QR Code Reader Roundup

QR Codes are everywhere – shop fronts, magazine covers, street ads, billboards, sides of busses, conferences and tradeshows. Wherever you turn it’s likely that you’ll see what looks like a cubist barcode. We take a look at QR Code readers for the major smartphone platforms.

One thing is obvious when you look at QR Code readers – the developers definitely lack imagination when it comes to naming apps.

The apps across the three platforms we checked out – Windows Phone, Android and iOS – seem to fall into to categories; those that read codes and those that can both read and create codes.

If you’re thinking of creating a QR Code with a web link for a product, service or website you’re offering we’d suggest directing that link through something like bitly so that you can track traffic coming from that link.

A friend of ours did that when he put a QR Code on the real estate agent’s sign when selling a house.


QR Reader for iPhone [iTunes Store] is a free, ad-supported app that reads QR codes and then interprets them. If the QR code you scan using the iPhone’s camera points to a website, it opens the site in QR Reader’s own browser.

Codes that store text can also be read and it stores a history of codes you’ve read as well so you can look back at things you’ve scanned.

There’s a $0.99 Premium version of the app that adds the ability to create codes from within the app although there are plenty of sites that let you do this for free.


QR Droid [Play Store] scans QR Codes and makes it easy to open, share and copy codes. Once you scan a code with the camera, the content of the code is displayed on the smartphone’s screen and you can then decide what to do with it.

The app worked reliably for us and was able to scan codes easily from a variety of sources.

The app is free but comes with ads. Ads can be removed by making an in-app donation to the developer using PayPal. Once the donation is processed, you get a code that is entered into the app to remove the ads.

Windows Phone

QR Code Reader [Marketplace] had us baffled when we first started using it as it was able to scan and process codes so quickly. Even though there was a “hold still” message on the screen, the app had scanned and processed the codes we looked at very quickly.

There’s an option to geotag codes so you can remember where you were when you scanned a code and the scan history is easy to browse through.

The app is free.

So, what QR Code scanner are you using? What have you tried and abandoned? Do you have a favourite app?

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