Samsung blocks Bixby remapping apps on T-Mobile Galaxy S8 and S8+

It looks like Samsung doesn't want developers to use the Bixby-dedicated button on the Galaxy S8 and S8+ to be used for anything else but its personal digital assistant.

Soon after both flagships made it to market, a couple of developers released free Android apps that would allow owners of the smartphones to remap the Bixby button for other uses.

Well, it appears that Samsung has found a way to block these Bixby remapping apps for the Galaxy S8 and S8+, but for the time being the issue only affects those phones bought via T-Mobile's official channels.

We reported a few days ago that T-Mobile is rolling out a new update for Galaxy S8 and S8+ that adds the June security patch, as well as some minor fixes. But what the carrier left out from the official changelog is the fact that the update will block the Bixby remapping apps.

So, if you own a Galaxy S8 or S8+, then you should expect the Bixby remapping apps to stop working after the next update. However, if you're on T-Mobile, these apps shouldn't be able to do what they were meant to do any longer.

The good news is developers are trying to find a workaround and make their apps work again. If they don't find it, you'll be left with one useless button on your phone (if you don't use Bixby).

Related phones

Galaxy S8
  • Display 5.8" 1440 x 2960 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2350 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(30h talk time)
Galaxy S8+
  • Display 6.2" 1440 x 2960 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2450 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3500 mAh(24h 3G talk time)



1. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

Stop being a dick samsung & let people do what they want with the phone they paid for!

14. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I agree. This is worse than Apple preventing remapping volume controls to be tge shutter button for the camera. I know Samsung wants Bixby used more. Then they should have a way to put it in Touchwiz where it can be used, like how they did with the camera.

35. ecmedic4

Posts: 520; Member since: May 02, 2013

Apple hasn't prevented a iPhone user from using the volume controls to take a picture. I just did it with both and have for a while now. Im using the 7 Plus. Long as I can remember, you've been able to use the volume keys to snap pictures. Maybe try it before you claim it doesn't work.

2. Nopers unregistered

Why are they so intent on forcing people to use this button for Bixby. I doubt many people will even touch Bixby so just call it the “action button” and default it to Bixby but let them remap in settings.

9. TechGirl90 unregistered

Because they (Samsung) don't want to feel like they wasted money on developing a Google Assistant Wannabe, and wasting Hardware resource to build an extra button programmed for that broken Voice Assistant.

25. tedkord

Posts: 17417; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

That broken voice assistant, by all reviews of the beta, is more advanced than any of the others.

28. TechGirl90 unregistered

From the Verge Video on this Bixby that you claim is "more advanced than any of the others". The guy asked Bixby "who is the President of the United States?", and It's response was the Forecast, while I ask Siri and Google Assistant, and they give me the correct answer. Yeah definitely "more advanced than any of the others" /s "But Siri and Google did years of development to have a solid AI Assistant", exactly, so for Samsung to try and challenge Google and Apple with their Ai's is like a Toddler challenging a High School student at a Academic Decathlon, both are at different stages of development, Samsung needs years to get this AI solid, there is alot of Languages in the world Bixby needs to understand, Samsung needs to make some Apps compatible with that AI, and much more to try and get it at the level of Google and Apple, or they can simply cancel this nonsense and do what other Android OEMs done on this matter, embrace Google's AI, or even partner with them instead of them wasting millions on Hardware/Software Resource on this "Discount Siri/Google Assistant".

30. tedkord

Posts: 17417; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

None of them are perfect with their answers, and it's still in beta. Still, in beta it does a lot more than the other ones. It's got a much deeper integration. There are lots more reviews on YouTube, you should check some of the map. The Verge has historically been anti Samsung.

