There is a special hardware key on both Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus for Samsung’s first virtual assistant called Bixby. When this key is pressed, Bixby opens. However, this button was one of the most talked points of the new flagship phones. Because Bixby originally only supported American English and Korean language. This means that for users who speak the rest of the language, Bixby will not do much, and the hardware key will be useless.
Fortunately, a free tool called BixRemap, designed by a developer named Dave Bennett, allows users to use the Bixby button to open another application. For example, you can activate Google Now by pressing the Bixby button, or you can turn on the camera.
Bennett says it is actually easy to change the functionality of the Bixby button by writing a simple application and indicates that it only took 20 minutes to complete it. However, there are some features that are not as great as you would expect. First of all, the application seems a bit sloppy as the re-functioning key still opens Bixby before you open the application you want. In addition, BixRemap requires usage-specific permissions for its operation, which means that it will provide a lot of data to the application. However, any Bixby key will have similar access requests to the Rebuild tool. Finally, while BixRemap is actively running, it puts a permanent notification in the notification queue. Even if you lift this notification by hand, it seems that the app continues to work.
Whatever the case, disappointed users will want to take advantage of this tool because they want to take full advantage of the extra hardware key and because of the software update that prevented users to remap it from the settings. For them, BixRemap will offer some relief, even if the application’s work seems a bit sloppy.
Samsung wants users to use Bixby as much as possible, so it’s going to prevent cheating with Bixby’s key. But in an environment where the virtual assistant’s prevalence is limited, trying to prevent this key is not very pleasant for users in countries that Bixby does not support the native language. We hope that this policy of the company will change soon.