Earlier days barcodes were popular for scanning the product price at the point-of-sales counters in a shop. Nowadays, QR codes are becoming so popular that anyone can create a personalized one for custom purposes. Whether it is a barcode or QR code, use of machine readable codes are increased considerably in recent years making our lives easier. The good part is that Android smartphones are excellent barcode and QR code readers using in-built feature. Alternatively, you can scan QR code and barcode using third-party apps depending upon the purposes.
Barcode and QR Code
A barcode is a machine-readable pattern of parallel bars of different widths. It represents a number from 0 to 9 due to its limited capacity to contain information. They are commonly used on products for storing details like price, name, supplier country, etc.
A QR code is similar to barcode in two-dimensional representation but carries more information than a bar code with its complex pattern. It can represent alphabets, numbers and you can generate a QR using any online tool allowing them to use more commonly than barcodes. QR codes are used for variety purposes like adding friends in social media apps, collecting digital payments, opening a website, accessing a mini app for submitting a form or ordering food at a specific table in a restaurant. You can even generate a QR code of webpages from browsers like Google Chrome and share it instantly with your friends.
1. Using Camera to Scan QR and Barcode
The default camera app in Android smartphone is intelligent to recognize the bar or QR codes. All what you need is to point your phone’s camera towards the codes. Remember, you don’t need to take a picture. Just point your camera towards a bar code or QR code and wait a moment. Your camera will recognize and display the information encoded in the code. The camera app will display the information like a number or URL or whatever is the information obtained from the code on the screen.
Unfortunately, sometimes your phone’s camera may not recognize the barcodes. In addition, camera app will not help you to find related products or search and get additional information after scanning the code. In such cases, you can find plenty of third-party apps in App Stores for scanning barcode and QR codes. However, most of them are either paid or show annoying ads. Here we will explain with two great apps without any advertisements which you can use if your camera does not recognize the codes.
2. Scan QR Code Using Google Lens
An image recognition technology developed by Google presents Google Lens having an array of scanning services, including QR code reading. Install Google Lens on your phone and open the app. .
The main screen of the app will show your gallery items and tap on “Search with your camera” at the top of the screen. Point the camera to the QR code, and the app will either show you the information hidden in the QR code or ask you to tap on the shutter button to open the link if a URL is given in the QR code. The only limitation of the Google Lens is that it does not work on barcodes.
3. Scan QR and Barcode Using Microsoft Lens
If you want an app that can scan both barcode and QR code, then install Microsoft Lens app. This is a PDF scanner app for converting scanned images or photos into a PDF file. However, you can also use this app for scanning QR codes and barcodes in Android phones.
Open the after completing the installation and provide necessary permissions for the app to access your camera and photos. After that go to “ACTIONS” from the bottom menu and choose “QR CODE” from the toolbar. Now point the camera to a barcode or QR code, and it will display the information immediately on the screen. You can easily copy or share the information with someone.
Camera and Lens app will help you to scan most of the QR and barcodes. However, you may need to use specific app for scanning certain type of codes. For example, some shopping malls offer QR code to get your health information for verifying your Covid-19 vaccination and nucleic acid test statuses. In this case, you should use the dedicated app offered by government or local authorities for scanning the code to obtain your health information. Scanning such a code with camera or Lens app will not work.