Samsung is shutting down the Galaxy S8’s handiest hidden feature

Samsung has reportedly moved to lock down the dedicated Bixby assistant hardware button on the Galaxy S8, after a developer remapped it to run Google Assistant and perform other actions.

Earlier this month it emerged the button could be reprogrammed using third-party apps like All in one Gestures.

Now, according to a member of the XDA developers forum, Samsung has released an OTA update to nix the loophole and preserve the sanctity of the feature.

Related: What is Bixby?

The developer Flar2 was updating his own button mapping app when he discovered Samsung was no longer routing the Bixby button’s functionality through the phone’s Accessibility Services

The report says: “It turns out that Samsung has modified the system to consume the Bixby button’s key events before it reaches the Accessibility Services, effectively making it impossible to remap the Bixby button as of now (at least without root access).”

The decision to remove the functionality will disappoint some of the more tech-minded consumers out there.

XDA had posted a tutorial for how to remap the button ahead of the UK release on April 28 and on April 21 in the UK. That, it seems, is now defunct.

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