The Bixby button drives me nuts

Hardware buttons have gone out of fashion now. That’s one of the reasons why Samsung’s decision to drop the home button on the Galaxy S8 was well received. The handset should ideally have had three buttons: power and volume up/down. That’s not the case, though.

Samsung introduced a dedicated button for its Bixby voice assistant with the Galaxy S8. It’s present on the Galaxy S8 Active as well, replacing the multifunctional Active key of previous Galaxy S active smartphones. It looks like this will be a permanent fixture on Samsung flagships from now on, as leaked images of the Galaxy Note 8 show the upcoming flagship will have a dedicated Bixby button as well.

The company may also add a dedicated button for the virtual assistant on non-flagship devices. Samsung has made no secret of the fact that it will expand Bixby to more devices. It’s only a matter of time before the company’s premium mid-range smartphones get Bixby, and ultimately some of its budget devices as well.

So what does the Bixby button do? Well, if you’re not in South Korea or the United States, it doesn’t do much. It brings up Bixby Home. That’s the card-based contextual information hub of Samsung’s voice assistant. It’s Bixby without the voice functionality.

If you’re in South Korea or the United States, pressing this button will bring up the voice assistant, ready to do as you command. Samsung says that Bixby can do almost everything in response to a voice command that a user can do manually by interacting with the display.

Samsung hasn’t said when it’s going to expand Bixby Voice to other markets across the globe. While there have been hints that a global launch might be possible, the company is yet to take customers into confidence regarding this.

It has sold millions of units of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ worldwide, handsets that cost over $900 in some markets, and yet they still don’t offer one of the flagship’s biggest selling points.

Simply put, if you’re not located in the supported markets, the Bixby button is useless for you. It bugs me, having a dedicated button on my smartphone and serves no purpose. I also find that it gets in the way and that drives me nuts.

It’s not that difficult to press the Bixby button accidentally when picking up the Galaxy S8, leaving you to mash the virtual home button because you want Bixby Home to go away so that you can do what you were really going to do. You might also press the button by accident when trying to quickly turn the volume down because it’s located below the volume down button.

The Bixby button gets in the way. Whether you’re viewing content for extended periods of time and trying to find a more comfortable position to hold the device or mindlessly picking up the phone when it’s lying on a flat surface, there’s no avoiding the accidental press of the Bixby button.

There’s no way around it. While it was possible to remap the Bixby button initially, Samsung has made it harder to do so now. Granted that it makes sense for Samsung to not allow remapping, it doesn’t even allow users to disable the button (unless they turn to third-party alternatives). Galaxy S8 owners have no choice when it comes to this pesky button.

Galaxy S8 Tip: Disable Bixby notifications and reminders

Choice is the magic word here. Many Android fans opt for Android-powered smartphones precisely because it offers them more choice compared to the only other leading mobile platform, iOS. Users are free to customize their handsets as they wish. They’re free to install apps from any source and free to flash any ROM.

Samsung sold us the idea of a very intelligent and capable virtual assistant when unveiling the Galaxy S8, but the fact remains that Bixby wasn’t ready at launch. Almost six months after the handset was released, a vast majority of Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ owners still don’t know when they will get to use Bixby in its true form.

The company should at least be more open with its plans for Bixby. It’s gearing up to launch another flagship that counts Bixby as one of its biggest features, and yet, most Galaxy Note 8 owners will not have access to this feature at launch.

One can live with the Bixby button if it actually serves some purpose. As long as it remains useless, it will just drive me nuts every time I press it by accident.

Opinion 27
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27 Comments

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nathan807
1 month 7 days ago
nathan807

Samsung is not considering India market for high end devices, rather samsung considers India for mid-range phone marketplace. So Samsung always give least priority to India. NO worry at-least on or before Jan 2018 we will get Bixby without full fledged functions means just for sake of people demanding in India.

1 month 7 days ago
Al Turist

Remembering fines imposed by EU on Microsoft and Google.
For now, this button is not usable. I wonder what happens when they release Bixby. Will Samsung still block other methods of use of this button? I don’t know about the rest of the world but in Europe antimonopoly agencies will surely impose fines and make Samsung provide access to this button for other voice assistants. Restriction of business competition is not a very good thing. Lawsuits may follow.

AMRITPATHIK
1 month 8 days ago
AMRITPATHIK

Dear Samsung…… Love u… I am hard core user and lover of u…..samsung devices are best companion to me…. But s8+ dispointing me because of Bixby button…. I spend about 58000 rs. Of my earning…. But it could not favour me of… Bixby is not launched in India….. Its looks jerry…. Now world is virtually developing… But ur going oppsite…. Plz don’t be shit on u…..

nathan807
1 month 7 days ago
nathan807

Samsung is not considering India market for high end devices, rather samsung considers India for mid-range phone marketplace. So Samsung always give least priority to India. NO worry at-least on or before Jan 2018 we will get Bixby without full fledged functions means just for sake of people demanding in India…

nathan807
1 month 8 days ago
nathan807
Still No 7.1 update and NO Bixby update in India or outside US and South Korea. Then what is the reason for having Bixby button…? it is just promise to the Global customers outside US. Promises never to keep… super samsung.. Still I believe I have wasted my money on Samsung S8+… But once I change mobile I will never come to Samsung again. I don’t know Why there is contract for software update only for two years. Price is equal to Apple Iphone. Software update is limited to 2-years only. what sort of business.???? See Apple iPhone 5s is… Read more »
o0MHJ0o
1 month 8 days ago
o0MHJ0o

Bixby voice wasn’t promised to anyone but south Korea and the US. Not Samsung’s fault you didn’t listen to them. and now you blame them. Apple is NOT android! stop comparing software updates when the platforms are completely different. if apple was open source it would be the exact same as 2 years of updates!
Do some research before making such trolling comments! Goes for everyone who has said the same thing and unfortunately seems to be a lot of you!

