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The 'Hidden App' that's Trending; It's a Code Scanner



It's likely that if you read technology news, you have come across one of the many articles talking about a 'hidden app' that is on your phone. The majority of these articles and social media posts have a somewhat elusive element, the truth is, it's scanner app. The Apple iOS 14 update came with a new app pre-built into the software but to access this 'hidden' feature, you need to know where to look. The app is called Code Scanner, an alternative method of scanning QR codes without the use of the Camera app. Although Apple do have wonderfully executed marketing techniques and advertisements, it's not likely that they 'hid' the scanner app on purpose, rather it is another of the other optional apps that users may or may not want.

But if you are interested to learn more about this features, or how to access it, we have included some helpful information below.


The app was highlighted in a post by Gadget Hacks, who offered demonstrations on how to access the app, as well as how to add it to your control centre. There are only two ways to access this feature: swiping down on the home screen to reveal the search function and typing in its name - or by changing a setting in your iPhone's Control Centre. You can access the "Scan QR Code" button opening the Settings app, selecting Control Centre (below General settings), and tapping "Customise Controls" on the following page.


There are more than a handful of apps within the "Customise" capability that can either be added or removed from your iPhone's Control Centre. Once added, the "Scan QR Code" button will be easily accessible in the Control Centre either by swiping up from the bottom on Touch ID iPhone models or by swiping down from the top right of the screen on Face ID iPhone models. This method differs from using the Camera app as it will open the scanned codes from an in-app browser, instead of opening the code through the Safari app. This allows you to scan links without adding more browser tabs in Safari. Bear in mind though that the Code Scanner app does not make bookmarks and it does not save your history.


Tom's Guide provides a helpful set of images that demonstrate how you can access the 'hidden app';


Firstly, swipe down on your IOS home screen to open 'Search'


Secondly, type "code scanner" into the search field that appears, you can also just search for 'scanner' or 'code'


Next, the code scanner app will appear, and you can simply tap to launch the app.

All images are credit of Tom's Guide.


Users who are unfamiliar with IOS are likely to be unaware of the code scanner in teh control centre, this is because users only need to use the code scanner app if the code appears in an in-app browser rather than safari. Apart from this, there's not much difference between the scanner app and using your Camera app to scan codes.


Code Scanner is apparently the only app in this format, but there are other apps in iOS that do not feature on the home screen or App Library, as a default. In iOS 14 and later, the Magnifier app can be accessed and added to the home screen from the App Library. Have you found any interesting short cuts or 'hidden' features on Android or iOS?


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