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Samsung sends out update to prevent users from remapping Bixby button

Posted: , by Alan F.

Samsung sends out update to prevent users from remapping Bixby button
Earlier this month, we told you about an app in the Google Play Store called All in One Gestures that allows you to take the dedicated Bixby button and reconfigure it to work with another application. But Samsung isn't exactly pleased with this. After all, they spent a ton of money developing Bixby, and gosh darn it, the AI assistant is going to have a dedicated button that activates it whether you like it or not.

So what the manufacturer did was send out an OTA update to versions of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Samsung Galaxy S8+ headed to Canadian carrier Telus. The update removes the ability of Accessibility Service to intercept KeyEvents, which is how the All in One Gestures app allows you to remap the button. Telus users will have to root the phone in order to accomplish this task. While other variants have not yet received the update to block the remapping, in all likelihood, they will.

A Samsung employee who runs the reviews program for the company subsequently sent out a tweet, confirming that it has blocked the remapping of the button. Good for Samsung. How dare people go out and spend their hard earned money on an expensive handset and then try to reconfigure it the way they want it to be (that's sarcasm, folks). Truthfully, if Samsung wanted to have users press the Bixby button and activate Bixby, well perhaps they shouldn't have launched the feature half baked.

Samsung employee confirms that the manufacturer sent out an update to block the remapping of the Bixby button

Samsung employee confirms that the manufacturer sent out an update to block the remapping of the Bixby button


source: XDA, @philipberne via AndroidandMe

98 Comments
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posted on 17 Apr 2017, 16:18 3

1. kiko007 (Posts: 4985; Member since: 17 Feb 2016)


Damn...

posted on 17 Apr 2017, 16:27 11

7. Bankz (Posts: 1364; Member since: 08 Apr 2016)


So much for freedom and customization.

posted on 17 Apr 2017, 16:41 5

18. adi90 (Posts: 367; Member since: 21 Dec 2015)


You are just nitpicking.

posted on 17 Apr 2017, 18:38 5

59. XperiaFanZone (Posts: 2211; Member since: 21 Sep 2012)


i don''t blame them. Maybe the less tech savvy customers won't mind. it's good that Samsung isn't lazy like many other Android OEMs getting spoonfed by Google.

posted on 17 Apr 2017, 20:36 5

70. Settings (Posts: 2266; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)


We are nitpicking. We dont want to buy a phone with a feature we don't need. Saves us money in the process.

posted on 17 Apr 2017, 21:37 5

74. kumar1234 (unregistered)


Wow, way to purposefully make the button useless since Bixby doesn't even fully work yet. Assholes.

posted on 17 Apr 2017, 23:04 1

78. adi90 (Posts: 367; Member since: 21 Dec 2015)


@settings
Bixby button is just an extra button. Even if you do not use it nothing bad will happen. If you dont need Bixby dont use it. How is samsung forcing you to use that button ?
Just imagine apple not providing silent button on the left side. So do you think people will stop purchasing iphone .

posted on 17 Apr 2017, 23:09 2

79. RoboticEngi (Posts: 1001; Member since: 03 Dec 2014)


You didn't want it anyway. So please don't use we....

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 00:15

83. Settings (Posts: 2266; Member since: 02 Jul 2014)


Unless I am the only one in the whole wide world that doesn't like the S8, I'm using we.

posted on 17 Apr 2017, 16:20 3

2. Nopers (Posts: 403; Member since: 01 Jun 2015)


Haha. Just before the release. Good thing I didn't pre order it, I think I'll wait to see if the Note 8 is just a repackaged S8.

posted on 17 Apr 2017, 16:22 8

4. cdm283813 (Posts: 412; Member since: 10 Jan 2015)


Good thing this news came out before the phones actually released. Save me the trouble of repacking the phone for return. And what if Samsung pulls this crap after the return period? So in my book this was perfect timing.

posted on 17 Apr 2017, 16:35 1

12. Bankz (Posts: 1364; Member since: 08 Apr 2016)


It will be, especially as the s8 has most of the notes features now. Well, except u exclusively take notes on your phone with the pen in which case, nobody does if we're being honest here. I mean, typing is faster and gestures are faster, heck even google voice recognition is faster too.

posted on 17 Apr 2017, 17:26

32. adi90 (Posts: 367; Member since: 21 Dec 2015)


Correct me if I am wrong.
Samsung is too cautious after note 7 explosions.
If there are Apps which can help in Remapping of bixby button to perform whatever action we like. Those apps may not work as smoothly as we are thinking .
In order to avoid any unwanted publicity of s8 and play safe Samsung restricted it. But I am sure in future there will be no such dedicated button for bixby.

posted on 17 Apr 2017, 17:30

38. spasticpat (Posts: 107; Member since: 18 Dec 2012)


Because an app not running smoothly is the same as phones exploding...

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 01:53

88. trojan_horse (Posts: 3960; Member since: 06 May 2016)


Sarcasm right there ^

posted on 17 Apr 2017, 16:20 7

3. cdm283813 (Posts: 412; Member since: 10 Jan 2015)


Pre-order cancelled.

posted on 17 Apr 2017, 16:29 18

9. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 13600; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


Really? If this was really a dealbreaker, that means you didnt order it anyways...lol

I think its abad idea. But not being able to reap the button? SO what? That si what the edge screen is for.

