Most businesses use handheld barcode scanners to scan barcodes for product information. But ever thought of what happens if you’re not in a position to walk around with your handheld barcode scanner? It’s simple. You can now download and install a barcode scanner application on your smartphone. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the step-by-step process of how you should use your smartphone to scan barcodes for the first time.

How To Scan Barcodes With An Android Phone

Installing The Barcode Scanner

Your first step in this process is installing the app. Use Google’s official Google Play Store Search and install your barcode scanner app. 

  • Step 1: Open your Google Play Store application and head to the apps section.
  • Step 2: Look at the top of your Play Store and tap the search bar.
  • Step 3: Type in ‘barcode scanner’ or ‘barcode reader’ and press your smartphone’s equivalent of the ‘Enter’ key.
  • Step 4: Select the app you like best from the list of apps you see on your screen. (At this stage, you can go through each app to check out its user reviews).
  • Step 5; Once you’ve identified your preferred barcode scanner application, tap the green button labeled ‘INSTALL.’
  • Step 6: A pop-up screen will appear with the list of permissions the application needs. If you’re comfortable giving your app access to those specific areas, you can now press the green button labeled ‘Accept.’
  • Step 7: Wait for the barcode reader app to install. Now press the green button labeled ‘Open’ to access your app.

Scanning A Barcode

Now that you’ve installed your barcode scanner. It’s time to test how the application works.

  • Step 1: Point your smartphone’s camera at the barcode you want information on.
  • Step 2: Ensure the barcode is well-lit. If the barcode is blurry or dark, your scanner will have a hard time decoding the information. 
  • Step 3: Your barcode scanner app has a viewfinder (box). Ensure the entire barcode is well lined up inside the viewfinder. The line appearing on the viewfinder has to be perpendicular to the barcode lines. 
  • Step 4: Adjust the distance between your camera and barcode so that your barcode isn’t blurry. 
  • Step 5: Hold steady until the barcode is scanned. A notification will appear, or your device will vibrate once the scan is complete. 

Step 6: To view more information on the product, tap the search icon or button.

How To Scan Barcodes With An iPhone

Installing The Barcode Scanner

On an iOs device, you will use the App Store to find and install a barcode scanner application.

  • Step 1: Open your device’s App Store.
  • Step 2: Look for the search icon at the bottom of the app and tap it to display a page with a search bar.
  • Step 3: On the search bar, type in ‘barcode scanner’ or ‘barcode reader’ and tap the ‘search’ button on your onscreen keyboard. A list of barcode scanner apps will appear.
  • Step 4: Review the apps on this list and identify your most preferred application. Then tap the button labeled ‘GET’ to start the installation process. 
  • Step 5: When prompted, you’ll need to sign in to your App Store account to complete the installation process.

Using The Barcode Scanner

After installing the barcode scanner, the next step is testing it out to see how it works. 

  • Step 1: Find the barcode reader application on your home screen and tap the icon to launch the app. 
  • Step 2: Once your application opens, a pop-up notification will appear requesting permission to access your camera. Press the ‘Ok’ button, and your barcode scanner app can now use the camera to scan barcodes.
  • Step 3: Align your iPhone camera with the barcode. Ensure the barcode is centrally placed in the barcode scanner’s viewfinder (box). 
  • Step 4: Adjust the distance between your iPhone and the barcode. Ensure the lines and numbers on the barcode are seen clearly. Now hold steady.
  • Step 5: Wait a second or two for the scan to complete. Details about the product will appear. And if you want further information, tap on the search bar, and you’ll be redirected to your browser. 

There are many barcode scanners or reader apps you can install on your Android or iPhone device. Some of these apps also come equipped with a QR code scanner. All you have to do is select the app you feel will serve your needs best. If you’d like further information on the app, check the user reviews, and you’ll find a tonne of helpful information.