Sunday, July 9, 2017

Samsung blocks Bixby remapping once again with the latest T-Mobile Galaxy S8 update

T-Mobile has released a new firmware update for the Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8+. The 282MB update for the new flagship primarily brings the June security patch but it also includes a minor feature which enables users to hide the navigation bar.

Once the update is installed, users will see a tiny dot on the left-hand side of the navigation bar which when pressed will hide the on-screen navigation buttons.

To retrieve the buttons, just swipe up and press the dot again. The feature can be disabled from the Display menu in the Settings app. This update is already out elsewhere and it takes away the black fill for the nav bar.

However, that’s not all this update does. It appears that Samsung has blocked remapping of the Bixby button yet again with this update. It didn’t take long for third-party developers to come up with apps that let Galaxy S8 owners use the Bixby button for something else.

Samsung pushed a software update a couple of months back to prevent users from remapping the button but third-party developers soon found a workaround to that restriction. Why wouldn’t they, seeing as how Bixby in its current form is essentially useless.

Jawomo, the developer of one of the remapping apps called bxActions, reached out to us by email to tell us that the recent June update that T-Mobile has released for the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ breaks the remap functionality.

According to reports, other remapping apps like Custom Bixby Button are not working as well after this update is installed.

The developer says that only T-Mobile models are affected by this change as the app is working on other variants of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ even with the June update installed.

He’s going to find a workaround to this ban but until that happens, it wouldn’t be surprising if Samsung rolls out this Bixby remapping restriction elsewhere as well.