KIM KOMANDO

How to scan a QR code on your smartphone without using any apps

Nov 24, 2022, 6:30 AM
(Pixabay Photo)...
(Pixabay Photo)
(Pixabay Photo)

Your smartphone is full of surprises. There’s an app if you want to use your phone as a magnifying glass or scanner. Tap or click here for hidden apps on your smartphone and how to find them.

Third-party programs take up space on your phone, and many are redundant thanks to your phone’s built-in capabilities. Tap or click here for common apps you can delete right now.

Quick Response codes, better known as QR codes, are those pixelated squares you see in restaurants, advertisements, stores, food packaging, business cards, airline tickets — you name it. Some developers would lead you to believe you need to download their app to scan them. Spoiler: Your phone can do that with built-in features.

Follow the maze

QR codes were initially created to track automotive parts, but now they’re used for much more.

How many calories are in those fries? Where can you buy the outfit you see in an ad? How many miles can this car travel on a gallon of gas? A quick QR code scan can resolve all these questions and more. Think of this tech as a smart barcode.

QR codes existed long before smartphones, and your device can scan them right out of the box. Here’s how to use this helpful feature without third-party software.

Use your phone’s native capabilities to avoid malware

Third-party scanning apps are popular, making them prime delivery systems for malware. Hackers hide dangerous code in these helpful apps, which can steal your money, hijack your personal information, or even take over your device.

How to scan a QR code with your iPhone’s Camera app

Your iPhone’s built-in Camera app can scan QR codes, and it’s as easy as taking a photo. Here’s how:

● Open the Camera app and hold your iPhone, so the QR code appears in the viewfinder.

● Your phone should recognize the QR code and give you a notification.

● Tap the notification to open the link associated with the QR code.

How to scan a QR code with your Android phone

Your Android phone’s camera likely can scan QR codes without the use of a third-party app. Here’s how:

● Open the Camera app and hold your Android phone so that the QR code appears in the viewfinder.

● Your phone should recognize the QR code and give you a notification.

● Tap the notification to open the link associated with the QR code.

● If you aren’t notified, go to Settings and enable QR code scanning.

Use your Samsung’s camera app

Samsung’s camera app comes with native support for QR code scanning. Here’s how:

● Open the Camera app and hold your Samsung phone so the QR code appears in the viewfinder.

● Your phone should recognize the QR code and give you a notification.

● Tap the notification to open the link associated with the QR code.

● If you aren’t notified, go to Settings and enable QR code scanning.

Use Google Lens

Google Lens started as a feature in Pixel phones but soon 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 app and tap More > Google Lens.

● Now you’ll have a Lens icon you can use whenever you open your camera, and it can scan QR codes.

● You can also use Google Assistant to activate Google Lens. Say “OK Google,” then tap Google Lens at the bottom right.

Use Bixby

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

● 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 QR code content.

While convenient and entertaining, scanning a QR code can expose you to malware and scams. Tap or click here for tips on what to look out for.

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

Kim Komando

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How to scan a QR code on your smartphone without using any apps