Samsung Removes Ability to Remap Bixby Button, Eliminating a Killer Galaxy S8 Feature
It was nice while it lasted. Samsung users who managed to get their hands on the Galaxy S8 or S8+ early enjoyed the ability to launch any app through the dedicated Bixby button. Unfortunately, Samsung wasn't all that down with us using the Bixby button for purposes other than its intended use — to provide quick access to Samsung's new virtual assistant.
According to Flar2, the developer of the app Button Mapper — which lets you change what your device's buttons do — after receiving an early model of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and installing the latest system update, remapping the Bixby button was no longer possible.
As of now, it looks like Samsung has been paying attention to recent tutorials on how to remap the Bixby button to any desired application and, according to XDA, has since "modified the system to consume the Bixby button's key events before it reaches the Accessibility Services."
Before, a user could remap the Bixby button just by downloading the app All in one Gestures, which used an Accessibility service to intercept button presses and reroute them to launch any app of your choosing. But after the recent firmware update, the Bixby button can no longer be monitored by an Accessibility service, so this method doesn't work anymore.
In the long term, it's looking like it will be pretty much impossible to remap the Bixby button, at least not without rooting your device first.
But don't worry, we'll be on the lookout for any apps or mods that can manage to find a way around this issue. So stay tuned to this very website, and hopefully we can give you an updated guide on how to remap the Bixby button to whatever action you want, once the Galaxy S8 and S8+ roll out.