How to Scan QR Codes with Android
When it comes to platform market share, Android continues to dominate with 2 billion monthly active devices globally, according to a 2017 market study. Despite this, still, not many Android devices have a built-in QR Code reader. If you’re wondering whether your smartphone or tablet natively supports QR Codes, keep reading to find out.
What are QR Codes?
QR Codes are two-dimensional barcodes. QR stands for Quick Response which refers to the instant information access hidden in the Code. They are customizable, both in function and design, and are the best channel for connecting traditional print media with any interactive online content.
Can my Android phone or tablet scan QR Codes natively?
The best way to figure out if your device can read QR Codes is to open your Camera app and point it steadily for 2-3 seconds toward the QR Code you want to scan. Whenever scanning is enabled, a notification will appear. If nothing happens, try going to your Settings app and enabling QR Code scanning.
If QR Codes aren’t an option in your settings, your device, unfortunately, can’t scan QR Codes natively. But don’t worry, this only means you’ll have to download a third-party QR Code reader app. (Keep on reading for my top app recommendations!)
How do I scan QR Codes with My Camera on Android OS?
Depending on the type of QR Code scanned, you will be prompted with a different action. For example, any URL Code will ask to open the link with Google Chrome. If it’s a vCard Code, it will give you the option to add contact details to your address book.
Recommended Third-party QR Code Reader Apps
Currently with 291,000+ reviews, this QR Code reader app is the most popular on Google Play Store.
This app is one of the top-rated on the Google Play Store and, as the name suggests, includes a built-in flashlight for scanning QR Codes in a poorly lit setting.
Apps You Might Already Have…
But Didn’t Know Could Function as QR Code Readers
With 166 million monthly active users, this popular mobile app can also read QR Codes. Just point the camera toward the QR Code, then tap and hold the screen to open the link.
Known as a music-recognizing app, Shazam can also scan QR Codes for interactive content, special offers, and the ability to purchase items or share them with others.
The social network added QR Code scanning in its Lens visual discovery feature to make it “more useful and actionable for brands” that are using the platform to promote their products.
Top 9 QR Code Types
Every QR Code has a specific purpose. If you are thinking of creating a marketing campaign, you can use the various types to provide different types of information to your customers depending on the goals of a campaign.
When I originally wrote this article, there were approximately 9 popular QR Code types, but in just a few short years, they’ve expanded in both use and number. For a great article on everything you wanted to know about QR Codes, see “QR Codes 101: A Beginner’s Guide.”
Check out my previous blog post: Implementing Bar Codes, for more “How To” information on setting up your own QR Codes.