As impressed as we were with the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ at launch, we couldn’t help but question Samsung’s decision to put a dedicated Bixby button on the side of the phones. Bixby was meant to be Samsung’s answer to Google Assistant, but until recently, Bixby Voice wasn’t even accessible to S8 owners outside of South Korea. But now, just six months after the S8’s launch, Samsung is already walking back its Bixby plans.
On Monday, SamMobile was the first to report that Samsung had quietly begun rolling out an update to allow S8 owners to disable the Bixby button altogether. Once you install the latest Bixby updates on your S8, S8+ or Note 8, you should see a toggle at the top of the Bixby Home screen that will allow you to choose whether or not Bixby launches when you hit the Bixby button. The toggle also appears in the Bixby settings menu.
Bixby Home can still be accessed at any time by swiping left on the home screen, but at the very least, you’ll no longer accidentally go to the Bixby Home screen when you meant to turn down the volume. The fact that this appears to be such a welcome change for so many users probably isn’t a great sign for Bixby.
Interestingly, SamMobile also notes that not all S8, S8+ and Note 8 devices have received the update yet. The rollout seems to be random up to this point, so keep an eye out if you have a phone with a Bixby button.