If you have a Samsung Galaxy S8 or Galaxy S8+ smartphone on T-Mobile and have remapped the Bixby button to perform other tasks, we have some bad news to give you. T-Mobile’s latest over-the-air (OTA) update for Samsung’s latest flagships once again disables the ability for users to remap the button.
That means that workaround apps like bxActions can’t be used for remapping purposes. bxActions, for example, lets you repurpose the Bixby button to launch the Google Assistant, take a screenshot, toggle the flashlight, launch your camera app, or countless other actions.
But what makes this move so infuriating to Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ owners is that Bixby isn’t even fully functional in its current state. So why should users be subjected to “wasting” the dedicated Bixby hardware button on a half-baked digital assistant? Voice functionality is currently not fully enabled for Bixby outside of South Korea, but the company has opened up an early access program in the United States for those that don’t mind being guinea pigs running beta software on their smartphones.
So, what does Samsung have to say about this cat and mouse game with regards to disabling Bixby button remapping and developers finding new workarounds? Here’s a statement that the company has provided on the matter:
The dedicated Bixby button gives consumers an easy, and convenient way to launch Bixby – just like using a walkie talkie. We think it’s important to consumers this option in case they prefer it to using a wakeup word. Bixby has been designed to seamlessly work with our hardware so that you can easily switch from physical to voice control whenever you wish. To provide this ideal experience, the Bixby button will only work with Bixby, so Samsung does not support remapping the Bixby button.
Samsung’s response might be easier to digest if Bixby worked as promised nearly four months after it was first announced.