Earlier this week, before the official Samsung Galaxy S8 commercial was launched, the Korean tech firm has reportedly prevented the Bixby button on its new flagship from being remapped to perform other functions. In addition to that, it was also previously reported that a third-party app would have the ability to change the button's purpose. That is, instead of opening Samsung's personal assistant, users will trigger Google Assistant, launch the front or back camera, or even open a favorite app.
This Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus feature were made possible due to the fact that when users press the assistant's button, the system of the smartphone generates a key up and key down event. This can also be intercepted by the Samsung's Accessibility Services, according to XDA Developers. However, why has Samsung removed the ability to remap the Bixby Button on its flagship smartphones?
Philip Berne, head of the reviews program at Samsung U.S.A, has confirmed on Twitter that Samsung has indeed pulled the plug on the ability to remap the Bixby button on both Galaxy S8 and S8+. Although Berne mentions that he can’t say for sure the reason behind this behavior, many disagree that “exploiting a system-level behavior” is the main purpose of remapping. Be reminded that Bixby will be launching on the Galaxy S8 without voice support, which is possibly the most important core feature of an "assistant" such as Siri and Google Assistant, according to The Verge.
In fact, Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ users can turn off the Bixby pane to the left side of the home screen. However, there's no way or method to completely disable Bixby on the smartphone. Pushing the designated button always takes the users to that same screen. And now, the Bixby issue is quickly becoming the most annoying and disturbing thing about the Samsung Galaxy flagship smartphone.