I was gonna use the button for the camera. But the onscreen button whih I've been using anyways and using the HR sensor on the back to take pictures on the Note 7 and S7 works great.

I dont care about the button and you never ordered the phone anyways.

Won't matter. No one here counts as the vast majority of buyers. Most won't even know or care.

posted on 17 Apr 2017, 17:13 4

29. dimas (Posts: 2471; Member since: 22 Jul 2014)


"Really? If this was really a dealbreaker, that means you didnt order it anyways...lol"

You have to consider that not all people think like you and want all s8 feature. Many people want to remap that bixby button to other apps and features and that's the beauty of android. If I want to be in a closed ecosystem I will buy apple.

posted on 17 Apr 2017, 17:29

36. John-Knotts (Posts: 337; Member since: 28 Feb 2015)


Yeah right... lol

posted on 17 Apr 2017, 17:30 4

37. adi90 (Posts: 367; Member since: 21 Dec 2015)


Only because you are not able to remap bixby , does not mean that android on s8 becomes closed ecosystem iOS of iPhone .
That is lots of nitpicking .
Moreover, were you buying s8 only to remap bixby button ?

posted on 17 Apr 2017, 18:16 7

54. Youngquenga41 (Posts: 35; Member since: 03 Apr 2017)


You didn't pre-ordered anyways, move along.

posted on 17 Apr 2017, 18:20 3

55. Dr.Phil (Posts: 1538; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)


EDIT: I wish PA would fix the comment section, my comment was intended for 29.

I have to agree with Techie on this one, if you really didn't want Bixby then you would either not order the phone to begin with or you would have just never used that button (which would be like 95% of smartphones out there that have no other buttons besides the power and volume rocker).

Also, while Samsung does offer an Android smartphone, it doesn't necessarily guarantee the same open experience as stock Android. In fact, almost every manufacturer can control the Android experience you end up having with some allowing more control over what users can customize than others. And you are, in some ways, buying into a closed ecosystem whenever you buy a phone from any manufacturer. Remember when Sony Xperia phones were the only ones that could work with the Playstation? Or how about Samsung Pay that doesn't work on any other type of device? What about the exclusive software features Google has on the Pixel?

And then we could go into detail about compatibility like how certain devices pair well with certain brand televisions and appliances.

So, to say that you are not buying into an ecosystem just because you picked up an Android device from LG, Samsung, Sony, or others is just plain wrong.

posted on 17 Apr 2017, 18:25 3

56. lyndon420 (Posts: 4883; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


Maybe Phonearena should do a poll? I'm actually curious as to how many people were considering this phone just for an extra button to remap. Wait...we can remap our buttons?!?

posted on 17 Apr 2017, 18:51 5

61. sissy246 (Posts: 3537; Member since: 04 Mar 2015)


Over a button , lol
I bet you did even order it.

posted on 17 Apr 2017, 19:45 1

68. tedkord (Posts: 13248; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


PA would probably just make three really dumb options in the poll.

posted on 17 Apr 2017, 23:12 1

81. SPASE (Posts: 225; Member since: 03 May 2013)


Can I remap the poll options???
Or is this a closed ecoooooo system?! :P

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 00:27

84. mrochester (Posts: 620; Member since: 17 Aug 2014)


There are lots of people who are very confused about Android. Android is 'open' so that phone manufacturers and networks can bastardise their devices in any way they see fit. The end-user experience is a closed, fixed experience the same way it is with Apple.

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 01:14

87. ShadowSnypa786 (Posts: 172; Member since: 06 Jan 2017)


Exactly people throwing hissy fits over a button LOL

Apple and Motorola removes headphone jack so it costs ya more money to buy bluetooth headphones so you can charge your device and listen to music yet people still buy them,
Apple doesnt let you fix your idevice at 3rd party shops which are cheaper and thats fine.

BUT OMG SAMSUNG DOESNT LET YOU RE-MAP A BUTTON!!!!!!!!! DEATH TO SAMSUNG LOL

Seriously people nowadays.

posted on 18 Apr 2017, 03:49

91. joey_sfb (Posts: 6464; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Or you could purchase a phone from an Android OEM that keep their skin close to stock e.g. Motorola and Sony.

posted on 17 Apr 2017, 16:25 6

5. TechieXP1969 (Posts: 13600; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)


Shouldn't have launched Bixby half-baked? You man how Siri was ;launch half-baked?

It doesn't matter. Don;t want to use Boxby, don't press the button. SIMPLE!

Shame on you Samsung. The best thing about Android is being able to use the device how we want.

The only downside is, in the UI I didnt see a way to turn Bixby off if I don't want it running. AT least I can turn off Siri.

Voice Assistants are annoying. I dont need assistance. But when I do then I turn them on when I need them.

Double clicking the Samsung home button and getting Google Assistant or on iOS and getting Siri is annoying as hell.

Who ever though phone AI was a good ideas, should be smacked.

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