Although late, but Samsung eventually brought an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered virtual assistant Bixby in last year’s S series premium smartphones. At that time, Bixby was not a fully cooked product and the company allowed people to tinker with it, predominantly disable it. But with Bixby 2.0 -- which is an improved better version of its predecessor, Samsung seems to be forcing people to use the assistant in the Galaxy Note 9 phablet. The Bixby 2.0 on the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 can’t be fully disabled.
Bixby has a dedicated physical button on the Galaxy S8 series, Note 8, S9 series and Note 9 smartphones. The button could be annoying for those who don’t use the virtual assistant during regular use. An unintentional press on the button opens Bixby and becomes an hindrance in the work that you are doing at that time. Luckily, customers could disable (or remap) it in case of Bixby 2.0 by using an app called bxActions. Samsung doesn’t have a native method for remapping, but bxActions can remap the Bixby button without root. However, when you try to use the app to remap Bixby on the Galaxy Note 9 smartphone, it just denies to ‘fully disable’ Bixby.
Earlier, people could remap the Bixby button and to use it for other tasks like muting the phone, taking a screenshot, turning on flashlight or launching any app. Even in the app intro for bxActions on Play Store, the developers warn users not to update the assistant on a newer version. “Samsung does not allow remapping with Bixby 2.0 present in Galaxy Note 9. Do not update Bixby or firmware to Bixby 2.0!,” the description reads.
Bixby 2.0 now comes with customised voice capabilities in India and it now understands local accents. A major part of the Bixby's development was done at SRI-Bangalore -- the company's largest Research and Development facility outside South Korea. Samsung has two more R&D centres in Noida.