Samsung Intentionally Disables Bixby Hardware Button Remapping [VIDEO]

18 April 2017, 4:03 am EDT By Charles Lim Mobile & Apps
Bixby hardware button remapping has now been disabled.   ( Drew Angerer/Getty Images )

Despite not yet being available to most consumers, several users have found a workaround to remap the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus' dedicated Bixby button. However, Samsung immediately caught wind of this and has now fully disabled the workaround.

According to Android Authority, Samsung apparently doesn't want people tampering with the button itself and is bent on having people use their own artificial intelligence-driven virtual assistant, Bixby. Users who had gotten their hands on either of the two devices immediately tried to find a way to allocate the use of the button without rooting the device. This was eventually achieved through the use of an app called Button Mapper.

The app itself basically intercepted the command sent out by the button and then replaced the app it was originally intended to launch with an entirely different app. There was an immediate positive feedback from fans who actually wanted to use the physical button to launch other apps, or in fact another assistant. As is shown on most tutorials regarding how to remap the button, most users preferred to remap the button to use Google Assistant.

Now, Samsung has released a new system update that fully disables this functionality. The latest build, build version NRD90M.G950WVLU1AQD9, now directs the button's input to the system and does not allow any other subsystems to intercept it. Users who noticed the change went on to Twitter to ask Samsung about the problem. Samsung U.S.A.'s head of reviews program, Philip Berne, then responded and confirmed that the change was intentional.

Samsung previously announced that Bixby itself will not yet be available when the units will be released this week. It seems strange that Samsung would want to restrict the use of the button as early as now seeing as that there wouldn't really be any use for it until Bixby is fully functional. Drop us a comment below and let us know your thoughts.

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