How to Remap the Bixby Button on the Galaxy S8/S8+ to Launch Google Assistant
The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ were just announced last week and it indeed comes with a dedicated Bixby button as previous rumors suggested. For those of you who haven’t been keeping up to date with the news, Bixby is the name of Samsung’s Virtual Assistant software which is supposed to provide similar functionality to Google Assistant (though we have yet to evaluate that claim for ourselves). Although the Samsung Galaxy S8 has yet to reach the hands of consumers, some early reviewers who have had some hands-on time with the device would rather have the dedicated Bixby button launch Google Assistant.
Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) was one of the more vocal proponents of remapping the Bixby button, making the following Tweet last week after the Galaxy S8 unveiling.
First one that makes an app to remap the Bixby button on the Galaxy S8 to Google Assistsnt wins my $$$
— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) March 29, 2017
This challenge sparked many users to rush to find a way to launch Google Assistant from the dedicated Bixby button, and today one Reddit user by the name of Homeguy123 has confirmed that it is indeed possible, as you can see from his YouTube video below.
Using a free application called All in one Gestures, available on the Google Play Store, the user was able to successfully remap the Bixby button to launch the Google App. I went to my local T-Mobile store to confirm this for myself as well as show you how to do this for yourself through a step-by-step guide. Even if you haven’t yet received your Samsung Galaxy S8 yet, I recommend you bookmark this tutorial and return to it if you want to remap your Bixby button to launch the Google Assistant.
How to Remap the Bixby Button to Launch Google Assistant
Once you’ve got the application installed, open it up. The very first thing it’ll do is ask you to grant it access to modify system setting. This technically isn’t necessary for the purposes of this tutorial, but grant it anyways in case you want to remap the Bixby button to start Bluetooth or something.
Next, once you’re inside of the application, swipe over to the left screen (the tab that says “Hard Keys“). Once here, tap on Enable. This will cause a prompt to show up on the bottom asking you to enable All in one Gestures’ Accessibility Service. Tap on the button to go to the Accessibility Settings screen. Scroll down to the bottom and look for “All in one Gestures” under the Services section. Tap on that and then press the OFF radio button to toggle it to ON, enabling All in one Gestures’ Accessibility Service.
Once you’ve done that, press the back button a few times to return to All in one Gestures. Now, we’re ready to remap the Bixby button. Tap on the overflow/menu button in the top right hand corner. You should see an option called Custom Keys. Tap on that to show a dialog asking you to “Add Custom Key.” Once you see this dialog box, press the Bixby button. Bixby Assistant should now open up when you press the Bixby button, but just press the back button to return to All in one Gestures.
Once you’re back to All in one Gestures, you should see that the Key Code field is populated with the number 1082. This represents the Key Code that is sent by the Bixby Button when it is pressed. Press Add to have All in one Gestures add it as a Key Code it will listen for and intercept. When you press Add, you should see the Key Code #1082 under the Custom Keys section in All in one Gestures.
Now, we will have All in one Gestures launch our application/shortcut of choice. Tap on the circle box next to the Key Code #1082 under the Custom Keys section to bring up another dialog box. The first screen that shows up should be called Action. Tap on Search in this list, then when the Search options pop up, select Voice Search. Once that’s done, you should see “Voice Search” under the Key Code #1082 in the Custom Keys section of the app.
Congrats! Now when you press the Bixby button, it should launch the Google Assistant!
Launch Google Now Instead of Google Assistant
But what if you want to launch Google Now instead of Google Assistant? That’s easy! Just go back to the “Hard Keys” screen in All in one Gestures and tap on the Custom Key we just created to open up the configuration dialog once more. Instead of staying on the Action screen, instead swipe towards the left to navigate to the Application screen. Scroll down the list and look for Google which will launch the Google App. Select that, and now the Custom Key should show “Google” and launch the Google App where all your Google Now cards can easily be seen when you press the Bixby button.
We hope you found this quick tutorial useful. You can technically play around with this and launch almost anything you want here, including Tasker tasks, by selecting the shortcut option. But since so many people were wondering whether or not you can remap the Bixby button to launch Google Assistant/Google Now, we thought it would be worth showing users how to do that first.
We’ll be posting plenty more tutorials on the XDA Portal when we get some real hands on time with the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+, so stay tuned for more on the latest Samsung flagships!