T-Mobile’s Latest Galaxy S8 Update Blocks Third-party Bixby Remapping Apps


Samsung's Bixby assistant is yet to be launched globally on the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ smartphones. But, sometime back, we got to know about apps that enabled the remapping of the dedicated Bixby button and use it for other functions like Google Assistant or maybe other functions like accessing the favourite app. Sadly, the excitement was short-lived as Samsung pushed an OTA update to stop the remapping of the Bixby button.

Yesterday, T-Mobile pushed the restriction further by rolling out an update for the Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones to stop users from tinkering with the Bixby button. Also, this update restricts users from using other Bixby functions with the help of the app bxActions. Non-T-Mobile subscribers on the Galaxy S8 and S8+ can still access bxActions though, even after the June security updates.

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But there is still some ray of hope for the T-Mobile subscribers using the Galaxy S8 or S8+ smartphone. The bxActions developer Jawomo is now working on other methods to surpass the restrictions forced by T-Mobile.

It does not make sense as Samsung is taking painfully long time in rolling out voice function for the Bixby assistant. And now, T-Mobile does not even want its users from using third-party apps to make use of the redundant (for now) Bixby button. If anything, Samsung should be thankful to the third-party apps developers who came up with a way to make the Bixby button helpful for the Galaxy S8 and S8+ users in the US. The biggest contribution was to remap the button for the Google Assistant that could have acted as a proxy assistant on the device.

To recall, Samsung thwarted the first app that introduced the remapping for the Bixby button. Developers community raised a protest against it, but Samsung couldn't care less as it keeps introducing new tweaks to block such apps. Defending itself, Samsung says that such third-party apps are security exploits waiting to take form. T-Mobile's latest update blocks apps like bxActions and BixBye. For now, T-Mobile models will get affected by the move, but the same could extend to other units too.

Samsung is not under any commitment to let the developers take control of its hardware, but it should have planned better for the English language version of its digital assistant. It's been months since the users are waiting for the Bixby assistant to debut on their handsets in the US, but the company is facing software issues with the version. Now, it does not even want the users to use the dedicated button via third-party apps.

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