SNAP. That's the sound of your Samsung Galaxy S3's camera going off. Not that big of deal, unless you're trying to take some top secret pics or some candid shots of your friends. The shutter sound gives you away, and the next thing you know, you're deleting pictures.
On most other smartphones, if the users turns the phone on silent or vibrate, the shutter sound is killed. If that doesn't do the trick, usually muting the shutter sound itself in the settings will do the trick.
But for some of you, depending on your region and carrier, you may not be able to turn off the shutter sound on your Samsung Galaxy S3.
For example, if you're in Korea and certain locales in Europe, your smartphone's shutter sound cannot be muted—it's the law. If you have a carrier like Sprint in the U.S., the camera sound will also remain on at all times. However, if you have AT&T, they do allow you to turn off the camera sound.
This is a statement straight form Sprint:
"Sprint has had a policy in place for the last couple of years...that requires...that the shutter sound in the camera cannot be muted by the end user. This policy is in place for privacy reasons so that using the native camera creates a sound that would be noticeable to any subjects of a photograph, willing or unwilling. This policy is another example of Sprint's ongoing commitment to privacy when it comes to mobile device usage. This specification does not have any bearing on 3rd party camera applications that a user may download and use outside of the native device camera."
Apparently, the needs of random people that might end up in your photo are more important than your needs—the actual owner of the phone. It's censorship straight out of the box. Thankfully, there are a few ways to get around this silly measure.
Perhaps the easiest and most efficient solution to this problem is to not use the stock camera app. Instead, download a third-party application. No rooting or hacking required. The mobile carrier can only control the manufacturers native apps, as Sprint noted in its statement above.
But, as many of the reviews state, none of these alternative camera apps can replicate the quality of the native Android camera app, which leads us to the next method...
A really great feature on your Samsung Galaxy S3 is the ability to take screenshots while recording video. It's called video snapshot. So, if you want to avoid the terrible clicking sound, start recording a video instead and tap the camera button on the screen to take a snapshot.
The normal shutted sound should not occur, but you will have to deal with the the little click sound when you start and end the video recording, as you can hear above.
Yes, it may seem ridiculous to have to root your phone just to turn off your camera's shutter sound, but for some, this is a necessary step. If you don't know how to root your phone, you can check out this tutorial for the S3 to get an idea, or one of our other Android rooting guides.
Once your phone is rooted, you can access system files that were previously hidden. You can also install off-market camera apps as well. But if you want to keep using your native camera app, then you can try this tip I saw on XDA-developers.
Open Root Explorer, navigate to /system/media/audio/ui, then Mount R/W, and rename shutter.ogg to shutter.ogg.bak. If you want to return it back to its original state, simply reverse the name change. You can also just delete the file completely.
Did any of these options fix your annoying shutter sound on your Samsung Galaxy S III? Let us know which ones worked and didn't work for you, and if you have another method of silencing your camera.