Samsung introduced a brand new virtual voice assistant in the Galaxy S8 / S8+ which can be accessed from a dedicated physical button on the left side of the phone. It has to be said that Samsung’s pulled off a brave move by including a dedicated hardware button for its own search assistant in the new S8 and S8+ smartphones. Bold in a sense, that Bixby pits Samsung directly against the established players in search assistant market, such as Google Assistant, Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa. Many thought it to be a risky move on Samsung’s part, especially considering Android phones are dominated by brilliant Google Assistant tool.
As is the case with any new tech offering, it took Samsung Galaxy users sometime to warm up to the idea of Bixby voice search that has since grown on the Android users. Bixby tool is set as the main voice search assistant by default on the Galaxy S8 and S8+ phones. However, many still prefer Google Assistant and want to access it easily with a single press of the physical button on the new Galaxy smartphones. But there is no challenge too difficult for Android enthusiasts to surmount, who have managed to find a way to remap Bixby button on Galaxy S8/S8+ devices. Thanks to the efforts of Android developers you can easily remap Bixby button to launch Google Assistant instead of Samsung’s own virtual search assistant tool.
We have already shared posts on how to install Bixby on rooted Galaxy S8/S8+ running Android Nougat, but Samsung quickly moved to block all attempts to get the tool on unauthorized devices. But Android developers being stubborn as ever immediately found a workaround to bypass the restriction and remapping of Bixby button returned with even easier solution. In the guide below, we are going to show you How to Remap Bixby Button on Rooted Galaxy S8/S8+ Manually.
Related Read: 7 Awesome Bixby Features You Should Know About
The method explained below will help you remap Bixby button to different options. Now its not only limited to replacing Bixby with Google Assistant through the physical button. Thanks to an XDA member, redplate, who has managed to find a way to set Bixby button on rooted Galaxy S8/S8+ with various setting options. He explained in a separate note all the various options that can be used with the remapped Bixby button that you can see at the end of this post. So, let’s jump straight to the step-by-step guide on how to manually remap Bixby on Galaxy S8/S8+ with root.
Steps to Manually Remap Bixby on Galaxy S8/S8+ with Root
Before starting remapping method, don’t forget that Keycode for Bixby Button is 703 and note it down somewhere safe so that you can set Bixby button back to Bixby voice search as and when needed. Also note that the following guide works only on rooted Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ phones. Do not attempt it on non-rooted devices.
Step 1 – Make sure that your device has a root explorer tool installed on it. ES File Explorer is currently the best option on Android.
Step 2 – Now launch the file explorer on your device and navigate to /system/usr/keylayout.
Step 3 – Here, rename the file Generic.kl to Generic.txt.
Step 4 – Next, open this file using a text editor.
Step 5 – Search 703 in Generic.txt, which will take you to this entry: # input_fw Intelligent Key for Dream key 703 WAKE
Step 6 – For example, you want to set Bixby button to launch the Music app. For that, change the above entry to # input_fw Intelligent Key for Dream key 703 MUSIC
Step 7 – That’s all.
Important Note: Once done, it is very important that you rename the ‘Generic.txt’ file in step-3 above back to ‘Generic.kl’, otherwise hardware key will get stuck after the reboot and you won’t be able to use it.
Other Bixby Button Options:
Instead of the music app in step-6 above, you can replace ‘MUSIC’ in the entry with following options to set Bixby button for a different task.
VOLUME_DOWN – volume down
VOLUME_UP – volume up
HOME – launches Home button
POWER – enters Power menu
MUSIC – opens music player
CAMERA – starts camera app
APP_SWITCH – Recent apps button
VOICE_ASSIST – launches Google Assistant