Samsung finally lets you disable the annoying Bixby button

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Samsung first introduced its new Bixby voice assistant earlier this year on the Galaxy S8 with a dedicated button on the handset. The Galaxy Note 8 also includes the Bixby button, but Samsung has refused to allow owners of both devices to customize the button and change it from the digital assistant to something more useful. The Galaxy S8 maker even went as far as blocking third-party apps from unlocking the button, a move that has frustrated many S8 owners.

Samsung is backing down slightly today, thanks to an update that lets Galaxy S8 and Note 8 owners stop the Bixby button from launching Bixby Home. The update doesn’t appear to be available on every device, but Sammobile has noticed it’s slowly rolling out to existing handsets. The option to disable the Bixby button will be a welcome addition for those frustrated by accidentally triggering the assistant. It’s easy to pick up the Galaxy S8 and press the Bixby button by mistake, and some owners have complained about accidentally pressing it when trying to adjust system volume as the Bixby button is located just below the volume down button.

Comments

About to buy the Note 8, this is great news! Now I’ll feel even better about owning one.

Now you just need to get used to that lousy fingerprint scanner location.

Personally I’m finding the location great. When I pick up the phone my index finger is in that location naturally (if you’re right handed). Then slide your finger in until it hits the sensor.

Quicker and easier than using the iris scanner. Aligning the phone to your face isn’t ideal, by the time I’ve picked up the phone my finger can be on the sensor compared to raising it to align with your face. Saying that, the iris scanner works well, just not as quick for me.

I find the center rear location optimal rather than Samsung’s. You can’t smudge the camera when you are at a different spot on the back. And with a case, there is a distinct and different "hole" for your finger to rest in.

I demo’d the Note 8 ALOT at stores and I found the fingerprint scanner location to be very easy to reach. It’s one thing to listen to comments on the Internet and trying one yourself.

And as Dodgums said, my index finger too is naturally in that location.

I’m guessing by still not allowing other functions with the button they’re hoping people will turn it back on at some point?

I know it will never happen but…that button should fire up Google Assistant. I tried Bixby on an S8+ and it’s bonkers.

As someone who bought the Microsoft Edition, I’d like to be able to launch Cortana with it

Long pressing the button opens up Bixby voice – you’re less prone to opening that up accidentally and Bixby voice is actually slightly more useful than Bixby home

The absolute biggest problem with the Bixby button is that it ignores your lock screen and just pops up regardless. So many times I’ve taken my phone out of my pocket wondering why on earth it’s so warm – it’s because the stupid Bixby button got knocked and it turned on.

It’ll still ask you to unlock your phone to do anything afterwards, so it’s not entirely pocket-dial levels of disaster, but it’s a battery waste and a huge annoyance at the very least.

I’m guessing at one point you ended up setting it up? That’s probably your issue right there. With mine, since I never set it up, anytime you hit the Bixby button while the screen is off, nothing happens. If you hit it with the screen on but the phone still locked, nothing happens other than a toast notification saying Bixby isn’t setup.

Or you could download Package Disabler and turn off every Bixby service. This hasn’t been an issue beyond the first 5 minutes to what my this phone.

Honestly, if you own a non stock android phone and Package Disabler is not installed then I don’t know what you are doing with your life.

I thought Android Just Worked these days?

It does. Bixby "just works" right out of the box. This is about customizing it to make things not work. Can you disable Siri on the iPhone?

You can disable Siri easy.

Can you remap it to Google Assistant?

Yep there’s a very nice off button in settings, at least on my iPad. Now I have a nice kind of off button on my Note 8 for Bixby home.

Samsung F’s it up. Try a Pixel, or Moto, or LG

Yeah, same with me. Never set it up so I just get the toast as well.

Install bxactions and bind whatever action or app you like.

mine opens the camera.

Didn’t they disable button remapping?

They disabled one method, but there are apps that get around it. Bxactions works very well – you can map different functions to single press, double-press, etc. Sometimes you get a flash of Bixby before your chosen action fires though.

That flash is also gone. A few days ago with the latest Bixby Update they allowed the Button to be disabled (from within Bixby). So now you disable the button and then use bxActions to bin a different App to it.
This way no flashing.

I tried disabling the Bixby button in settings, but then bxactions doesn’t work at all for me. Have you got it working like that?

Well, it is working for me. I disabled the button – I did not disable Bixby.

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