Bixby button will finally become more useful with Tasker

Hate it or love it, if you're a Samsung Galaxy smartphone owner, you can't escape the Bixby button. After an almost scandalous tug of war, Samsung has finally given in and allowed users to somewhat use the button for something else. That, however, isn't enough for some power users who really want that Bixby button to become useful for almost anything. Soon, you'll be able to and all you will need is the popular Android automation framework Tasker.

The new Bixby Remap function is rather simple. Either you assign Bixby to a single press of the button, in which case you can launch any app with a double press, or you double press to launch Bixby, freeing up the single press for launching apps. The major limitation is that remapping the button can only be used to launch apps, not actions. The other is that you can't even launch the competing Google Assistant.

The latter is now possible thanks to Tasker and XDA. Technically, you can use Tasker to create an application that simply launches the voice assistant of choice, Google Assistant in this case. XDA turned that into an easy to download and install APK for those who don't want to fiddle with Tasker just for a simple thing.

For those who want to fiddle, though, Tasker is cooking up something to tickle their fancy. The developers are working on a companion app that will easily let you map any action in the same manner. That includes toggling settings or even starting specific actions. And, yes, you can use it to call Google Assistant with a single press.

The functionality is currently still in beta but is available for those willing to try. As powerful as the feature may be, it does require a bit of familiarity with Tasker's interface and workflow which isn't always the easiest thing in the Android world.