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Samsung Is Struggling With the Slowly Dawning Realization That No One Cares About Bixby

Cloudy with a chance of existential crisis.

In a new update to the Galaxy Note 9, Samsung is changing how that dedicated Bixby button works. Instead of clicking it once to activate Bixby, you’ll have to click it twice.

To say that Bixby is unpopular would be an understatement. This has led to plenty of demand to let users turn the dang thing off. On some older phones, you could disable the dedicated Bixby button, but the Note 9 didn’t allow this option. This was particularly frustrating since, as an Android phone, Google Assistant is readily available. Most usage of the Bixby button is accidental. Users naturally asked for the ability to turn the button off entirely or, even better, reassign it to a more useful function.

Samsung heard the cries of its users and understood. The problem is not that Bixby isn’t useful. It’s that it’s too easy to activate it. They tried to make it convenient for users, but gosh darn it, they just went too far. So, the solution is to make it just a smidge harder to activate Bixby with the button. Instead of clicking the button once—as most buttons on Earth work—you now have to click it twice.

Now, a double-click function for a button is fine and makes sense in cases where you want to give a button multiple functions. For example, on Android you can double-click the power button to launch the camera app. But in this case, it seems bizarre. If you enable this option—and it is optional, if you’d prefer to keep Bixby the way it is—then clicking the button once will do absolutely nothing, while the intended function is now just slightly harder.

It strikes us as a stubborn move borne out of denial. Samsung wants you to use Bixby, a voice assistant on a phone that already has a better one. From the company’s standpoint, the motivation makes sense. But the company also must know by now that Bixby isn’t exactly a hit. Making it harder to accidentally activate Bixby should certainly reduce some friction for users, but it’s a far cry from what users want and we’re pretty sure Samsung knows that.

Source: Android Authority

Eric Ravenscraft Eric Ravenscraft
Eric Ravenscraft has nearly a decade of writing experience in the technology industry. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, PCMag, The Daily Beast, Geek and Sundry, and The Inventory. Read Full Bio »