Bixby key customization saga ends on a sour note for Google Assistant fans

Bixby key customization saga ends on a sour note for Google Assistant fans
When Samsung finally announced a Bixby Key Customization feature was coming for both the Galaxy S10 family and older flagships running Android Pie, the company vaguely mentioned users would be able to program either a single or double press to launch their "favorite app." As it turns out, that doesn't include all apps installed on one's S10 or Note 9.

One app in particular that doesn't seem to be compatible with the button remapping option is Google Assistant, and we have every reason to believe that's an intentional omission rather than some sort of a glitch. While our Galaxy S10+ review unit has yet to receive that software update aimed at improving camera stability and bringing Bixby customization to the table, we've managed to update the Bixby app on a commercial Galaxy Note 9.

That means we should now be able to remap the infamous side-mounted hardware key to our "favorite app", but that's simply not possible for Google's hugely popular virtual assistant. The same appears to apply to Alexa and Cortana, according to a number of Galaxy S10 reviewers and everyday Note 9 and S9 users. Basically, Samsung still doesn't want you to replace Bixby with a voice-controlled digital assistant from a rival company, which... kind of makes sense.


It's worth pointing out that the Bixby key remapping option remains useful for many other things and quick-launching many other apps. You still have to leave either the single or double press method reserved for Samsung's own assistant, but you can program the other one to open Facebook or Instagram, for instance.

In theory, it should also be possible to create a quick command designed to launch Google Assistant, which you could then assign to a Bixby button single press or double press, but that doesn't seem to work either, and even if it did, it sounds like a super-inconvenient workaround for a problem that shouldn't exist. Oh, and by the way, the customization feature does work with Google's core search app. Yup, this is a complete mess.

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27 Comments

1. Cat97

Posts: 1804; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Well, it will take 1-2 more years until Samsung will give up Bixby.

2. sissy246

Posts: 7035; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Why should they. The people that don't like Bixby are the people that don't know how to use it. Does it need ore polishing, yes it does. I do wish they would fid a better place for the Bixby button, like above the volume buttons i have learned not to hit it but, every now and then i do.

5. izim1

Posts: 1595; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

I know how to use it. I've zero use for it, therefore don't like it, or its dedicated button. There is absolutely nothing that bixby can do that GA cant. Nothing. The opposite, actually. I'm not going to buy Samsungs smartthings just to be able to use bixby with my smart home when GA does it just fine without needing to buy anything else. Luckily this isnt an "either or" situation, but the bixby program and button are nothing more than dead weight for non samsung fanboys.

9. 7thlvl

Posts: 53; Member since: Dec 09, 2018

GA can not close an open app and Bixby can. Go ahead and try it.

18. apple-rulz

Posts: 1940; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Bixby can not set a location based reminder. Go ahead and try it.

21. tedkord

Posts: 17198; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Which had what to do with the discussion? The statement was made that there is nothing Bixby can do that GA can't. That's simply not true, as shown by the examples above.

12. ShadowSnypa786

Posts: 521; Member since: Jan 06, 2017

Do you even know what Bixby does or are you one of those haters who havent used it and jump on the hate bandwagon? Google Assistant is for web searches and some phone commands. Bixby is more about phone commands like take and send a screenshot, open and install apps, find specific vacation photos and it can do some general web searches. Bixby can Open the camera and record a video, Turn up ringtone volume to 70% (Turn on do-not disturb, turn up the brightness to 50%, etc).

14. sissy246

Posts: 7035; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

He is just a Samsung hate boy.

13. sissy246

Posts: 7035; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

You obviously don't know what Bixby can do. GA is best for web sites surfing, i agree , but to interact with your phone GA can not do. You are a known Samsung hater so of course you don't like it.

27. sgodsell

Posts: 7028; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

If Samsung users want to use Google Assistant, they just have press and hold the middle navigation button down. Then you are running Google Assistant.

4. Fred3

Posts: 433; Member since: Jan 16, 2018

Google is collaborating with Samsung to improve Bixby so there's no point to getting rid of it. This was stated back in Sept.

17. allenrobberson

Posts: 2; Member since: Mar 01, 2019

Bixbi Button Remapper - bxActions

3. briankeithmays

Posts: 28; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

This writer has to be an apple user. Nothing sour about this. All you have to say is ok Google. No need for the Bixby button.

22. uberzero

Posts: 49; Member since: Jul 07, 2018

You can ask Bixby to open or close Google Assistant

6. briankeithmays

Posts: 28; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

Google assistant already has a dedicated key when you hold the square button. These PhoneArena writers must be getting paid well by Apple.

7. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 1025; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

The Home icon already triggers Google Assistant, what kind of moron would want to have 2 button shortcuts to the same feature?

8. talon95

Posts: 990; Member since: Jul 31, 2012

I'd like to see a poll of how many Samsung users actually use Bixby. But they can poll for all the assistants so that everyone has an option. Apple - Siri Apple - GA Apple - Siri and GA Apple - none Android - GA Android - none Samsung - Bixby Samsung - GA Samsung - Bixby and GA Samsung - none Windows - Cortana... anyone? j/k Like that for example. So we can actually learn something instead of getting a bunch of unhappy voters that just mess with the result. Personally I still have never agreed to the terms of Bixby so it doesn't even launch if I bump it. Samsung have improved the button requiring it to be held down to launch, so it doesn't take me out of my current app if I tap it by accident instead of the volume.

11. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 1025; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

I use a mixture of Bixby and GA, they each serve their purpose

15. sissy246

Posts: 7035; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Exactly, same here

26. ph00ny

Posts: 2014; Member since: May 26, 2011

Samsung - Bixby and GA

10. 7thlvl

Posts: 53; Member since: Dec 09, 2018

I like Bixby. Ask her to RAP or BEATBOX for you. ;)

16. allenrobberson

Posts: 2; Member since: Mar 01, 2019

Just use this app always works for me Bixbi Button Remapper - bxActions

19. apple-rulz

Posts: 1940; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Bixby is trash, Samsung will eventually drop support for it. Then Bixby can take its rightful place next to chat on, milk music, etc.

20. sissy246

Posts: 7035; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Just because you don't like it and you are a Samsung hate boy also doesn't mean everyone hates it. No , i don't use it for everything, but i do use it some and i like it, does it need some polishing, yes

23. tedkord

Posts: 17198; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

He just sore that Samsung flagships have been the best phones in the world since the S6.

24. warrenellis93

Posts: 540; Member since: Jul 21, 2011

If you hold down the home button you should get the google assistant

25. uberzero

Posts: 49; Member since: Jul 07, 2018

Is that a bait or the article failed mentioning Google Assistant is accessible by holding Home button?

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