Thread: General What is a qr code?
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Old February 9th, 2011, 04:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by alfick3 View Post
Still being a noob to Android and the phones it is on, what is a qr code? How does it work? I see some apps in the market (searching on the web from my computer, not from a phone) that have qr codes and some that don't. What is this all about? Thanks for your assistance.

QR codes are graphical app download hooks.

It's like a UPC barcode you see on packages. You know how the clerk scans the code and shows the price? Same deal with QR codes, except your phone camera scans the QR code on a computer screen and downloads an apps.

Your phone's barcode scanner can ALSO be used to compare prices at stores... but QR codes are app download hooks.

You install a "barcode scanner" app on your phone manually. The most basic one is called -- wait for it -- "barcode scanner".

But after that, then you open the barcode scanner app, and with it running, point your phone camera at the screen to scan QR codes.

You can also use your barcode scanner app in stores to check prices of competing stores. It IS a barcode scanner after all. There are several barcode scanning apps that show Amazon prices, nearby retail store prices...

Very interesting article written back during Christmas shopping season:
Phone-Wielding Shoppers Strike Fear Into Retailers -

(every time they write iPhone or iTunes, you mentally insert "smartphone", "androids too" or "Android Market". Every app they mention is also available for Androids. I couldn't believe the bias for iPhones , but it's still an informative article.)


The reason for QR codes being used to download an app from the Market or from a site, you had to be on the device to which it was being downloaded. Do you know how hard it is to browse around on small screens?

If you didn't have something like that, you could download it to your computer and then email it to your email account on your phone or use dropbox -- but all that was a hassle just to get an app on your phone. The QR code scan stuff solved all that. You just pointed your phone camera at the QR code on the screen...then clicked through the next steps and the app was installed on your phone.

NOW, Google has made that obsolete just in the past week -- at least as far as the official Market is concerned. NOW you can go to the Market.. for an app, and when you find what you want you click INSTALL -- from your computer screen -- and it INSTALLS on your phone.

YES. Remote installation. Yeah, your phone has to be on. Yes, you have to be signed in to your Google account on the computer. But it's COOL.

I did one just a couple days ago to try it out. My phone was in another room. I clicked on install here where my desktop computer is, then went in the other room, picked up the phone and the notification said the app had been installed. All without me touching my phone.


Still, QR codes will be around for a long time because there are other places to download apps than just the official Android Market site. So, QR codes are still a great shortcut.
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Last edited by ChazzMatt; February 9th, 2011 at 05:04 PM.
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