How to scan and read a QR code on Android

How to scan and read a QR code on Android.

When the first computers appeared, people had a hard time believing in their success. The fact that information could be encoded in the form of zeros and ones was terrifying to people who did not have a mathematical mind. Over the years, more and more ways to encrypt information began to appear. The reason was the need to compress the information and facilitate its processing by a computer. This approach has led to the development of the QR. Find out what it is and how to scan any QR code on Android below.

What is QR

We believe that it is a word that many people have heard in various contexts. A common use of the QR is to store links to websites. Essentially, a QR code is an image made up of black and white dots (if additional identification elements are excluded). The fascinating thing is that it is easy to hide any text in this image, which cannot be read without special equipment or software.

An uninformed person will not even guess that information is stored here, he will only see a square with white dots. However, hiding is a side effect of the code and the main feature is compactness. Regardless of the length of the text to be encoded, the size of the final image will be the same.

Now about how it works. The method is based on binary notation. Yes, the same system used by computers. Only the usual zeros and ones are replaced by periods. A black pixel is 1 and a white pixel is 0. If any information can be encrypted with zeros and ones, so can dots. In addition to the pixels, there are three large squares on the QR. In fact, they simply allow the phone to identify that it is a square and not a simple monochrome square. Ultimately, this is enough for a superficial understanding.

Through built-in tools

Now it’s time to find out how to read such codes. Let’s face it, almost all Android (and iOS) phones with a camera can do this. Let’s face it, some cases even have built-in scanning tools. They don’t even need the internet, unlike their online counterparts.

Take the MIUI shell pre-installed on Xiaomi phones as an example. To scan the code, just open the “Scanner” application, which is by default located in the “Tools” folder. The only thing left to do is point the camera at the photo. The scanner will decode the information itself and provide it in readable form for the user.

By the way, if it’s a link, the app will even ask you to open it.

Many other phones also have such an app built in, but it may be called something else.

through apps

If you can’t find a built-in program or it doesn’t fit the functionality, no problem. There are a number of installed programs whose main task is to scan QR codes and others. There are quite a few, but we have decided to choose the most popular and optimal solutions.

Google Lens

On phones running Android 10 and later, this app comes out of the box. In other versions, you will have to install it from the Play Market using this link. Once installed, follow the steps below:

  • Open the app.
  • Click on the camera at the top of the screen.
  • Switch to “Search” mode using the button at the bottom.
  • Point your phone at the desired QR.
  • Click on the text that appears above the image.

Practical. The only downside is having trouble reading large text. This program is more suitable for encrypted links.

Lightning QR Scanner

A less popular app that caught our eye with some special features. One of them is that it has a history of QR views. All you have to do to use the app is to install it via a link and launch it. The app will then ask for access to the camera and then discover the code on the screen itself.

The disadvantages are the lack of Russification. As the buttons are not accompanied by images, this can be a problem for people with zero knowledge of English.

QR scanner

The next alternative is distinguished by the ability to scan not only QR but also barcodes. However, they do not store as much information and can be read without special applications. The second peculiarity is the possibility of creating QR codes for links to social networks. Following these QR codes can be placed in prominent places to increase the popularity of your accounts. And here is the link to the program.

QR code

Similar to the previous app, but with some notable differences. First of all, it does not have a QR generator for social networks. Second, it’s not as cluttered with ads as the previous app. Otherwise the same functionality: you can scan QRs and barcodes and then save them to your history or read them immediately. You can download it here.


Our selection is completed by an application with a simple interface and great functionality. It not only allows to read, but also to create QRs for different purposes.

For example, it is possible to generate a code that adds a contact to the address book when hovering over it with the mouse. The installation link is here.

Thank you for reading.