Scan QR Codes on the iPhone with Scan App

Feb 13, 2013 - 7 Comments

QR Code QR codes are those weird looking pixelated boxes you see at some retailers, events, and even some ads. The idea behind them is that you scan the QR Code, to which you will then be provided information about whatever it is you’re scanning, whether that’s jumping to a website, seeing a message, getting a coupon, or some similar action. Some Android phones ship with a QR code reader installed from their provider as part of a suite of preinstalled applications, but iPhones never do, which means to scan a QR code on an iPhone you’ll have to visit the App Store first.

We’ve tested a handful, and the best app for scanning QR Codes on the iPhone (or iPad or iPod touch, for that matter) is called Scan. Appropriately named, Scan is a small free download and it’s lightning fast to use. Just launch the app and point it at the QR code, even if the lighting is bad or you’re moving fast beyond the code, Scan is so quick and sensitive that you barely have to sweep the camera over a QR code for it to register with a beep sound and immediately launch to it’s destination.

In this example, Scan is open and moved past a stationary QR code rather quickly. Nonetheless, the code is still picked up by the app and immediately redirected to OSXDaily.com.

Read a QR Code from the iPhone

Simple, easy, free, hard to beat that.

Whether or not QR Codes are going to become a widely popular thing is debatable, but you’ll definitely see them in day to day life, and with some of the discounts and coupons available to them it can be worthwhile having the scanner app on your phone.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks

7 Comments

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  1. ark says:

    The Google search app does it to.

  2. Mark says:

    Ehhh I see these at the grocery store, but why? Never found a compelling reason to take the time to scan one. Probably won’t change that idea.

    Someone once referred to them as user hostile “robot barf” and I like that analogy, because they do not look user friendly at all.

  3. Mark 2 says:

    There are several free apps to do this, myself I us qrreader.

    Q code are heavily use in the Far East

  4. Different Mark says:

    Who would’ve thought there’d be so many Marks wanting to comment on this article?!

    Anyway, be careful with QR Codes. They may be handy at times, but they can also be dangerous. You have absolutely no idea of the address to which you’ll be directed.

    There’s nothing to stop an unscrupulous person printing out a new QR code at the same size as the original one and sticking it on top of it. Chances are that you simply wouldn’t notice. You’d be sent off to some middle-man website (possibly containing malware or worse) and you’d be none-the-wiser until you experience the fallout.

    As soon as I had that realisation, I stopped scanning QR codes and dumped the app – they usually have a human-readable URL alongside them anyway. Kinda defeats the purpose of the QR code really!

  5. Hudson the Hawk says:

    Here in Switzerland we had some “incidents” were some criminals put there own QR code over the real one; the new QR code opened up a completly different site mostly to try to install a virus or trojan. So a QR code app should first show you the URL before it hands it over to Safari or intended program.

  6. Marcus says:

    If there is one thing I learned about QR Codes from this, it’s that guys named Mark know a lot about them. And this is coming from a guy named Marcus.

    Anyway, I agree with the sentiment here. Don’t go scanning any QR code that comes across your face as they could go to anything. Just like any link on the web, if you don’t trust where it’s coming from, considering whether or not it’s worth scanning.

  7. Marryweather says:

    How did you make the QR code that goes to the website?

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