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Here's a demo of Circle to Search's upcoming QR code scan feature

Given the working state of the feature, we reckon it will be rolled out soon to Circle to Search users.

Published onJune 29, 2024

Samsung Galaxy S24 Circle to Search prompt
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • Google is working to bring onscreen barcode and QR code scanning features to Circle to Search.
  • We now have a working demo of the feature.

Circle to Search has been positively received ever since its launch with the Galaxy S24 series. The ability to search directly from your screen while passing on context is great for searching quickly and conveniently. However, the feature can be improved, and we recently spotted that Google was working to incorporate an onscreen barcode and QR code scanner feature into Circle to Search. Now, we have a working demo of the feature from within Circle to Search.

An APK teardown helps predict features that may arrive on a service in the future based on work-in-progress code. However, it is possible that such predicted features may not make it to a public release.

We spotted barcode support in Circle to Search in the Google app v15.19.45.29.arm64 beta. With v15.25.32, we managed to activate the feature, and here’s how it will work when it rolls out.

As you can see, with the feature active, Circle to Search isn’t merely carrying out a Google Search for other barcodes when you search for a barcode on your screen. Instead, it attempts to scan the barcode or QR code, presenting a chip that will take you to the result.

This feature will come in handy in several instances, such as when scanning a QR code received in an email, perhaps for eSIM activation. You could do this in a limited way with Google Lens, though you’d likely have to take a screenshot of the QR code and then attempt to open it in a gallery app or from within the gallery scanner in Google Lens. With Circle to Search’s upcoming QR code and barcode scanning feature, you would no longer need to take a screenshot, and the general ease of activation for Circle to Search will make the feature quite useful.

This would also be a way to bring some feature parity between Google Lens and Circle to Search. We recently spotted Google Lens getting some key Circle to Search features, and this barcode and QR code scanner feature would be going in the other direction with some good upgrades.

We don’t know when the feature will be activated for Circle to Search users. However, considering that the functionality is in a working state, we reckon it will be rolled out soon.

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