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Samsung's letting you remap the Bixby button, and not just on Galaxy S10

Even if you don't plan on buying the Galaxy S10, you could still use one of Bixby's new features.

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The Bixby button is getting some new features.

James Martin

Samsung revealed its Galaxy S10 lineup this week and it comes with a feature that'll likely make many people happy, Bixby Key Customization. That's the company's way of saying you'll finally be able to use the Bixby button for more than launching the digital assistant.

"Now, you can customize the button to launch Bixby with either a single or double press, and map the other option to launch your favorite app or Quick command," Samsung said in a release Friday. After a software update, the feature will also be available on older Bixby-enabled phones running on Android Pie OS.

Devices will likely include the Galaxy S8, Galaxy S9, Note 8 and Note 9. Samsung said no date has been announced for the software update.

Samsung said the new feature is just another way to personalize Bixby and make using it more convenient. The feature is similar to how users can open Google Assistant by squeezing the Pixel 3 or building routines on Siri Shortcuts

For example, if you're at the movies, you can now assign a Quick command to the Bixby button. Bixby will set your phone to silent, turn on "do not disturb," reduce brightness and turn off the screen.

When it was introduced on the Galaxy S8, the Bixby button lived under the volume buttons and had a tendency to accidentally launch. Samsung offered a way to disable the Bixby button entirely, but not an option to map other apps or commands to the button. Many third-party developers tried using the Bixby button as a customizable hardware shortcut button, but Samsung broke those workarounds, stating developers were "exploiting a system-level behavior."

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