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Samsung will no longer let users remap Bixby button on Galaxy S8

With Bixby not actually launching with the Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus at release, pushing out a patch specifically targeting this remapping workaround seems like an odd choice. (Source: Android Authority)
With Bixby not actually launching with the Galaxy S8 or S8 Plus at release, pushing out a patch specifically targeting this remapping workaround seems like an odd choice. (Source: Android Authority)
Samsung released a new update that reportedly prevents users from remapping the Bixby button, which is dedicated to Samsung's propriety smart assistant. Understandably, many users were not pleased with Samsung's decision.

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It hasn’t been long since the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus came out, but the few users who have gotten them aren’t happy about Samsung’s latest move to try to push their own smart assistant, Bixby. The new smartphones have a button designed by Samsung to activate Bixby known as the Bixby button, and some users who weren’t using Bixby found a way to remap the button to something else by using Accessibility Services.

Evidently, Samsung does not want its users doing this, so they got rid of the remapping ability by not allowing Accessibility Services from intercepting the key event. A Samsung representative later confirmed on Twitter that the company meant to do so. Now, it is not possible to intercept the Bixby button’s key event before it reaches Accessibility Services, preventing it from being remapped without root access.

Samsung has long tried to follow in Apple’s footsteps and build its own app ecosystem separately from Google, but removing the option for users to choose how they want this button to be used reeks of desperation. Plus, Android is popular because of its customizability, and with competition between Android phones being so intense, users could easily switch to the Pixel or one of the many flagship Chinese smartphones if Samsung stops delivering a robust Android experience.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2017 04 > Samsung will no longer let users remap Bixby button on Galaxy S8
Isaac Brown, 2017-04-18 (Update: 2017-04-19)
Isaac Brown

Isaac Brown - News Editor
I joined Notebookcheck at the end of 2016 after being a dedicated reader of the website for the past six years, occasionally tuning out various lecturers to read reviews of the latest gaming and business laptops. As a writer and tech enthusiast, I focus mostly on smartphones, the latest trending gadgets like VR headsets, and the businesses that create it all. When I’m not admiring the latest graphics cards, I write short fiction and arrange for a cappella.