How to Scan QR Codes with Android?

With QR codes becoming more common and more relevant in everyday life, it is likely that you are bound to scan one along the way whether you like it or not.

It is always best to come prepared when the time finally comes. So, know as early as now if your phone can scan QR codes. If not, what are the things you need to do and what you should keep in mind? 

create a QR code

What are QR Codes?how to scan qr codes

You have seen them for sure. They are those pixelated black and white images on product packaging, posters, and apps.

They are becoming the trend and standard for contactless transactions for their ease of use and versatility. So, it is likely that one of your daily routines or services is bound to adopt them sooner or later.

Right now, a lot of things have been integrated with QR codes: payments, both online and in-store, ID systems, and wireless connections.

Even your frequently used favorite app, Facebook Messenger, was once able to create and scan a QR code for a faster way to follow people and pages.

Can Your Phone Scan A QR Code?


As long as you are using either an Android or iOS device with a functioning camera, it is likely that your phone can scan a QR code. It is just a matter of how and whether or not it is a feature that comes right out of the box.

Iphones are Always Prepared

If what you have is an iPhone, there isn’t any problem as long as it is running iOS 11 or any later version. The built-in camera app comes equipped with the ability to scan and read QR codes right out of the box. 

Simply point it on any QR code and a yellow box will form around the image, signifying that it recognizes it. A small notification will then appear stating what it does. 

In the Event, It Doesn’t…

Running a later version of iOS 11 but things didn’t work the way we told you how it should? Don’t worry, there is nothing wrong with your phone, you just have to turn on the QR code scanning feature.how to scan qr codes activate camera

  1. Go to settings
  2. Scroll down until you find “camera” and tap it.
  3. Look for the “scan QR codes” and turn it on.

An Alternative QR Code Scanning Feature By Apple

Even if the iPhone's camera app already comes equipped with a QR code scanner, Apple, as extra as they are, giving users an alternative. There is a much better, more specialized way to scan QR codes using your iPhone, and here is how you can do it. 

  1. Go to Settings then tap “control center”, followed by “customize controls”.
  2. Tap on “QR Code Reader”.

Now, you will be able to find a QR code scanner in your control center.

how to scan qr codes control center

What Makes It Different?

This QR code reader is a little bit different from the experience that came with the built-in camera app. It is specifically intended to look for QR codes instead of functioning as a camera first.

This means that it finds QR codes faster and has a much more fun and interactive way of redirecting you to its destination.

It automatically brings you to the website URL instead of being given the choice of whether or not you would want to go there. A flashlight button is also readily available if you want to make the QR code more visible and easier for the camera to identify.

Scanning QR Codes With Android

The situation with Android phones is a little bit more complicated due to the fact that there are a wide array of Android devices and each manufacturer makes their own revision to the firmware. Nevertheless, if you are running an Android version of 9 or anything later, it is likely that you don’t have to install a third-party app to scan QR codes.

create a QR code

How to Check Your Phone’s QR Code Scanning Feature

If you are not sure how to check if your phone has a QR code scanning feature and want to check, these are the things that you can do.

  1. Point your camera on a QR code and wait for the image to be recognized (usually with a yellow box bordering the QR code). A notification will then appear stating what the QR code does. If that doesn’t happen, it’s either there is no QR code scanning feature or it is just not enabled.
  2. The next thing that you can do is check the settings. Search for anything that is related to QR codes. If you do find something, that is a tell-tale sign that your phone supports QR code scanning, you just have to activate it. 
  3. With the help of search engines, find threads, forums, or instructions about how to turn on the QR code scanning feature of your phone. In most cases, you only have to fiddle around your phone camera’s settings.

Third-Party QR Code Scanning Apps

While having a built-in QR code scanning feature is convenient, not having one doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the road. Whether you are using an iOS or Android device, you can always download third-party software to be able to scan QR codes.

With the market already being saturated with QR code generators, the same goes for scanners. There are a lot of downloadable apps, both in the android and iOS app market.

It can be overwhelming if you don’t know what you are looking for but we have narrowed down the list with the number one spot being the best.

