At the top of every app review, you’ll usually see a symbol that looks like this:

This symbols is called a “QR code”; it’s a fancy two-dimensional version of the barcodes you see on books, groceries, and other items you might find at the store. It can be used for those as well, but in this case it encodes a direct link to a web page where you can download the application being reviewed directly to your Android device. To use this QR code, you’ll need:

1. An Android unit with a built-in camera.

2. The “Barcode Scanner” application from ZXing Team (search for “barcode scanner” on the app market, and install it from there).

Once installed, run the Barcode Scanner application, and the unit’s camera will be activated, along with a highlighted box in the center and a red horizontal line (highlighted box didn’t show up in the screen capture, but you’ll see it in real-life):

Move the camera until the QR code graphic is in the highlighted area, and it will automatically scan and decode the graphic, and give you the option of opening the link in your browser:

Just press the “Open browser” button, and you’ll go to the Android Marketplace search page with this application, where you can install it on your system.

Don’t have a camera on your Android device? Directly below this symbol in the review is the “Android Market link”; this will take you to the same Android Market page as the QR code, but only works if you’re browsing on an Android unit. Tapping on the QR Code graphic will take you there as well.