The latest T-Mobile update for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus blocks Bixby remapping, blocking users from customizing the Galaxy S8 Bixby button. Early Galaxy S8 models allowed owners to remap the shortcut linked to the Bixby button with workaround apps like bxactions, which let you repurpose the Bixby button.
Bixby, the virtual assistant developed by Samsung, helps users refer directly to things that are on-screen. It is primarily a voice assistant – commands like “make a folder with these photos” or “what is it” will work, unlike with many of its rivals.
A report from XDA developers reveals that the possibility of the Bixby button being remapped is completely shut down in the new update. Earlier, the button was intercepted by Accessibility Services on Android. With this, the third party app was allowed to function. With the new update, it is still unclear whether third-party developers will be able to figure out another workaround for the latest block.
Since Bixby was not ready for the S8 launch in the US, developers tried alternate ways to get Bixby to perform more useful actions. However, Samsung’s efforts to prevent developers from remapping weren’t successful. The point is about why the Bixby button should even exist when it isn’t completely functional; it is only half baked. To be precise, the Bixby button will work only with Bixby, and it does not support remapping. So what’s it for? Did Samsung jump the gun and release Bixby far too early, even before they were ready with a fully functional English version.
Currently, the voice assistant in Bixby is enabled only in South Korea, but it has opened up an early access program in the United States for those who don’t mind running the beta software on their smartphones.
Now, it is clear that Galaxy S8 is without voice support. Without Voice, Bixby is similar to HTC’s BlinkFeed in Google Now. It basically displays your daily agenda and other useful information with little to no input required from you.
According to XDA Developers, Bixby Voice should launch in the United Kingdom by the end of 2017.