An app developer has found a way to remap the Galaxy S8's Bixby button -- even if Samsung doesn't want you to do it.
The developer, Dave Bennett, developed an app in 20 minutes called BixRemap. After downloading the app, you'll need to give it Usage Statistics permission. From there, you can simply open it and click on the "Start Service" button.
Whenever you click on the Bixby button from here on out, it'll open Google Assitant instead of Bixby. In the video, Bennett acknowledges that he didn't spend considerable time developing the app and said that there's a slight delay in getting Google Now up and running after you press the Bixby button. However, it's a quasi-solution to a rather annoying problem.
Prior to the Galaxy S8's launch last week, Samsung revealed that you would not be able to remap the Bixby button that sits on the left-hand side of the device. Some had hoped to be able to use that button to open other apps instead of Bixby, making it a handy way to access programs that they used most often.
However, in an apparent bid to get you to use Bixby more often, Samsung has placed a software lock on the button, allowing you only to activate Bixby from the button.
Bennett said that his decision to create a solution was due in part to his annoyance with Samsung removing the ability for developers to remap the Bixby button.
It's unclear how Bennett was able to overcome the lock, and it's worth noting that for now, the solution only activates Google Assistant. So, if you have high hopes of running other apps with the Bixby button, you'll be out of luck. It's also worth noting that Google Assistant opens over the Bixby app, so it runs atop Bixby instead of replacing it altogether when you hit the side button.
BixRemap is available as a free download in the Google Play marketplace. Bennett says that if users like his app, he'll update it and add more features.