Hey Samsung, Indian Galaxy S8 users really should have a way to quick launch the camera
Samsung has always been accused of throwing in everything but the kitchen sink into its phones as far as software features are concerned. Some of these features are useful, while some are fun for a little while before you forget they even exist. Falling in the former camp is the camera quick launch shortcut that Samsung introduced with the Galaxy S6, one that lets you press the home button two times to launch the camera at any moment.
With the Galaxy S8, this feature has been relegated to the power button, but as Indian users will soon find out as they get their hands on their shiny new Samsung flagship, the quick launch camera feature isn’t present on the Indian models. Samsung tells us this is because the Indian government requires a smartphone to dial emergency services on three presses of the power button, and the camera launch feature would have clashed with this regulation as users might press the power button three times by mistake.
Samsung isn’t wrong here, as it’s not hard to put in an extra press sometimes when you’re trying to launch the camera in a hurry. But it’s hard to fathom that Indian users will have to live without the ability to quickly launch the camera, especially if they’re coming from an existing Samsung device with the same feature. It works just so well that you would think Samsung would have built in an alternative for Indian users instead of ripping out the feature entirely for consumers in India.
It’s not hard to think of such alternatives. Putting in the camera shortcut with a warning that it might overlap the emergency shortcut would be the logical step. If not that, maybe Samsung could give us the ability to remap the Bixby button. That puts Bixby at risk of being overridden, but is that really an issue for a service that will take a few months to be fully functional in the country? Putting the shortcut on the volume buttons is another alternative, although that might cause issues when you’re playing media and want to control the volume levels of the device.
None of these alternatives work as simply as having the power button do the job, but it’s disheartening to see that Indian users will have to wake up their phones and launch the camera manually. It will feel almost like a maneuver from the stone age for regular users of Samsung’s Galaxy phones, and we urge Samsung to come up with a solution that can be the middle ground between letting users fire up the camera quickly and being able to dial emergency services when the need arises.