Samsung is blocking users from remapping the Galaxy S8's Bixby button

By Karthekayan Iyer | Updated 18 Apr 2017
Samsung is blocking users from remapping the Galaxy S8's Bixby button
  • Samsung is issuing a new firmware update that kills the ability to map dedicated Bixby button to any function other than launching its AI assistant

Samsung is reportedly blocking users from remapping the dedicated Bixby button to perform other functions. Earlier it was reported that the Galaxy S8's dedicated Bixby button's purpose can be changed to any function other than launching Samsung's AI assistant. 

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Now a post on XDA Developers confirms that Samsung is rolling out a new firmware update that shuts down the functionality to remap the Bixby button. It was initially observed that the Galaxy S8's Bixby button command can be intercepted by Android's built-in Accessibility Services. This allows users to change the default function of the button. The new firmware removes that option altogether and a Samsung executive confirms that the company won't support remapping that button.

Voice has been the core feature of AI assistants like Siri and Google Assistant but Samsung's Bixby won't support voice at the time of launch. Samsung says Bixby will support Vision, Home and Reminder and will function similar to Google Now. Bixby is also limited to English and Korean as of now. Samsung is planning to add more language support this year.

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Samsung touted Bixby as one of the the main features of its flagship Galaxy S8 smartphone and with the limited functionality, its AI assistant doesn't seem to be anything more than a gimmick. The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ are scheduled to launch in India tomorrow and will be available online exclusively on Flipkart.

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Karthekayan Iyer
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