You either use Bixby, Samsung’s virtual assistant, or you don’t. If it’s the latter, you may be wondering what to do with the dedicated Bixby Key on the side of phones like the Galaxy S10, S9, and S8, which can’t be disabled. Well, Samsung pushed an update that allows anyone to remap the button to open another app on the phone.
Remapping the button should work on any of the following phones:
Head to the Galaxy Store app, which can be found in the App Drawer, and tap the triple-dot icon on the top right. Go to My Page, and hit Update. If you don’t have the ability to remap the Bixby button, there should be an update waiting to be downloaded here.
Remapping the Bixby Key
The Bixby Key will still always open Bixby one way or another. The update simply gives you the option to launch another app via a single press (then a double press will open Bixby), or through a double press (where a single press will open Bixby). Pressing and holding the button will also still launch walkie-talkie mode for Bixby. Unfortunately, there’s no native way to use the button to open Google Assistant, but we’ll get to that in a second.
Once you have the update, head to Settings > Advanced features > Bixby Key. We recommend choosing Double press to open Bixby, which means you’ll just need to tap the button once to launch another app. Tap on Use single press, and then tap on the gear icon next to Open app. Look for the app you want to launch — it can even be the camera — and select it. That’s it! You’ve successfully remapped the Bixby button.
You’ll also see the option to trigger a Quick Command when you tap the Bixby Key. Quick Commands let you trigger a series of actions on your phone when you say a phrase. For example saying, “I’m driving,” could turn off Wi-Fi on your phone, turn Bluetooth on, and start playing a “Commute” playlist if you have one. Attaching a Quick Command to the Bixby Key would mean you won’t need to say it out loud, and can just press the button instead. Considering there’s a good chance of pressing the Bixby Key accidentally, though, you may want to use this as a Double-press instead.
Remapping the Bixby Key to open Google Assistant
If you use Google Assistant a lot, you may want to launch it with the dedicated button instead of pressing down on the home button. There is a way to do it, but it requires a third-party app (which can always be a cause for concern, in terms of security). The app and instructions come from XDA Developers.
We first recommend heading to Settings > Biometrics and security > Install unknown apps and tap Chrome or Samsung Internet — whatever your default browser is currently. Toggle on Allow from this source. You can change this back later, but this is what allows the browser to download unidentified files, which is necessary if you want to launch Google Assistant with the Bixby Key.
Now head to this link and download XDA’s Bixby Remapper APK. We’ve tried this on multiple phones and the process worked smoothly. Follow the instructions to download the app and then install it.
Once installed, head back to Settings > Advanced features > Bixby Key. Tap Use single press, and then on the gear icon next to Open app. Now look for an app called Bixby Button Assistant Remapper. That’s it.
Press the Bixby Button, and you should get a choice to open Google Assistant or Bixby (or it will automatically launch Google Assistant) — tap Google Assistant and then tap Always to make sure it will always open Google’s A.I.
There you go, now you can use the Bixby Key to launch Google Assistant.