seculic
1 month 8 days ago
seculic
The Bixby totally useless button and functions are a really pain in the… So… Samsung take note of a user Who’s been using your flagships for years… I am considering migrating to another platform from a different Company because of these brand New *Innovation” policy from Samsung’s that after 6 months from the S8 launch… We are still waiting for features that were never available. I paid a lot of money for a cellphone and I am not installing a third party app to disable what Samsung’s denies us as user and owners of a 900 dls Phone. Samsung’s policy…… Read more »
AMRITPATHIK
1 month 8 days ago
AMRITPATHIK

U r absolutely right Bro.

nathan807
1 month 8 days ago
nathan807

well said dude.It is waste having a Bixby button…

o0MHJ0o
1 month 8 days ago
o0MHJ0o

your loyalty is easily bought then, you’re going to jump ship because of one feature; yes it is a big feature, and yes I want it too. but their displays can’t be beat, their hardware is beautiful and their phone is still feature packed even without Bixby Voice. They have much to improve on, but it should not be a deal breaker for loyal Samsung fans

o0MHJ0o
1 month 9 days ago
o0MHJ0o
I am really starting to question whether you even have an S8/S8+ because it is just not that difficult. and any user of the S8s knows that tapping the Bixby button again sends it back straight away. so any accidental taps can be quickly fixed by a purposeful tap of the button. Give it a try, it minimizes as quickly as it launches. no need to jab the virtual home button continuously. apart from being in the dark with AOD off, and a couple of times when I first got the phone, I have not pressed it accidentally since. Yeah,… Read more »
CraftyguySE
1 month 9 days ago
CraftyguySE

Package disabler pro completely removes the chance of clicking it or running any of the Bixby functions.
Might try Bixby when it’s ready for prime time, but until then I find it pretty useless.

DavidUpton
1 month 8 days ago
DavidUpton

Absolutely! Install Package Disabler Pro, search for Bixby and tap disable, job done – the button now does absolutely nothing when you accidentally press it.
Such a simple solution. Everyone should be doing this!

Aleksanderis
1 month 9 days ago
Aleksanderis
Don’t know why for others it’s totally not a problem, but I also share same pain as author. I was more than happy with S8. After having such devices as HTC M8, Galaxy S6, etc – S8 gave me the biggest wow-effect after a while, and this effect wasn’t temporary. I was still happy months after purchase, because I didn’t find any issue with a phone – like I did it with my previous devices (therefore I always was rooting them, installing custom ROMS, modifying, etc – just to keep the joy). With S8 I just didn’t need it.. until… Read more »
Sp1tfire
1 month 9 days ago
Sp1tfire

I remapped it to Google Now with the help of BK Package Disabler, but you can also disable it with this app. Best of all, you don’t need root to disable or remap it. Also disabled almost 40 useless preinstalled apps or services that I have no use for.

krakajap
1 month 9 days ago
krakajap
I get that this is your opinion and it obviously bugs the crap out of you but man, that’s quite a harsh and intolerable outlook. Of course I’m going to compare this to my own experiences, after all, that’s what opinions are for, but I’ve had zero issues. Sure it’s a useless button but I’ve never once hit it by accident. I’ve somehow managed to completely avoid it. I guess it sucks that you’re unable to do the same. But you’d think that if it really bothered you this much, you’d find another phone instead of wasting time writing about… Read more »
Foxipol
1 month 9 days ago
Foxipol

I honestly don´t understand what the big deal is. I have accidentally pressed the button no more than 3 times. It´s not that difficult to ignore. Grow up and stop doing idiotic criticisms.

aammiirroo
1 month 9 days ago
aammiirroo
There is only one problem with s8 and will be with note 8 too and that’s how fragile these phones have became! i accidentally dropped my phone on my gear in the car, a drop that was less than 2 cm and both of my edges now have straight line cracks on them! absolutely ridiculous! not sure if my handset’s screen had an issue or not but i will contact Samsung soon about it and see what they say. but for me this could very well be my last samsung flagship device i use as they are getting too expensive… Read more »
RoadRunner99
1 month 8 days ago
RoadRunner99

Ah, but they look so pretty.

Natty80
1 month 9 days ago
Natty80

I have managed to disable the button as it was also getting on my nerves accidentally. I used a 3rd party app adhell. Enjoy

BorrowedTime
1 month 9 days ago
BorrowedTime

I saw videos about bixby voice. Its looks cool. When it becomes available worldwide I think it will be usefull. And to be honest I preffer a button from talking to a screen saying hi in metro

1 month 9 days ago
Chris Banks

I have to be honest, I actually like being able to hold the button down without having to say “Hi Bixby” like a crazy person. The fact that it only records voice input as long as I’m pressing the button and immediately stops once I let it go is a nice touch.

borisblack
1 month 9 days ago
borisblack

was accidentally pressed 4-6 times since I got my S8+ 2 month ago — what is wrong with me?

anactoraaron
1 month 9 days ago
anactoraaron

There is a simple solution here Samsung can do (but likely won’t). Change the button so that a short press does nothing (and even better yet, make a short press a custom action), and make a long press bring up bixby.

There. Fixed. No more accidental pressing and having to mess with bixby. Everyone will be happy – Samsung keeps the button as a bixby button and, potentially, people looking to have the button do something else can have that too.

o0MHJ0o
1 month 8 days ago
o0MHJ0o

Long press launches Bixby Voice for those who have it. short press doesn’t launch Bixby while using a 3rd party app, double press does.

stondec
1 month 9 days ago
stondec

It would really be nice to have options, disable the button or remap it.

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