How to scan a QR code on your Android (no apps needed)

Your smartphone may be more intelligent than you think. When these devices first hit the market, third-party manufacturers designed apps to make the most of their capabilities. If you want to use your phone as a flashlight or scanner, there is an app for that.

The thing is, these programs take up space on your phone and many have become obsolete thanks to tools added with updates. The services also have ulterior motives, such as collecting data. Tap or click here to see which common apps you can uninstall now.

A good example is a QR code scanning app. QR codes can be found almost everywhere. These pixelated squares are used in advertising, retail, food packaging, business cards and more. When scanning you get more information about a product or you are redirected to a website. You no longer need an app for that.

Follow the maze

Some think of a maze when they see a QR code. And just like a maze, a QR code leads to discovery. How many calories are in those fries? Where can you buy the outfit you see in an ad? How many kilometers can this car drive on a liter of petrol? A quick QR code scan can solve all these questions and more. Think of this technology as a smart barcode.

QR codes have been around for a long time before smartphones, and your device can probably scan them right out of the box. Tap or click here to learn how to scan anything to your Mac. Here’s how to find this handy feature.

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Use your Android’s camera app

Your Android phone’s camera probably has the capability to scan QR codes without the use of a third-party app. (PssT! This also works on Apple’s iPhone.)

Here’s how:

Open your camera app, aim it at a QR code and hold it still for a few seconds. If a notification appears, tap it. If you don’t get a notification, go to Settings and turn on QR code scanning.

Use your Samsung’s camera app

Samsung’s camera app comes with native QR code scanning support. Tap or click here to get even more out of your Samsung phone.

Open your camera app, point to a QR code and tap the popup. If you do not receive this notification, please enable the feature. Open Camera Settings and enable Scan QR Codes.

Using Google Lens

Google Lens started out as a feature in Pixel phones, but it quickly became standard in many Android phones. The tool is part of your camera app and can do many things from identifying a dog breed to translating text. Here’s how to use it.

Open your camera and tap More > Google Lens. Now you have a Lens icon that you can use whenever you open your camera. You can also use Google Assistant to activate Google Lens. Say “Ok Google,” then tap Google Lens in the bottom right.

RELATED: Google Finally Reveals Everything It Knows About You

Using Bixby

Samsung’s virtual assistant can help you learn more about anything with a QR code.

Launch your camera app and tap Bixby Vision. Then tap Allow to enable permissions. Enable all pop-up permissions. Scan and tap Go to navigate to view the contents of the QR code.

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