It seems Samsung has finally given in to users’ demand by allowing them to turn off the Bixby button. According to a few Redditors, in its latest software update, the Korean smartphone manufacturer has offered the option to disable its in-house virtual assistant.
Bixby button is an annoying feature
The Bixby button was probably the most annoying feature that Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 Plus and Galaxy Note 8 users have come across. In the early version of the Galaxy S8 phones, Samsung did allow users to change the default setting for the key and assign it to another function rather than Bixby. However, to give all the limelight to Bixby, the Korean firm later decided to remove the option to change the button’s function to something else.
Injong Rhee, Executive VP and Head of R&D for Software and Services at Samsung, told TechRadar, “We got a lot of anger, a lot of emails from many, many people [saying]: ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if I could map it to camera?’”
Rhee is, however, not ready to accept that the dedicated key is an annoying feature. The executive believes that people do not yet see the good in Bixby, but once they start doing so, they will no longer want to map the dedicated key to another function.
It’s not just the functionality of the Bixby button, but the placement of the key has also been an issue with users complaining that it is in an odd place and can be easily bumped, notes TechRadar. Most users also find such a function irrelevant because they don’t use the voice assistant. It was only in Samsung’s best interest to make this an optional feature rather than a dedicated one.
In order to disable the voice assistant, a user must download the latest versions of Bixby and Bixby Home. Thereafter, the settings can be changed from the setting indicator on the top right corner of the Galaxy Apps store via “My Apps.” In the “All” section of “My Apps,” there will be a few other settings available for Bixby and Bixby Home, notes The Next Web.
Samsung aims to make Bixby a global leader
Bixby is similar to Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri; it allows users to set alarms, send text messages and perform various other functions through pre-installed apps and third-party apps that are compatible with Bixby. Several prominent third-party apps such as Google Maps, YouTube and Facebook can be used through Bixby.
Another feature added to Bixby just last month was voice capabilities, which can be activated by pressing the Bixby button. The voice capabilities were first available in South Korea and later rolled out to other countries, including the United States.
Bixby, which was exclusive to Samsung’s premium smartphones at one point, is gradually trickling down to other phones as the company looks to increase the footprint of its digital assistant. The South Korean giant is not leaving any stone unturned on the path to ensuring that Bixby gains popularity. The company even wants the service to be available on non-Samsung phones and is already talking with other manufacturers about doing it.