How to scan QR codes with Android phones without an app
Sneh Ratna Choudhary
Last Updated: November 7, 2020
The 2017’s iOS 11 update added the native capability to all iPhones allowing them to scan QR codes without an app and just in time because 2020 is the year of QR codes. From delivering discounts to allowing consumers to listen to their favorite Spotify playlist while they shop, QR codes are ubiquitous and businesses and marketers alike have begun to run entire campaigns based on this cost-effective QR code technology.
Android 9 and Android 10 has an in-built QR code scanner courtesy of Google Lens. Consumers have to open their camera app and point it at the QR code and see a URL pop-up.
Activating Google Lens
To activate Google Lens to scan QR Codes suggestions, open the camera app and click on more. Open Settings and activate Google Lens suggestions to scan QR Codes.
SCAN QR CODES WITH ANDROID 8 (Android OREO)
1. Google Screen Search: Google Screen Search allows consumers to scan QR codes without an app instantly. All one has to do is point their camera at the QR code, long-press the Home button and click on ‘What’s on my screen?’ The QR code link will be available for consumers to open.
If the smartphone’s screen search is not on, open the Google app and tap Navigation. From the settings, enable Screen Search.
2. Google Lens: An AI interface by Google, Google Lens recognizes everything in the camera including QR codes. It is available on both the camera app as well as the Google Assistant.
Simply download Google Lens and start scanning QR codes or use Google Lens from Google Assistant.
Scan QR codes with ANDROID 7 and below
Android smartphones with Android 7.0 and below require an app to scan QR codes. After downloading the app, all QR codes can be scanned instantaneously. Since a lot of apps use QR codes within the app to perform a function like payments or scanning a product to get more information, consumers are already aware of how to operate a QR code scanner app. You can use Snapchat, Amazon and Paytm to scan QR Codes on Android without having to download an additional app.
Can an Android phone scan QR codes?
Android versions 8 and 9 can automatically scan QR codes without an app. Some older Android versions will also receive the latest update.
How to scan QR codes with Samsung Galaxy S10e, S10 and S10+
An OTA update will allow users of Samsung Galaxy S10e, S10 and S10+ to start using their camera to scan QR codes. No third-party app is required anymore. Here’s how to start scanning QR codes:
Go to Camera Settings
Toggle the feature “Scan QR Codes”
How to scan QR codes with Samsung Galaxy S9
A recent June 2019 security update has made it possible for Galaxy S9 users to scan QR codes right from their camera by toggling a button which says ‘Scan QR Codes’. Now Samsung Galaxy S9 users can simply point the camera at a QR code and the associated link will pop up. There is no need for Bixby Vision or any other third-party apps. This update has not been rolled out to Samsung’s flagship phones. [Some phones have started receiving this update]
For Vivo smartphones with Android 8 and above, you can use the Google Lens on your camera. There is also an in-built scanner on some Vivo smartphones on the Notification Panel and Smart Launcher Screen.
Can Pixel scan QR Codes?
Google’s Pixel can scan QR Codes. You don’t even need Google Lens to do so. Open the camera app and point it a QR Code and you will see the link appear just above the shutter button. Click on this link to open up the website or URL.
How to scan QR codes with Pixel 2 XL?
Simply open the camera and point it at a QR code. The Pixel 2 XL can natively scan QR codes just like iPhones. The associated link pops up on the screen which acts as a prompt for the user.
Scanning QR Codes with Android: FAQs
What happens when you scan QR codes?
When consumers scan QR codes, a number of things can occur. Businesses can use QR codes to deliver coupons, product information, and deals or use it to ask shoppers to leave reviews, feedback and follow them on social media.
Typically, QR codes found in magazines can be scanned from at least 10 inches away and the QR codes found on billboards can be scanned from 2 meters away. The relationship between the scan distance and the minimum QR code size should be 10:1. A 2.5 cm QR code can be scanned from 250 mm or 10 inches away.
How do I keep a QR code on my phone?
Once you create a free QR code on the QR code generator, you can save the QR code on your phone. If you are using QR codes on Facebook, Snapchat or LinkedIn, you can save it as an image on your phone or share it so that other people can add you to that particular network.
How do you use QR codes?
Apart from useful information about a certain product, QR codes are also used on GMO labeling in the US as well as for proximity marketing. Businesses can leverage QR codes to attract new visitors by allowing them to scan and get navigation details or paste them on flyers and deliver rewards and discounts. Businesses can also automate the process of creating QR Codes with an API.
Phishing or malicious software being downloaded through QR codes is rare but it is a slim possibility. Only scan QR codes that specify the action or what you can expect once you scan them or see that the URL slug is from a credible source like Beaconstac (tapnscan.me/).
Sneh is a Content Marketing Manager at Beaconstac. When she’s not obsessing over customized QR Codes, she can be found fawning over dogs or bingeing on Netflix. To discuss content marketing or anything else under the sun, reach out to her on Twitter or LinkedIn.