Samsung Disables Ability to Remap Bixby Button


The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus have not yet hit the stores but some people are already expressing some disappointment with it. One major issue coming up is Bixby.

First, Samsung announced Bixby will not be working fully by the time the S8 and S8+ hit the shelves, which is in a few days. This was after we got news that Galaxy S8 and S8+ users could remap the dedicated Bixby button to others apps and services such as Google Assistant.

As much as this excited geeks all over, Samsung was not impressed and they released an update (build version NRD90M.G950WVLU1AQD9) that disables the ability to remap the Bixby button. A Samsung Executive, through a tweet, said that the remapping was possible through the exploitation of a system-level behaviour, he also confirms that Samsung has indeed fixed this exploit.

According to XDA Samsung’s latest update modifies the system to consume the Bixby button’s key events before it reaches the Accessibility Services, effectively making it impossible to remap the Bixby button, as of now. XDA goes ahead to say that the method used to remap the Bixby button was not an system-level behaviour exploit, but rather it was a simple interception on KeyEvents through Android’s Accessibility Service which is a “perfectly legitimate feature that many applications are built around…”.

It is perfectly understandable why Samsung would want people to use the Bixby button for its intended purpose, but with all honesty, I don’t think disabling the ability to remap the Bixby button helps their case.