There was a time when only those actually involved in the selling process would have any use for barcodes, but that has changed in the last few years. Nowadays, whenever you go into a store, you can scan a product's barcode and check the Internet for other places where you can find it, discounts, etc. This functionality helps people make informed decisions and feel better about the things they buy, but unfortunately, iPhone users can't natively scan barcodes.
The reason is that very few people actually know how useful this functionality can be and even those who do, don't use it that often. Let's face it: how often do you buy things expensive enough that a 10% discount could actually matter enough to make you go to a different location or wait for the product to be delivered to you? However, Google has decided that this gap needed to filled and has recently added barcode scanning capabilities to its Chrome web browser.
So, from now on, whenever you want more details about a product that you see in a store, all you have to do is to take out your phone, use the corresponding 3D Touch gesture to open Chrome's menu and select the new Scan QR Code option. Next, simply point your camera at the code, wait for your phone to focus in and get a clear picture of the barcode and Chrome will automatically launch an online search for the item in question. Alternatively, you can type 'QR' in the Spotlight, then select the Scan QR Code from Chrome's listing and continue on from there.
In case you don't see the Scan QR Code option on your phone, go to Apple's App Store and make sure that you have the latest version of Chrome installed on your device. As far as I can see, there aren't any actual downsides to using this feature. The only restriction I've noticed was that it doesn't allow you to use any other search engine besides Google, but since both the browser and the feature are developed by the IT giant, that's not really a big surprise. In case you have a problem with the fact that Google records all your searches and will know what product you were looking for, all you have to do is to use the service's privacy options from your Google account and instruct it not to keep a history of the searches that you make.
If you're someone who owns an Apple made-device and who enjoys shopping online as well as in the real life, you may also be interested in reading some of our older articles such as: "Most interesting and helpful shopping apps for iOS", "Facebook announces a new feature called Marketplace", "How to find out which Amazon products have fake reviews" or "All you need to know about Family Sharing on iOS".