Lately I’ve been on a bit of a bender about Samsung and their absolutely horrendous customer service. Ready for the latest installment?

The Galaxy 8 phone with its Bixby button came out very recently. Just a few days ago, users began figuring out how to use the All In One Gestures app to re-map that button to do what they want it to do.

Today, Samsung issued a forced update that blocks remapping of that button.

Yeah, read that again. And digest what it means. It means that after you’ve spent $800 on a phone, you cannot use that phone the way you would like to use the phone; you have to use it the way Samsung wants you to use it.

Anyone still lined up to get the new Samsung wifi/ST hub when it comes out?? :FACEPALM:

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From a user’s perspective, I understand the frustration. From Samsung’s perspective though, I also understand why they would restrict it. It would be the equivalent of Google patching a hole that let users load Alexa onto the GH devices, or vice versa.


I’m actively looking for that hole!

It’s a new day… Let’s talk about synonyms…

Samsung == Apple


Yeah I ‘understand’ Samsung’s perspective too… but if I had purchased one and they blocked me that way, I would be returning it for a full refund right now and telling them why. And telling them why I will never purchase their products again.

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Did the S8 release early?

Dunno if it released early, but it’s available now from Verizon and others.

It’s still on pre-order. Due to release on Friday.

Personally, I don’t see this as a big deal. Lots of devices limit the remapping options for their primary buttons, such as the Logitech Harmony. If you don’t like it, you buy a different device.

This isn’t something they’re taking away since the device isn’t officially released yet. From their point of view, it’s a hole being patched.


[quote=“JDRoberts, post:7, topic:85079, full:true”] Personally, I don’t see this as a big deal. Lots of devices limit the remapping options for their primary buttons, such as the Logitech Harmony. If you don’t like it, you buy a different device.

This isn’t something they’re taking away since the device isn’t officially released yet. From their point of view, it’s a hole being patched.[/quote]

It’s fine if you haven’t yet gotten one. Then you simply don’t buy it. But if you got one and remapped the button because you could and that’s what worked best for you and then they took it away? Sorry, but I consider that a rotten thing to do. And your last sentence is exactly my sentiment, to which I am trying to persuade others. lol

Wait so is the phone released or still in pre-release?

How would you get one? It’s in pre-release until Friday. Verizon will take a pre-order, but you won’t get the phone yet.

The people who first reported the ability to remap the button were developers who had a pre-release review copy. When you get a copy that way, you are told that there may be changes before the final release.

Then, while still in pre-release, some of the same people reported that the ability was being removed.

But those aren’t regular customers who bought a regular device. They’re developers/reviewers who signed up to get an early copy with the understanding that there may be changes in the release version.

The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus don’t launch until April 21, but there are review units in the wild.


I have no inside information but I will say I think it’s a security move. Some Youtube tech vloggers have intimated, some more forwardlymthan others, that the apps that remap that button are a bit suspect. I’m not sure why the apps couldn’t have just been flagged as malicious, if they were, but I think others may have quickly popped up. There might be internal code or hardware reasons too. IDK. I get mine Wednesday and it will be my first Android device after years, decades actually, of contributing to Apple’s financial benefit. I’m keeping the iPhone as well. Anyway, it may be frustrating. That’s up to you of course. But there might be reasons.

It may be a security move, it may be a Brand protection move, it may have to do with some upcoming legislation regarding the ability to contact 911 without having to unlock the phone.

Apple has offered the emergency call option for several years:

Most android phones have offered a similar ability, but there of been a lot of complaints, particularly about Samsung phones, that it’s too easy to hit this feature from the pin pad screen.

Lots of supposition that Samsung intended to eventually move the 911 call feature to the Bixby button. If so, they definitely wouldn’t want that changed.

But who knows? We’ll see what happens when it’s actually released.

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I can’t see how the loss of this feature would be anything close to a deal breaker for most people that buy this phone.

Since we’re just ranting about Samsung here, I called ST phone support for the first time recently. They couldn’t fix my issue. They said something about kicking it up to tier 2 phone support but couldn’t guarantee I’d get a call back, and suggested I just deal with the email support people as well. Then I got a follow-up call but it was just a survey asking “how’d we do.” I definitely let the rep know how I thought they did.

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Speaking as someone who has to have voice control as I can’t really use my hands, I do see why not having this option might cause someone to delay buying the phone.

The new AI from Samsung, Bixby, isn’t quite fully baked yet, and they only just recently announced that it will be launching without voice recognition. You’ll have to type in your queries. They do expect voice recognition to come eventually, but not at launch.

Being able to remap the Bixby button would have enabled it to be mapped to Google assistant, which does have voice recognition.

I don’t have an android phone, so I don’t really know how much different that is from “hey Google” or the other voice options, but my understanding is that that was one of the initial reasons why The independent developers involved wanted to be able to do the remapping.

Verge files this under “How to mess up your launch,” as the voice recognition features have been a big part of the early Samsung marketing materials and demos of bixby:

"Anything you can do with touch, you can do with voice” is how Samsung reps have boasted about Bixby in the lead-up to, during, and after the S8 launch event last month.

But just a week ago…

Key features of Bixby, including Vision, Home, and Reminder, will be available with the global launch of the Samsung Galaxy S8 on April 21. Bixby Voice will be available in the US on the Galaxy S8 later this spring,”

So, oops…

(Hardware is hard. Also voice recognition. :wink: )

All of which is to say, I do understand why not being able to remap the Bixby button would be a dealbreaker for some potential customers. I just also understand why Samsung might choose not to offer the remap ability.

And my advice on any electronics remains the same: buy it for the features it delivers at the time of purchase, not for anything that might be promised for the future.


Can you use google voice in the meantime? Bixby seems to be an ambitious product and may take a while to iron out.

Me personally? I use iOS products, the accessibility features are much better for me. That’s true for many people who are quadriparetic/quadriplegic.

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I understand. I’m committed to Apple as well. I’m just going to tey the S8 to see what all the hubub is about. I do like the ability to customize but I’m not sure it’s going to be that important after the newness wears off.

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When I first read the OPs initial message, I immediately thought about why Samsung would prevent this. Bixby is something newish to an already crowded Personal AI market. Siri, Google, and even Cortana. On my SurfacePro, Cortanta is actually pretty good. Let’s not forget that Samsung learned a lot of very painful lessons with its ill-fated and ill-designed S-Voice. Most of we long time Galaxy owners never really used it. I think it was a Center Long Button press or something like that - I do remember people trying like crazy to hack that to switch it to Google Now. Instead we installed Google and then later Cortana. So I guess I can see why they’re trying to lock this down again.

Mine is supposed to arrive on Friday. Due to a job change, I moved away from Android after many many years to the iPhone and I am ready to pull my eyebrows out. I can’t stand this device. I am very excited about the S8 but I doubt I’ll use Bixby unless it does something unique or different from the existing alternatives.


I fully get why Samsung would prevent re-mapping that button!
I also know that preventing people from customizing the things they purchase is, in my view, the opposite of good customer service. And therefore I will not be buying that phone. Combined with Samsung’s abysmal service in so many other regards, it’s one more reason for me to not consider buying ANY of their products.