home-screensBack in late April, Google announced their Product Search facility for Android users in the USA and UK. It comes as no surprise that the search giant continues to forge forward with new updates to this application, which could one day become part of the company’s bread and butter. Barcode Scanning is now available via your phone’s camera as an upgrade to this application.

To install the Barcode Scanner, browse on over to the Google Product Search for mobile homepage. Once there, click/tap the nice finger friendly button that reads ‘scan barcode’. This will install the most recent version of the Scan Barcode application. Once done, retrace your steps and this time, after some basic configuration options, you will be able to scan in the barcode of a wide range of products. If it fails, you can always still search for it by typing the name. We feel that this is a great addition to the product search facilities, although a dark cloud hovers on the horizon.

As some of you may be aware, Google are not the first company to develop barcode scanning for high-street products. Indeed, NeoMedia was on ABC & NBC News back around 2004 and holds a long list of patents on this technology. Google already face a potential lawsuit for the Android name. My guess is they’ve thought carefully already about this software and are happy to run with it. The last thing they want is more negative press over copyright. Images from Google after the jump.

James Tromans

Contributing editor of AndroidAuthority.com, based in the U.K.