Bixby button on Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 can now be disabled

Samsung has put a lot of focus on Bixby, its new digital personal assistant, including putting a dedicated button on the side of the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy Note 8 which allows for the quickest possible access to the feature.

Some folks might not have been fans of the Bixby button, though, especially since Samsung made it so that owners couldn’t remap the button to launch whatever app they wanted. Instead of going that route, Samsung is now making it possible for people who don’t want to use the Bixby button to turn it off.

There is a new toggle at the top of Bixby home and in the Bixby settings. If you turn the Bixby button off, nothing will happen when you press it.

SamMobile points out that this is a feature change that is slowly rolling out to Galaxy S8 and Galaxy Note 8 owners. Some people don’t have the setting on their phone just yet, while others are saying that they’ve noticed its arrival after they’ve updated the software. So if you don’t have it yet, you should see it soon.

It’s an interesting decision to see Samsung opt to simply disable the button, effectively removing any effectiveness beyond Bixby, rather than just letting owners map the button. Disabling it might be good enough for some owners, though, especially those who really don’t want to use Bixby.

Are you going to disable the Bixby button?

Samsung’s Dedicated Bixby Button Can Now Be Disabled, but Not Remapped

Samsung won a lot of fans when they finally got rid of the dedicated navigation buttons with the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. This was a big move as they’ve been hanging onto that aging system for so long, and this allowed them to decrease the size of the bottom bezel. With this change, the company then introduced a 4th dedicated hardware button on the side of the device and this was used with their brand new exclusive virtual assistant, Bixby.

Many people wondered why Samsung would go down this route but there were likely multiple reasons behind this decision. Firstly, it put this new virtual assistant right in front of people who were buying their new flagship smartphone. Even if you were able to learn to not hit the button accidentally when you were trying to adjust the volume, it was incredibly hard to ignore it. But it also replaced some of the functions that Samsung has been using the home button for (like booting into Download Mode).

When Android enthusiasts first learned about the button, many wondered if Samsung would let you customize it to open any application or launch any activity. This wasn’t the case, but there were 3rd-party applications that could add this functionality. That is, until Samsung disabled that option through regular means. Community developers continued working on the case and eventually figured out other methods that let you perform other actions (or even disable) with the Bixby button.

Upon further investigation, changing this options doesn’t actually disable the button entirely. It will prevent accidental presses, but holding the button down will launch Bixby Voice even if change this to the “Don’t Open Anything” option. However, you can go into the settings of Bixby and disable Bixby Voice itself, so that this long press action doesn’t do anything. Granted, we still can’t use it to launch another application, but at least we can disable it so that we’re preventing accidental launches. Maybe we’ll see Samsung add more features to this button in the future.

Source: /r/GalaxyS8

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