Skip to main content

Make the Bixby button great again: BixRemap will open Google Now instead

The Galaxy S8 has been mostly well received by everyone. Blogger and users who have scored their phones already are saying really good things, and even the naysayers are impressed with the hardware. It just seems like a damn good phone so far. But there is one thing a lot of folks are saying they would like to change: The Bixby button.

Bixby seems like a cool robot friend AI thing. Unless you're on Verizon or in Europe, that is. I won't dismiss it outright until I've tried it long enough to know if I like it or not.

But other people feel differently and want the convenience and familiarity that comes with Google Now and hate that the button is hard-programmed to open Bixby when pressed. Earlier methods to bypass this have been patched by Samsung as they "exploited" services that they didn't need to access in order to gain control over the button. But because Android developers are crafty and awesome, we have a new app that will save the day.

Developer Dave Bennett is using his own service (you'll need to enable it when you first run the app) that overrides the Bixby behavior. When you press the button, Bixby opens but is quickly backgrounded while Google Now opens. Ha! Awesome, Dave.

You can grab the app (it's free) from the Play Store link above. We don't know if Samsung will find this app not to their liking and patch it away, but it works today so live in the moment and show Bixby who is the boss.

Jerry Hildenbrand
Jerry Hildenbrand

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

67 Comments
  • Error message. Not showing up on Google Play now.
  • Soubds like a battery killer having 2 apps fight for the same button. No thanks.
  • Crap. The link is not available!
  • Correct link https://www.androidcentral.com/e?link=https2F2F...
  • Maybe I shouldn't be surprised as I realize ultimately it's profit related... but these moves--like this Bixby button drama--that these companies sometimes create leave me wondering. The GS8 looks like a perfectly fine device that will assuredly sell countless units. What do they (i.e. Samsung) really care if 5% of their customer base remaps the "Bixby button" to something they personally find more useful?
  • They spent thousands if not millions developing it. They will likely continue to spend millions. Gotta protect your investments as much as you are legally able to do so.
  • I mean, they always had the option to not spend money developing a barely functional 'competitor ' to Google assistant that no one asked for, and maybe spend that money and time smoothing out UI performance instead.
  • "Smoothing out" a ui experience for the 0.1% of people like you who won't get the galaxy but complain about it on blog sites? I think they decided to stick to making phones the way they like, for the people that buy them
  • No, they decided, a long long time ago, to try and fight Google on everything. That's why Tizen exists (and is a pile of crap). That's why Bixby exists (and is a pile of crap). That's why Samsung has an app for damn near everything Google already does, and better. Samsung isn't Apple, they don't have design chops, they never did. They can't even keep their damn TVs secure. Why anyone trusts their software developers to do the right thing for the consumer here is confounding to say the least.
  • I actually own an S8, and upgraded from an S7, and to that from an S6, and so on all the way back to the original Galaxy S. Samsung makes the best hardware on the market, but their software is consistently a letdown because they just don't seem to care about optimizing for performance. I wish they would stop trying to needlessly compete with Google on every single app and just focus on delivering the best user experience possible. There are good Samsung apps like Samsung Pay that add actual functionality that doesn't exist in any Google app, keep up with those and stop making inferior duplicates of stuff like the voice assistant and clock and calendar and whatever else. (Or better yet, work with Google to bring MST support to Android Pay.)
  • Well the fact that you genuinely think they are really trying to compete with Google apps is hilarious..and a bit weird. You think that's what the higher ups actually say "ok let's make a bunch of apps do we can be like Google? "Despite the fact that we sell a zillion more phones than google. That's what you think is going on..? Incredible
  • That's probably exactly what they say. If they could wean all their users away from Google Play and into Samsung apps they would be free to do whatever they wanted to do without Google forcing compliance.
  • This. I have a Moto Z play which replaced my galaxy s7 edge (exynos). On paper i should be going through hell due to performance. In reality the only thing I truly miss, is the camera...The phone actually feels snappier.
  • It's not a Google Assistant competitor
  • Thanks!
  • Why do you need a button again? Swipe left...Bixby. Long-press home...Google Now.
  • Because it's there? Might as well make it useful.
  • I think he means the button shouldn't even exist.
  • Long pressing​ home isn't Google Now, it brings up assistant. You have to have a shortcut to open Google Now on non-pixel Nougat phones.
  • I don't think Samsung should restrict people from remapping the button. That being said I don't find Google Assistant to be so good that Im not willing to give Bixby a chance. From what I've read it sounds like some very interesting technology and has huge potential. It's a shame it wasn't ready for prime time on release day.
