Samsung introduced its Bixby smart assistant back in 2017 as a competitor to other virtual assistants such as Google Assistant, Siri, Alexa, and Cortana. The Galaxy S8 series was the first to come with a dedicated key for accessing Samsung’s assistant. One of the biggest issues associated with the dedicated button was that it could not be reconfigured to launch any other app. Hence, users had to make use of workaround such as third-party apps to reassign. Now, Samsung has confirmed to The Verge that it has added settings on the Galaxy S10+, Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10e that allow users to reconfigure the Bixby key to open any of the desired app.
A user may remap the single press or longer press functionality of the Bixby button on the Galaxy S10 phones to launch Google Assistant or any of the frequently used apps. Whichever option was not chosen will result in the opening of Bixby Home by default. Also, a longer press always on the button will always launch Bixby Voice.
— Samsung Mobile (@SamsungMobile) February 20, 2019
The updated version of Bixby on Galaxy S10 also includes Bixby Routines. The new features can learn the habits of the user to proactively launch apps or settings that he/she may are most likely to access. For example, once inside the car, Bixby will automatically turn on the most used music player or active Do Not Disturb mode.
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The Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ phones do not have the feature to reassign the Bixby button yet. The South Korean company may release an update for Bixby’s software in the upcoming One UI version for these phones. Hopefully, the One UI update for older phones such as Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+ and Galaxy Note 8 may also include the setting to remap the Bixby button.