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Google’s Circle to Search Feature Reportedly Getting a QR Codes Scanning Capability

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Google’s Circle to Search is reportedly getting another new capability that will enable it to scan QR codes and barcodes. The artificial intelligence (AI) visual lookup feature, which made its debut with the Samsung Galaxy S24 series, will be able to scan any QR codes or barcodes visible on the screen and will show a chip that shows the URL of the destination website, as per the report. Notably, an earlier report claimed that the Circle to Search will also get text-to-speech capabilities and will be able to read aloud the selected section of the screen.

Circle to Search said to get QR codes scanning feature

According to a report by Android Authority, the barcode and QR code support in Circle to Search was first spotted in the Google app v15.19.45.29.arm64 beta. However, that version could not be activated. Now, the publication was able to activate the feature in the Google app v15.25.32.

Circle to Search QR code and barcode scanner
Photo Credit: Android Authority


In a short video, the report showed the workings of the new feature. On a screen where a barcode or a QR code is visible, long pressing the Home button to activate the feature will automatically scan the screen for any such codes. Once identified, it shows a chip next to the codes where part of the destination URL is visible. The report also claims that the chip also shows a link preview wherever available.

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Interestingly, it appears that this feature has been taken from Google Lens, which can also scan QR codes and barcodes. Earlier this year, Product Manager Erin Lynch and Director of Product Management Alistair Pott, who were working with the team that built Circle to Search said in an interview confirmed that some of the features of Circle to Search utilised Google Lens capabilities.

The duo also said that they were trying to integrate the two products further together. This feature could be part of that. Once the visual lookup feature rolls out, it can make looking up QR codes convenient. Additionally, the feature will also offer added safety for users by showing the destination before a user scans it.

Currently, the feature is not visible and beta testers will not be able to try it out. There is no word on when the tech giant might release the feature.

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