  • I know Google Assistant is frustrating at times, especially in some limitations that previously existed with Google Now. For example, I asked Assistant to tell me what song was playing (something Now performed well) and it told me it couldn't identify songs yet. So then I asked it to open Google Now, but it didn't open it, so then I had to search for it as I had it hidden since I used to just use the long-press to open it. By the time I got it open, the song was over. Guess I need to go back to SoundHound so I have it more readily available.
  • If you think Google's is bad, you'll really love (hate) Bixby. Google's has over a decade of experience in this. Samsung doesn't even use their S-Voice experience in developing Bixby. It's going to be a dumpster fire.
  • Shows how much you know. I actually have the phone & it pulls from S Voice, in fact S Voice files are here to help along with the new Bixby Voice.
  • So annoying. Why not allow it to be re-mapped to any useful app easily? Jerk move really.
  • I have yet to use this button/mistakenly press it.
  • Ummm... why is this posted just as the patch that blocks it rolled out a couple days ago?
  • Ummm... I guess you didn't read the article?
  • I did, and I thought I read in the forums that this very app was 'patched' too.
  • Installed/uninstalled. Not clean enough for me. Used package disabler to kill all Bixby functions. Rather have a non-functional button than easy access to an app I don't use that I may someday accidentally hit. Silly situation really, love just about everything else about the device.
  • which disabler did you use?
  • Package Disabler Pro
  • Thanks
  • I also updated bxActions, so we can remap the button again :)
    Can get it on playstore for free! https://www.androidcentral.com/e?link=https2F2F... Enjoy!
  • Works great, thanks!
  • Incompatible with secure start-up. Ug. Need to prioritize security over the button. Ended up disabling all Bixby services and living with a useless button. ☹️
  • I hope Samsung keeps the "Active Button" on the S8 Active instead of cramming Bixby in there, but I doubt it.
  • I've given up. What's the point in getting used to the remapped functions when Samsung just keep patching it and will continue to do so? If a permanent solution comes up then I'll use that but I'll just have to get used to Bixby in the meantime.
  • I believe these workaround without root apps should be able to exist without being taken down, but also understand and expect Samsung to not allow remapping on a system level. Once Bixby is improved, it'll be incredibly useful. Right now, however, yeah, it seems like a waste. Also, side note, I can't see the name without missing the computer application Digsby. What a great little thing in the days of too many IM services.
  • Samsung needs to evolve Bixby quickly. I can see why they forced the button to be locked in, it's not ready yet and no one would pick Bixby over Google Now, or even Cortana on Android right now.
  • Just like no one would buy a galaxy phone as opposed to a samdung phone?
  • I am going to try this, but I disabled Bixby, so well see how this goes. Thanks for an old school HELPFUL article AC!
  • I plan on giving Bixby a chance. I can already swipe up for Google Now thanks to Nova.
  • Lol, I just love the title.
  • This is useful but the patching thing does suck though. :/
  • I really enjoy what Bixby is so far. Cards are much better than what Google Now presents me.
  • I honestly think that bixby is better than Google now. I find myself checking out bixby on my S8+ more than I thought I would. Now if this app could remap the bixby button to Google Assistant, I would definitely use it.
  • Because S8 owners need two or more ways to start Google Assistant.
  • The original method is still working for me. All in one gestures.
  • I'll just not buy the damned phone. I lots more 835 phone incoming. I'm digging the leaks for the HTC 11 and I really like the outside edge idea they show.
  • While I think your decision is perfectly rational (don't buy it), I can't help but think what you're saying is "I'm so angry that I can't remap the extra button that I'm going to buy a phone that doesn't have one. That'll show 'em."
  • So i downloaded it a few min ago, it didn't bring up google now, so i uninstalled it and now it doesnt even bring bixby up.. So now i have a dead button.. Tried rebooting, even reinstalling the app to make sure services were turned off. Nothing. Nevermind its working again.
  • Try clearing the cache from your app data.
  • Nevermind, saw the addendum to your OP.
  • I would rather be able to remap the Bixby button to toggle silent mode. I could open Google Now/Assistant with the home button, but having a physical toggle for easily switching to silent mode would be a godsend.
  • Can't you use the volume down button to put your phone on silent?
  • Yes
  • Pending on google play when i wane download apps
  • Well, Bixby needs to evolve.
  • Yup. Well said.
  • I would like to have a way to disable any assistant whatever it is or wherever it comes. Siri, Google Now, Cortana, Bixby... A bunch of crappy pile of code meant to collect every single piece of data from your life. All that AI stupidity is making everyone lazy, and companies are making money out of that collective laziness.
  • Ok grandpa
  • Sure toddler
  • Makes you wish Samsung put forth the time and money on other more useful things, rather than wasting so much money on an AL that nobody likes.
  • Before anyone uses bixby, that it's not sending any info back to samsung when used.
  • Before anyone uses bixby, we need to see proof that it's not sending any info back to samsung when used.
  • The AC app lets you edit your comments.
  • If I owned an S8 , I wouldn't be so down on the Bixby feature , Samsung put together a very nice device in a short time , given a bit more time to develop this feature it may be very handy in the not too distant future .
    Having said that , in the mean time I'm thinking that button in landscape may make an excellent camera button ?