Samsung will delay the full rollout of the Bixby virtual assistant on its upcoming Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone series, but if you want to change the S8’s dedicated Bixby button to do something else? You’ll likely be out of luck.
Samsung is disabling third-party workarounds that previously allowed users to customize what the Galaxy S8’s Bixby button could do, according to XDA Developers. On the left side of the phone, the S8 has a physical button that is used to activate the Bixby assistant.
As XDA Developers reports, the closed loophole comes as part of a pre-release update patch from Samsung. By using the free All In One Gestures app on Google’s Play Store, early Galaxy S8 users could previously reset the phone’s Bixby button to perform tasks like opening the camera or launching a preferred app.
While the Galaxy S8 won’t actually be released until later in April, Samsung still looks to maintain this stance on button remapping through third-party apps. On Twitter, Samsung reviews program manager Philip Berne confirmed the update and Samsung’s stance on remapping the Bixby button.
— Philip Berne (@philipberne) April 17, 2017
Tasks like remapping buttons are usually limited to power users and enthusiasts, but given the delay for Bixby on Samsung’s part, the company’s closing of the loophole is notable. While basic portions of Bixby — intended to go up against rival mobile assistants like Apple’s Siri and Google’s Assistant — will be available at launch, Samsung previously said voice control wouldn’t be a part of the smartphone until “later this spring.”
In Samsung’s initial event announcing the Galaxy S8 earlier this year, Bixby looked to play a central part in the smartphone’s features. Samsung touted that Bixby would be thoroughly integrated into the phone’s menus, camera and apps.