How to remap the Bixby button on the Galaxy S8 to launch Google Assistant instead using BixBye

BixBye sounds like Bixby, right?

Bixby is the digital assistant on Samsung’s 2017 flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S8. While Bixby is great and all, it is still in its infancy.

As such, even though it is meant to compete with more established personal assistants like Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Google’s Assistant, some of which have existed for over 6 years (like Siri), Bixby still has a long way to go. It will be a while before Bixby becomes the go-to personal assistant not just on the Samsung Galaxy S8 but on any other device where it will be made available.

It needs to get voice input, tap into its novel Vision feature properly among other things.

Read: Bixby, the personal assistant on the Samsung Galaxy S8, is helpful, futuristic and lacking at the same time

Bixby’s own shortfalls are the reason why tech-savvy users of the Galaxy S8 figured out a way to replace it on its dedicated launch button, located just below the volume rocker on the left of the device.

Replace it with what? Google Assistant, of course.

Samsung got wind of what users of its prized device were doing and quickly fixed any loopholes that were being exploited to remap the Bixby button to launch Assistant instead of Bixby.

Now, users have to go the long route of rooting their devices (and running the risk of forfeiting their warranty cover) if they are to have the freedom to remap the Bixby button as they please. The device, after all, belongs to them and not Samsung once one has paid the Kshs 85,000 recommended retail price. Or… they can use the many apps that have since popped up to address this particular need.

In my case, I turned to BixBye which, as the name insinuates, makes sure you bid goodbye to Bixby on the Bixby button.

It’s so easy to get it to do this:

  • Download and install the BixBye application from the Play Store
  • Toggle on the switch to remap the Bixby button

BixBye

You will be asked to grant BixBye some accessibility permissions. This will redirect you to the settings app but once granted, that’s it!

Next time you double press the Bixby button, it is Assistant, not Bixby, that will show up.

Bixby button remap

Emmanuel Chenze

Let's just say I know my stuff. I have 7 years experience handling, tinkering with and then writing extensively about Android stuff. Sometimes it is exciting, sometimes it is not; things can get stale with nothing new to show but I live for each one of those moments. Have something Android-related that you believe I need to have a look at? Hit me up: echenze@androidkenya.com