To read QR codes on a smartphone, you must install a dedicated application for QR scanning. The program uses the phone’s camera feature to capture the QR code and then processes it to decode the information stored within it. It will then display the information, including opening any linked web pages. To help keep track of all the options we’ve put together a handy list of the types of QR Codes.
Unlike barcodes that require a special apparatus to decipher, QR codes are designed to be convenient for reading in a multitude of settings. The tools for reading QR codes are simple and intuitive to use, and they are more accessible than barcode readers. The most common QR code scanners are smartphones with embedded cameras and special QR Code reader applications, but there are other options you can use that may be more practical, especially if you are scanning large quantities or using them for industrial purposes.
Various developers have made applications for different smartphone platforms. There are many apps for iPhone, Android, and the Windows phone, and a couple for BlackBerry. Here are a few of them:
iPhone QR Code Scanners
- NeoReader – This is an all-type code reader that can scan the code and extract the saved information. Since it reads Data Matrix, QR codes, Aztec Codes, EAN, UPC, and Code 128, there is no need to install any other code reader. NeoReader has a user friendly interface so nothing is required except pointing phone’s camera at the QR code. Plus, it is free. It is also available for the Windows phone.
- Optiscan – This app is more than just a QR code scanner. Optiscan is a program that will not just read QR codes, but will also create and share them. You can easily input a business card, URL, text, SMS, location, or email and convert it into a QR code. The code can also link to a social networking website or prompt an email. This app keeps a history of QR codes scanned and created, and is available for a small fee.
- ScanLife – This free application for iPhone provides the user the option to scan, create, and share QR codes. Furthermore, ScanLife offers the option to select a scanning theme – from Classic to Fighter Jet. The application can be installed on iPhone Android and BlackBerry phones.
Android QR Code Scanners
- QR Pal – This is app has options to scan, store, share, and pay through QR codes. The interesting thing about QR Pal is that it rewards its users for scanning and sharing with monthly cash prizes. It also has a built-in feature called SafeScan, which ensures that user data is always secure. This application is available at Android Market for free.
- ShopSavvy – This application is for shopping online. You can enter your credit card information and shop with one swipe of the phone’s screen. It also provides product reviews to help you make an informed decision. You can bookmark your favorite products to access them quickly at a later time. The application is available for free on Android, iPhone, and the Windows phone.
- QuickMark – This application is best used for sharing business cards. It automatically saves contacts in a phone’s address book. If you want to send your contact details, the application can instantly generate a QR code for quick transmission. This app is available for free on the Android Market, iTunes App Store, and the Windows Marketplace.
By installing these QR Code scanner applications on your smartphone, you can decode any QR code within seconds.
Do you have a favorite QR Code scanner or reader application? Let us know in the Contact Us box on the lower right below.