useless button. Hopefully, Samsung takes this one step further and allow the button to be completely remapped to launch an app of the users choice like Google Assistant.

 

SamMobile reports the update isn’t appearing for everyone just yet so keep checking in Settings to see when it finally trickles down to your device.

 

The dedicated Bixby button on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ didn’t really serve any meaningful purpose until last month when Bixby Voice was rolled out globally. Before the global release of Bixby Voice, the dedicated button could only be used for Bixby Home.

Most users didn’t feel the need for Bixby Home to have a dedicated key. Third-party apps were developed that allowed them to remap the button to launch any app of their choice. Samsung was quick to clamp down on those apps for reasons that our editor in chief explained in great detail.

I bemoaned recently that the Bixby button was driving me nuts and many of our readers agreed with me. I don’t like how it gets in the way and that you can’t avoid accidental presses of the button. However, it’s time for us to rejoice.

Samsung is finally allowing us to disable the Bixby button, to an extent. The latest Bixby updates add a new toggle which lets you decide whether or not Bixby Home should be launched when the dedicated button is pressed. This can also be configured from the Bixby settings menu.

You’ll see this toggle at the very top of Bixby Home once you install the update. You can tap on the gear icon to hide the toggle should you so desire. It’s just a matter of tapping on a toggle now and that makes me happy.

To be clear, Bixby Home isn’t going anywhere. You can still access it by swiping left from the home screen. The Bixby button will also work for summoning Bixby Voice. Just press and hold like you already do.

Are you happy that Samsung is finally giving us this option? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Update: The implementation appears to be random right now. Some of our devices have got this toggle after the update. Some haven’t. Perhaps it will take more time for this to be available on all Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 units.