Samsung fixes the Bixby button remap exploit before Galaxy S8 launch

Before the Galaxy S8 was even announced, it was rumored that the AI assistant on the phone would have its own dedicated button to call it up. Well, Samsung confirmed that during the device’s unveiling, but the internet was quickly buzzing about how that button could be remapped to, say, Google Assistant instead of Bixby.

That remapping happened before the phone was officially released, but it doesn’t look like Samsung wanted that to happen.

On Twitter, a US Samsung representative confirmed that remapping Bixby was an exploit of a system-level behavior, and they would be pushing out an update to change the behavior and prevent it from happening again in the future. However, he did elaborate that they weren’t sure if couldn’t be exploited again, but Samsung definitely won’t be officially supporting it.

So, RIP that unique little workaround. Except there’s another anonymous reviewer who has a Galaxy S8 who says that his fully updated Galaxy S8 still supports remapping Bixby. That raises quite a few questions.

So, Samsung has removed that exploit, but not all of the phones have been changed yet. That could mean that only certain country/carrier models have been changed, or possibly it’s slated to hit as a software update after the phone hits shelves. Maybe Samsung’s fix didn’t actually fix the problem on all models.

Regardless, it does sound like Samsung is going to actively try to prevent that button from doing anything besides opening Bixby, so don’t make your Galaxy S8 purchase assuming you can just set it to launch Google Assistant or any other preferred AI. Really, don’t let Bixby weigh on your decision at all, especially since it’s not even going to be 100% functional when it goes on sale later this month.

via: XDA Developers


About the Author: Jared Peters

Born in southern Alabama, Jared spends his working time selling phones and his spare time writing about them. The Android enthusiasm started with the original Motorola Droid, but the tech enthusiasm currently covers just about everything. He likes PC gaming, Lenovo's Moto Z line, and a good productivity app.