Manually Remap the Bixby Button on the Galaxy S8 and S8+ with Root
Many were surprised when Samsung first revealed they would have a dedicated button on the side of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ for their new personal assistant. Sony has had a dedicated button on a number of their smartphones, but it was used to take photos with its camera. This has been a button that has been remapped by many enthusiasts, and button remapping itself has been done on Android since its inception. So even if you didn’t care to use the Bixby button on the Samsung flagship, then at least you hoped to have an option to remap it.
And that is exactly what users started to do. This was first demonstrated in a YouTube video where the person simply installed the All in one Gestures application to remap the button. This enabled you to launch Google Assistant instead of Samsung’s Bixby assistant. Samsung’s initial restriction in the form of lack of options meant that if you want to use it for a Bixby button then you could use it normally. But if you wanted it for something else then you would need to go out of your way to install an application that lets you remap it.
However, this party didn’t last long as Samsung almost instantly started rolling out an OTA update that disabled this remapping functionality. It was still technically possible, but most solutions that sprang up after this OTA update simply killed the Bixby service after it was launched and then started an application of your choosing. There were three of these that we found last week and they all work without having root access to your smartphone with varying success.
However, if you have root access then you can manually remap this button to a number of other options. XDA Senior Member redplate recently wrote up a tutorial in our Galaxy S8+ guides forum that detailed how it’s done. The mod works by editing the Generic.kl file that is located in the /system/usr/keylayout directory. Other users chipped in with suggestions with what the button could be remapped to, including Google Assistant, launching the camera, launching your music player, volume buttons, home button, power button and more.
Head on over to the forum thread for the complete instruction set!