Samsung’s current generation flagships Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ boast of a lot of features and the all-new Bixby AI is one of them. It is Samsung’s take on Google Assistant/Google Now and is the default assistant on these new smartphones with a dedicated physical button. While this button was remappable for users, the same is not possible anymore.
Samsung has officially disabled the ability to remap the Bixby button on the Galaxy S8/S8+ via an OTA update. It means Galaxy S8 users can not remap the button to Google Assistant/Now or any other app on the device.
This change of behavior was first spotted by an XDA member flar2 who is also the developer of the Button Mapper app. It is one of those apps which allowed users to remap the Bixby button by intercepting the key event generated (when the button was pressed) with the help of Accessibility Services. And this is apparently what Samsung is preventing from happening for disabling the remapping.
Samsung’s decision to disable the remapping of Bixby button was later confirmed by company’s PR representative Philip Berne. He mentioned in a tweet that Samsung is in no mood to support the functionally officially.
— Philip Berne (@philipberne) April 17, 2017
While it’s understandable that why Samsung would want you to use the button only for triggering Bixby, it does not make sense to force users to use it for the purpose. This change is likely not to go so well with Galaxy S8 users. It is indeed another disappointing news as we already know that there will be no Bixby Voice at the time of the Galaxy S8 launch.