The Bixby button saga has been an ongoing blemish on an otherwise sterling smartphone. It has plagued Samsung since the release of the Galaxy S8 nearly two years ago. We’ve discussed about how the button is “structural bloatware” and a wildly unnecessary feature bolted onto a flagship phone.
One that’s required lengthy explanations for how to disable it entirely or use third-party software to remap it to something you might find useful. Samsung repeatedly going back and forth on whether you can use it for your own means or theirs. It has been a chief complaint for the last couple of years.
We mentioned yesterday that the new S10, Samsung has finally included a built-in method for remapping the button to a command of your choosing. The big question remained: would any of their previous devices receive that option.
Answer: yes. The company says it’s now extending that remapping capability to other flagship phones in the Galaxy line. That includes the S8 and S9 lines, as well as the Note 8 and Note 9. The only caveat is that you need to be running Android Pie (Android 9.0). Unfortunately, many phones haven’t received the update yet. Many will later this year.
So long as your device is running Android Pie (as well as the One Touch UI that sits atop it), Samsung says you’ll get Bixby button customization through a future software update. We don’t know exactly when that’s coming, but the company outlines some useful customization tips in this Bixby rundown here.
For those that like using Bixby, you can still launch the digital assistant using the dedicated button with either a single or double press — whatever you choose to remap the button for will take up one slot, with Bixby automatically filling the other. Unfortunately I don’t know many that actually like using it.