Samsung have been working on Bixby, their digital assistant for a while now but it is not what most people want from their digital assistant. Unfortunately Samsung have installed a hard button on their devices of late that have a single function, to launch Bixby. With the Galaxy Note9 users have been unable to deactivate said button but that looks set to change according to a Tweet from Samsung Germany.
A Samsung fan site sent out a flurry of Tweets a few days ago complaining about the annoying location of the Bixby button and how many times they had accidentally pressed it. Having used the Note9 for just over a week now I can confirm that the number of accidental presses is ridiculously high.
I accidentially triggered it about 5-10 times in a week which was irritating but with my new #Note9 I trigger this Button 20-30 times A DAY! I HATE IT! Bixby Home is just fine because you have to swipe to activate it but Bixby Voice is just awful! [2/3] pic.twitter.com/i2Ay55QJyg
— Max J. (@MaxJmb) September 1, 2018
Surprisingly, after several of these Tweets they received a reply from Samsung Germany with something we rarely see companies comment upon.
Hi Max, we are working on it. Deactivation of the Bixby button on lock screen should return until end of September. ^JB
— Samsung Deutschland (@SamsungDE) September 3, 2018
If this post is correct we should see Samsung begin to allow users to deactivate the Bixby button with official software by the end of September — when it lands here is anyone’s guess but we assume it will arrive here eventually.
In the meantime, third party developers continue their ongoing battle with Samsung over the control of the button’s actions. At the moment you can use an app called bxActions where you can change what action or app the button will trigger, well, more that it adds an action after the Bixby screen. If, for example, you change it to Google Assistant you will still see the Bixby screen for a split second before the Google Assistant display loads. You can apparently remove this Bixby screen by performing some ADB commands from a PC but they do not look very easy to perform so have skipped them for now.
Hopefully Samsung will not just offer the ability to deactivate the button but also to remap it to any other function. Given their continual failings with Bixby it makes you wonder how long they will continue with it or are they in it for the long haul. What do you think?