When Samsung introduced the Bixby hardware button (Bixby Key) to its smartphones, the idea was that this would help encourage users to use its Bixby digital assistant more. However given that not everyone wanted to use Bixby, users wanted to remap the button to launch another app. After the Galaxy S10 launch, Samsung has finally provided an official solution, even for older Galaxy phones.
How To Remap The Bixby Button
Unfortunately Samsung quickly disabled it, much to the annoyance of its users, but the good news is that the company has since had a change of heart whereupon the launch of the Galaxy S10, Samsung revealed that the Bixby button can now be remapped to launch other applications instead, and here’s how you can go about doing it.
- Download the latest version of Bixby Voice (version 2.1.04.18 or above)
- Launch Bixby Voice
- Tap the three vertical dots to the right side of the screen and choose Settings
- Scroll down and select Bixby key
- Choose between a single press or a double press
- Users can then choose between either choosing an app to launch or execute a quick command
Note that not all apps or services might be compatible with this. For example, you will not be able to select Google Assistant to launch via the Bixby hardware button. Also, we should point out that you will not be able to disable the launch of Bixby completely.
What this means is that if you were to select the “Single press” option, it automatically means that double pressing the button will launch Bixby, and vice versa.
We suppose ideally users would be able to customize both button presses, but at the same time we understand that Samsung would still very much like users to keep using Bixby, but hey, it’s still better than nothing.
This should be applicable across all Samsung devices that come with the Bixby button. This includes the Samsung Galaxy S8, S9, and S10 lineup, along with the Galaxy Note 8 and Note 9 (and presumably the Note 10 that will launch later this year).
How To Update Bixby To Get The Latest Version
To verify what Bixby version you currently have and update the app if necessary, do:
- Launch the Bixby app by using the Bixby button (single or double tap, depending on your previous settings)
- Tap on the Menu icon (the three vertical dots) and select “Settings“
- You can scroll down to “About Bixby Voice” at the bottom of the page
- If an update is available in your region, there’s an Update button. If not, it will say “the latest version is already installed”.
You can now be more productive with the Bixby button. If you have an older Galaxy phone, don’t miss our complete review of the Galaxy S10 smartphone, and we even have a dedicated review of the Galaxy S10 Camera, based on our Uber-G Camera IQ score.