Samsung will allow buyers of its new Galaxy S10 smartphones to use the Bixby key to open whatever app they want. The Verge has confirmed that with the S10, the company has added settings that allow you to customize the button beyond what has been allowed previously. You can assign the Bixby button to open a third-party app with either a single or double press of the button.
Whichever option you don’t assign to a different app will continue to open the Bixby feed. So for example, if you choose to open Instagram, Google, Spotify or some other app with a single press, a double press will trigger Bixby. Holding down the button still opens Bixby voice no matter what.
This addresses the biggest complaint about Samsung’s dedicated hardware button for its virtual assistant. If you prefer Google Assistant or just rarely ever bother with Bixby, now you can have the button open the apps you use constantly. Before the S10, the Bixby button was always just there, and users had to turn to third-party apps to reassign it.
Unfortunately, this setting is not yet available on last year’s Samsung Galaxy S9 and Note 9, which were just updated to Android 9 Pie and One UI. The Verge has reached out to Samsung for comment on whether the native remapping function will be rolled out to older phones. If so, hopefully it will be done sooner than later with an update to Bixby’s software.