Though Samsung never officially allowed people to remap the dedicated Bixby button on the Galaxy S8 and S8+, it could be done with an application using Accessibility Service to intercept KeyEvents. However, it seems Samsung didn’t take kindly to people doing this.
The Telus versions of the devices received OTAs that changed the behavior of the button, making it so that Accessibility Service can’t intercept it. Users are no longer able to remap the button without root access. Strangely, some variants have not been updated to block remapping the button, though it’s likely that they will soon.
Samsung confirmed this move over Twitter, wrongly calling the method of remapping the button an “exploit.”
It makes sense for Samsung to do this, as the company wants as many people using Bixby as possible. But taking away people’s choices like this rarely ends with people liking the company more. The situation is made worse by the fact that Bixby is incomplete at launch, so people would be even less inclined to use it.
For those of you who purchased or will be purchasing a Galaxy S8, how do you feel about this? Are you excited to use Bixby, or could you use that extra button for other fun activities? Let us know in the comments!