October 31, 2020

Samsung disables Bixby button remapping on Galaxy S8/Galaxy S8+ smartphones

Ahead of Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+’s global launch, the South Korean smartphone brand has disabled the ability to remap the Bixby hardware button. The company has rolled out an update restricting the same.
Philip Berne, head of Reviews Program at Samsung USA confirmed the news in a reply to a user on Twitter. “It [Bixby remapping] was exploiting system-level behaviour. That behaviour has been changed. Can’t say it will never happen, but we won’t officially support,” he said.
Bixby is Samsung’s artificial intelligence-powered digital assistant that competes with the likes of Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana and Google Assistant. The company introduced Bixby at the recent unveiling of Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ smartphones in the US. The smartphone’s come with a hardware button that is said to fire up Bixby. Bixby AI is the highlight of the company’s flagship smartphones this year. The assistant is deeply integrated with the smartphones and their core services.
Recently, a user is said to have found a way to remap the Bixby button so that it can be used to perform other functions too such as launching Google Assistant, turning on Bluetooth and more.
The process was explained by a YouTube user named Dylan Bertwell in a short video. The accompanying description read, “I found a third party app that will make the Bixby button change its function and do whatever you want it to do. In this video, I’m showing the Bixby button opening Google Now instead of Bixby.”
In a report, XDA-Developers website said that Bixby button can be also remapped to open some other applications using a free-to-download app. Dubbed ‘All-in-one Gestures’, the app needs users’ permission to modify system settings.
It has also been reported that the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+ buyers will have to wait for a few months to talk to the company’s new digital assistant, Bixby. In a statement to the Axios website, the South Korean company recently confirmed the delayed arrival Bixby features on the two new smartphones.
Samsung recently also announced that the Bixby Voice feature, with which users can converse with the digital assistant, will not be available in the US on Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ smartphones till spring this year. However, other Bixby features such as Vision, Home and Reminder will be available at the time of the release, which is April 21.