Your smartphone has the ability to read both QR codes (which automatically take you to a website URL) as well as scanning a barcode to bring up product information such as price comparisons and user reviews. All you need to do is download the right app and then simply point your smartphone camera at the codes.

First of all we should say that there are tons of apps out there that claim to do this, and a lot of them are very good. For the purpose of this tutorial we have chosen two popular apps that we are familiar with and we are installing both on an Android phone. You'll be able to find similar free apps for iPhone in the App Store.

How to scan QR Codes with an Android smartphone

  • Download QR Code Reader from Google Play
  • Launch QR Code Reader
  • Allow the app permission to take pictures and record video
  • Point the phone's camera at the QR code so it sits inside the square shown onscreen
  • The app will read the QR code and offer up a link to the related website

How to scan barcodes with an Android smartphone

  • Download Barcode Scanner from Google Play
  • Launch Barcode Scanner
  • Position your phone camera so the green line shown on screen runs horizontal across a product barcode
  • Select either Product search or Web search depending on what information you want to discover