This post is about accessibility by older people and people forgetting their glasses and shop and warehouse personnel wanting to make use of a QR code and some blind people as a quick input method.

I'm running Android 7.0 Nougat.

This post is not about an app but about the Android system proper and asks about whether any more advanced versions of Android actually support the feature described in this post: camera to text input (as a core, integrated Android feature (in this post using QR codes)).

Currently, gboard, the current default Android keyboard on Google systems, allows you to to perform input operations on various Android apps and system widgets that take text input, by typing text, inserting an image, or using voice to enter text as voice to text translation is performed on Google's servers. However, it would be nice if one could long press on the microphone icon to temporarily change input method to QR-code, (or perhaps even more generally bar code), input mode. This would allow the text corresponding to the given bar code to be included. I am searching for this keyboard on gboard as it is the default Android system on Google keyboards even though having it on Swype would be nice too.

The reason this feature is good is that people like older people and lazy people with the sight problems might need to quickly access WiFi, perhaps even in an emergency situation where someone comes back home and the data network is not working and needs to quickly place an outgoing call over WhatsApp. Here, the router providing WiFi, would have a QR code in place of the default password, and many people I have seen use the standard default password on the router and have guests which may have forgotten their glasses or have a back acke or memory problems and have trouble inputting the long number.

If routers provided a bar code representing the password next to the password on the stickers at their back these sort of people could quickly connect to WiFi when there was trouble.

Another category of people who could make use of this input system are shop assistants and warehouse personnel, etc, who need to copy and send UPC codes of products allowing managers, clients, and what not, to quickly send these codes reliably without copying.g mistakes, even with the keyboard.

The number of applications of including a barcode reader in a keyboard could be virtually unlimited. The alternative would be having a small button to activate a barcode reader on apps and system widgets such as the one where the Wi-Fi password is entered, but this would mean having to place them everywhere it made sense where cm as the keyboard would be a standard catchall place for this.

The feature could even be available as a plugin if the keyboard supported some sort of generic modular plugin system for extending its functionality.

This feature may also help independent blind users connect to routers that found they had to use a separate app to scan the label at the back of the router, extract the password, and read it out loud before the text could be input.

So, my question is, whether newer versions of Android support what I describe.


(as a note, I am able to scan my credit card when making online purchases or donations via some web input boxes in chrome, and this is by scanning the front of the card where the numbers appear, and although the number of digits on the front of the credit card are fixed, the clicking the camera from the drop-down on the web widget when I click on the credit card number input field also fills in the expiry date and year, so theoretically it should be possible to input a router password, which as a technical complication is variable length, in general, using scanning techniques. It would also be nice, if, in absence of based codes, Talk back could work here, allowing the blind user to read the back label of the router in scanned portions and tap on the one corresponding to the password (perhaps after hearing the contents of an adjacent label the user got to with the finger in TalkBack navigation here that read out "password".)

Thanks again for your care, feedback, and support for blind people, people with geriatric problems, and for making Android a more and more user-friendly platform with each Android version.

And above all, thank you for your feedback and support.

  • 1
    It seems like you have us confused with a site for reporting feature requests. We're not affiliated with Google, and this site is just for fellow users of Android to answer each other's questions. Your essay about why this feature should exist doesn't really help with the question of whether it does exist now.
    – Dan Hulme
    May 20, 2018 at 10:23

1 Answer 1


No, Gboard doesn't support this feature at the moment, though a quick search on Google Play shows a few third-party keyboards that support scanning bar codes for text input.

Being able to install a third-party keyboard to add the functionality you want to use is pretty much the whole point of having the input method be an app instead of a built-in part of Android. There's really no reason to push this functionality into Android itself.

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