An update to the Samsung Bixby app is rolling out to the Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy Note 8 devices that provides a little bit of help for users who find the Samsung AI platform more of a bother than anything else. A frequent complaint from users is that the Bixby button is essentially in the way for users who have not interest in Bixby, especially when it is accidentally pressed to open Bixby. The update adds a new setting to disable the Bixby button.
When the new Galaxy S8 devices launched last spring, the Bixby button only served to open the Bixby app on the phone. That changed during the summer when Samsung finally launched Bixby Voice, at least for English-speaking consumers who could join Korean users, so that pressing the Bixby Button was a way to launch the voice recognition portion of the app to issue a command or query.
The other change that Samsung made post-launch was to stop people from re-mapping the Bixby button to launch any app other than Bixby. That change rendered the button useless to anyone not using Bixby, although developers continue to work on ways to get around that restriction.
The ability to disable the Bixby button is a step in restoring some usefulness in the sense that it stops an undesirable impact from having the button present. According to some reports a prompt will show up asking users if they want to disable the Bixby button after the latest update installs. If it does not, users can change it by accessing the app’s settings.
In addition to disabling the Bixby button, users can also disable the Bixby panel. This is accomplished by accessing homescreens and scrolling over to the Bixby screen where a toggle should be present to turn it off. This makes it so no left swipe to Bixby is available from the home screen.