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?


    I just use Google Goggles on Android

      Have you had a look at smartpayit its a qrcode payment system.
      yes , you can scan the code and pay for your item, look out for a vinnies
      commercial on channel 10 , you scan the code and donate from the T.V

      Thanks Kim

    Google goggles.


    two without ads on asteroid are;
    i-nigma ( takes a little longer to load but scans quickly and tries to do product lookup for 1D barcodes. also has history of scans.

    Barcode scanner fast to load, essay to use and usually works will. many tale a little longer to scan.

    The inbuilt QR code reader on Windows Phone, which you can access by hitting the search button and picking vision works like a charm.

    It also does text scanning and translation which is not as reliable but awesome when it works

      This +1.
      His search button. Hit "eye" icon. Look at code. Hit hyperlink.

      No extra app required!


        It can do so much more, I scanned a book with a QR code the other day and there on the screen was reviews of the book, images and even a link to read the first chapter. You don't really need anything other then the built in one. No doubt all the scanners that you can download can do all of theose things as well.

    Norton Snap works quickly and lets you know if the link you are visiting is safe or not, you can't create qr codes but thats not a major thing for me

    I have a question, if you wanted to use this technological in you job or work place,. how would you go about it? Like if we were to make a product, how would I be able to print off a code and any one that wants to know all about that product they could. And so that I could add any info to that code as the product changes?? If someone could please help me or at least point me into the right direction ?? Thanks!!!!

    why dont use http://qdco.re ... its quadcore qrcodes generator for making short url.... try also the bookmarklet toolbar... its cool.. :)


    The free web application offered by www.learniply.com allows you to create mobile web pages and generate QR Codes that you can place anywhere - from art galleries and museums to restaurants and coffee shops - allowing anyone with a smartphone to locate the mobile web page that you just created. This web page is created and hosted through your free Learniply account.

    For iOS, Scan by QR Code City is the business. Free simple and fast!

    Steve. Twitter .. @steveperich

      Just downloaded scan , can I get it to go to Australian sites not US ones?

    If you go to http://www.sparq.it on your mobile browser, you can download the SPARQ.ME QR code scanner for free! It's incredibly efficient and has no ads. Unlike Google Goggles, where you need to snap the picture to analyze the code, the SPARQ.ME app will automatically detect a QR code and take a photo that provides you with the highest image quality.

    I-nigma, multi platform,
    fastest of them all.

    Scanlife App is best. No ads, world leader in QR technology.

    For Windows: QRCopy! www.qrcopy.net. Fast easy reliable, the best windows qr code app i've found so far. They also have an online qr code generator app at m.qrcopy.net which is convenient for instant access to a qr code generator no mater where you are or what sort of device. it works offline too

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