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Why couldn’t Japanese iPhones take silent photographs before iOS 15?

by Joseph Richard
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Since the introduction of the original iPhone in 2007, Japanese versions have featured a unique feature: a required sound when shooting photographs or videos. This has changed with iOS 15, and here’s how it works.

Oh, Japan, this land of a thousand and one wonders, you never fail to amaze us. Did you know that there was an unspoken agreement among operators to keep the smartphone camera from being used for nefarious purposes? Simply put, since 2001, all phones sold on Japanese land have been required to make a sound while capturing a photo or video, in order to prevent misuse in a country where exhibitionism is far more prevalent than elsewhere, particularly on public transportation.

What’s new about iOS 15?

The catch is that customers are subjected to the annoyance even after they leave the Land of the Rising Sun. This was also true for iPhones running iOS 15 and before. Apple is taking a more strategic approach to the problem with the newest version of the operating system.

The iPhone will modify the camera’s behavior based on the geographical region provided by the cellular network, as demonstrated in the video above. As a result, an iPhone purchased in Japan but used in Kenya will make no sound. A Kenyan model used in Japan, on the other hand, beeps at every photograph taken.

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