Latest Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+ Update Reportedly Restored Call Recording Capability in Some Units
The Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ received the May security patch update only a few days ago. Along with the updated security patch, the update also restored call recording functionalities of the device, which were previously broken. The change was first noticed by a Reddit user, later to be confirmed by other users. The build number of the update for the S9 and S9+ is G960FXXU1BRE5 and G965FXXU1BRE3 respectively and has rolled out to several countries such as Russia, Switzerland, Spain, Romania, Netherlands, and in the UK, with more countries to be added soon. All the devices that can record calls are Exynos-based and restricted to the European region, so far.
Ideally, the call recording should have been disabled in regions that don’t allow it and vice versa. Samsung thought it would be better the axe the feature altogether, presumably to avoid potential lawsuits. However, the feature is appearing in devices in the United Kingdom on devices running this latest patch. The UK is a two-party consent region, where recording a call without both the parties being aware of it is considered a wire-tap. To combat unauthorized recording of phone calls, Android P might even play a tone when it detects that a call recorder is active in the background, though we haven’t seen it in action on any of the Android P developer previews so far.
Third-party call recording app functionality to be restored too
Several third-party apps such as ACR already exist on the Play Store, which allows you to record phone calls. The app runs in the background and automatically records every phone call made/received on your device. However, almost all of the third-party call recording apps didn’t function as intended on the Galaxy S9 as Samsung has done a pretty good job of shutting them down. A bit of an overreaction, if you ask me.
Hopefully, we should see call recording functionality restores across markets where it’s legal with subsequent updates. The decision to disable call recording didn’t go down well with some people, who filed a lawsuit against the company for it.