With the latest Samsung phones, a new button was added. A convenience key? That would just be swell! Well, no. It wasn’t a convenience key at all. It was a dedicated key to call on Samsung’s new voice assistant Bixby.
It turns out Bixby was all it was made out to be. Which honestly, should have been expected. It’s essentially a first generation go for Samsung, and I don’t think any of us would expect a first run at a voice assistant to really compete with the Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa. I would like to see a run off between Bixby and Siri though, since Siri just doesn’t understand me. She’s also a bit prickly isn’t she? Oh well.
User’s have asked Samsung to make the key assignable to other tasks, turning the key into a convenience key. Samsung doesn’t want to do that. Some app makers had worked out methods to remap the Bixby key. Samsung didn’t appreciate that and worked to close off these features. I’m unaware if any are still able to do so. What Samsung offered was to disable the Bixby key, and many users have taken Samsung up on that. The key wasn’t truly disabled though, it would still wake the screen when pressed, much like what the power button does.
Now, there are new updates to Bixby, surely offering more functionality and more reason to use the service right? That’s what Samsung surely hopes for. However, there is one feature in the new Bixby apps that really has users excited. That is the ability to completely disable the key. That’s right, the new update makes it to where pressing the button doesn’t even wake the screen any longer.
And users are excited.
They’re excited because they can completely disable a button.
On their phone.
Making it useless.
For myself, I’m a long time BlackBerry user. I’ve always loved having an extra convenience key and setting it to do what I like. Granted, we went though an inconvenenient stage where the convenience key disappeared for a while, but it came roaring back to life on the BlackBerry KEYone. Now, on the newest BlackBerry Motion, the convenience key becomes even more convenient offering different functionality for different preset profiles. There’s not much you can say about a convenience key short of it’s very convenient. I’m sure Samsung users are wishing Bixby was convenient.