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Galaxy S8’s Bixby button remap gets blocked

by Brandon Russell | April 17, 2017April 17, 2017 1:15 pm PST

Samsung apparently doesn’t want Galaxy S8 users remapping the dedicated Bixby button to launch other applications.

Chatter on Twitter and the XDA Developers forum has confirmed Samsung has no plans to officially support remapping the Bixby button. Samsung’s head of PR Philip Berne said the app that allowed people to remap the button “was exploiting a system-level behavior.” As such, “that behavior has been changed.”

Samsung never officially supported allowing users to remap the Bixby button, so in the company’s eyes, nothing has changed. However, users have taken to Twitter to voice their frustrations about Samsung not allowing users to fully customize their device.

“Can’t say it will never happen, but we won’t officially support,” Berne said on Twitter.

For users who don’t intend on using Bixby—it won’t be fully functional at launch—being able to unofficially remap the Bixby button to something else seemed like a no-brainer. But Samsung appears to have been less pleased by this idea. Now, users won’t be able to change the button’s functionality without root access.

It makes sense

Seeing Samsung block the app, which was called Button Mapper, makes sense. Bixby is a big part of the Galaxy S8, offering features like Bixby Voice, Bixby Vision, and Bixby Home. Perhaps in Samsung’s view, allowing users to remap the button would be encouraging them to steer clear of Bixby.

If you have no intention of using Bixby, it’s a little frustrating the button can’t be remapped. But, from Samsung’s perspective, it makes complete sense. And, technically, Samsung never supported remapping in the first place, so it isn’t “removing” any features.

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Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...