  1. QRTiger's QR Code Generator and Scanner (Get it on the google play store)
  2. Zapper
  3. Quick Scan
  4. QR Droid
  5. QuickMark
  6. Bar-Code
  7. I-nigma
  8. NeoReader
  9. Kaspersky’s QR Scanner
  10. TapMedia’s QR Reader

What Makes A Great QR Code Reader?

With so many QR code readers out there, you might be asking, what makes one different from the other? What makes one better from the other? And maybe you are wondering how we came up with our list of best QR code scanners. Here are the things that we looked for and so should you when in search of one.

Ad Free

It is common for free apps to find ways to find other means to create revenue and in most cases, they opt for ads.

Once may seem fine, but if one pops up every now and then without the option of skipping or closing, then it will hinder you from getting the job done as soon as possible.

Cost Free Basic Services

Don’t pay for something you are not sure of. While advanced features will usually cost you, the basic services shouldn’t take a single penny.

Free basic features serve as your trial, giving the feel and experience of the app, allowing you to make an informed decision on whether or not it is worth the money it demands.

Stable

The majority of QR code scanning apps are made by starting developers with either little to no budget and team. This means that the overall experience is not going to be completely ironed out, resulting in bugs, errors, and ultimately failing more often than actually working. 

Consistently Updated

Despite only having to scan QR codes, scanners should be consistently updated and developed by a fully functional team.

With QR codes constantly changing, old scanners may not be able to read ones that have stirred away from the conventional black and white look.

Also, new QR codes are finding new applications and these may not totally work with old scanners.

Intuitive

As a user, the only thing you are going to do is scan a QR code. As a basic task, it should be easily accomplished. There shouldn’t be too many buttons, toggles, and options. You shouldn't have to go through an instructional video just to be able to scan a QR code.

All-in-One

The more features a scanner has, the more convenient the overall user experience becomes. If it has its own browser, it doesn’t have to open a different app.

It can have built-in flash controls for better QR code visibility. And if you are someone who also needs to make QR codes, a generator that is also a scanner puts everything in one place.

How to Use QR Code Tiger Scanner

You are not likely going to find it hard how to use QR Code Tiger with its intuitive layout despite the multitude of features it has. Nevertheless, here is a step-by-step guide on how to use the app to show you how easy it is.

how to scan qr codes mobile app

  1. After downloading and opening the app, tap on “scan”.
  1. A pop up will show asking permission for your camera. It will then bring you to the scanning feature of the app. Then, position the QR code that you are trying to scan in such a way it is inside the orange box.
  1. After recognizing the QR code, the app automatically opens the browser and brings you to the destination of the QR code.

create a QR code

Integrated Camera App vs Third-Party Apps

If you think that because your phone has an integrated QR code scanner, there is no need to use third-party apps, but you might be mistaken.

When you are taking QR codes seriously especially if they play a huge role in your everyday life, there is a lot to benefit from using apps that specialize in scanning, identifying, and implementing QR codes.

Faster

The camera of your phone functions to take photos first. What this means is that it prioritizes balancing colors, dynamic range, and so much more to enhance photo quality and deliver the best output. This affects how fast it can detect a QR code which significantly impacts the overall experience.

Better at Scanning

When your app is specialized to only identify QR codes and put everything second, even if the image is not in the best condition, it will still be recognized. You don’t have to specifically follow an orientation, size, or distance. 

Continuous Improvements and Updated with the Times

Now, QR codes are used for a multitude of applications such as connecting to the WiFi, giving a virtual business card, and so much more.

As the technology continues to improve, it is likely going to find new uses, and if your scanner is not updated with what’s new, it may not completely function with all the available QR codes.

Dedicated QR code scanners are continuously updated for the purpose of functioning as they are intended. So, it is unlikely for you to find a QR code that is not going to work with your scanner.

As QR codes are becoming a standard part of life, it is hard to veer away from them. You will have to scan one sooner or later, but that shouldn’t be a problem. You now know what your phone is capable of and what to do to fill in the gaps in its performance. 

Related: How to set-up QR Code Tracking: A step-by-step guide!

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