While the much-awaited launch of Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ is just around the corner, there’s a slight disappointment in store for all those wanting to buy the phones.
Reports suggest that Samsung will not allow the customization of the Bixby button on the Galaxy S8. Meaning, the Bixby button cannot be remapped to perform other functions. As per a report by The Verge earlier, XDA Developers had figured out a way to change the button’s purpose. It could open Google Assistant, the camera or a favourite app instead of launching Bixby.
However, XDA developers reported on Monday that a new update for Galaxy S8 removes the ability to remap the Bixby button.
According to The Verge, “previously, the button's command was "intercepted" by the Accessibility Services built into Android. That would’ve allowed other apps (once granted accessibility permissions by the user) to change its default function. But the latest Galaxy S8 system firmware removes this possibility altogether. Nothing’s being taken away since the phone hasn’t even launched yet, but Samsung is preventing a bit of customization that power users would’ve appreciated.”
What’s important to note here is that on the Galaxy S8, Bixby is being launched without voice support making it similar to HTC’s Blinkfeed. And there is no way to completely disable Bixby, pointing to the fact that Samsung S8 and S8+ wants its users to be dedicated to Bixby alone.
In fact, Samsung has confirmed this. Samsung’s head of reviews program Philip Berne confirmed on Twitter that Samsung has removed the ability to remap the Bixby button. “It was exploiting a system-level behavior. That behavior has been changed. Can’t say it will never happen, but we won’t officially support… I can't say for sure why this behavior changed, but I can say that we are not supporting remapping that button,” he said on Twitter.