32. TechGirl90 unregistered

I don't need to check the Map, I've been watching The Verge since the Nexus 5 launch and know that there's some Animosity towards Android Powered Products, not just Samsung. But the video I referenced is showing you more weaknesses than the strengths of Bixby, they're (The Verge) not deliberately asking it difficult questions to try and trash the AI, but basic questions like they did with Siri and the Google Assistant. Yes, none of them are perfect, I never implied that the Google Assistant and Siri was perfect, there's always room for refinement, but compare Bixby with those two AI's, it's no where near as intituitive. Does it have potential? Yes Will this be something new to the Market? No Do we need two AI's on One Platform? No Google Assistant is there for those who use it, Bixby doesn't need to be on Android. If Samsung wanted their own AI, they should've tested it on their Platform (Tizen).

33. Flash

Posts: 1972; Member since: May 19, 2017

No it isn't.

3. Cat97

Posts: 1936; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Well, if it wasn't stupidly named "Bixby" maybe less people would remap the button :)

6. izim1

Posts: 1600; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

"Bixby" is better than "google". Everyone else gave their AI a generic name, even apple, but not google. Google wants to make sure you know that they own you, every time you use their AI.

4. Mreveryphone

Posts: 1834; Member since: Apr 22, 2014

I'm in the beta and Bixby is nice... More intuitive than Siri and Ok Google...

12. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1185; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

I hope you are kidding, because bixby still has a long way compare to Siri, Alexa, Cortana or google. Yes it has the basic functions but it still isn't as accurate as the other 4 nor it can do as much at the moment.

13. maherk

Posts: 6965; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

CNet did a video about this few days ago, and Bixby beat Siri and was close to Google Now. And Bixby approach is completely different to that of the already existing assistants. It focus on doing tasks you would normally need to grab the phone to do, rathen than searching for stuff over the web or doing basic stuff. With that said, I never use AI assistants, and despise this dick move from Samsung. It's now my phone, and I should be able to customize it the way I want.

15. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Well dud. Bixby is new, and Siri and the others have had some time to mature. Tbey all sucked when they were new. Did they not? Again why are others not equally bashed like you do Samsung.

5. izim1

Posts: 1600; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

"Youre going to use our halfassed software whether you like it or not!"

7. kick413

Posts: 162; Member since: Sep 16, 2012

I just think it's funny that they're deliberately blocking remapping on an app that doesn't even work fully.

8. tsspro

Posts: 23; Member since: Jan 18, 2010

Why Samsung, I don't like bixby. google assistant is a million time better than whatever you're trying to force people to use.

10. DavMor0069

Posts: 266; Member since: Dec 09, 2015

This goes against the freedom of Android.

16. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

No it does not!

18. Marienx

Posts: 122; Member since: Aug 27, 2013

Seriously, it so annoying.... Your assistance sucks.. You pay $800+ for a phone and can do what you want with it. It's like buying a car and not allowing me to upgrade or change parts. Stop buying this expensive devices and get a $450 or less phone.

20. Foxgabanna

Posts: 610; Member since: Sep 11, 2016

Facts. Let's all vote with our wallet!

19. Foxgabanna

Posts: 610; Member since: Sep 11, 2016

Bixby is trash. I knew that before I even used the phone. I'm sure we all remember S Voice. Smh

26. tedkord

Posts: 17417; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

S-Voice was crap. Bixby looks to be quite a different story.

34. Flash

Posts: 1972; Member since: May 19, 2017

Just more useless Samsung bloatware.

21. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

I think after they realize people don't want it they will relaxed their stance on these apps.

22. TechGirl90 unregistered

Or better, discontinue the whole idea of Bixby and embrace Google's take on AI or even partner with them to give them ideas to even better the Google Assistant, but they're too stubborn.

27. tedkord

Posts: 17417; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

A lot of what Samsung has done with Android over the years, Google has taken and incorporated into Android, because it was better. All reports point to Bixby being a better, more intuitive and functional AI than any of the other current implementations, and its only in beta.

29. TechGirl90 unregistered

You basically stated the same thing in your previous response towards my earlier comment, please read my earlier response towards you. Bixby is no where near as good as the Google Assistant or even Siri.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.