Thanks Samsung: you can now disable the Bixby button on the Galaxy S8

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Samsung has finally admitted that not everyone wants to actually use its voice assistant Bixby. As a result, the company will soon allow users of its S8 family of devices to disable the voice assistant’s dedicated button on their handsets.

The update, spotted by SamMobile, will allow users to choose what happens when they tap the Bixby button.

There are now two options: the first allows users to tap the button once to open Bixby Home, while holding it down opens Bixby Voice.

The second disables the key altogether.

Notably, the update doesn’t disable Bixby completely, just its tendency to appear when the button is tapped. The voice assistant’s home page can still be accessed by swiping to the right from the Samsung home screen. But this does at least suggest that Samsung’s listening to its customers.

Previously, Samsung engaged in a war against apps that modified the button’s functionality, which allowed users to reprogram the button to open other apps and services. However there’s no official option to transform the Bixby key into a convenience button.

The update is live for us in South Africa, but is the updated button live for you? Let us know in the comments below.

Andy Walker, former editor


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