One of the cool things implemented in the iPhone and the new iPod Touch (4th Gen) is the camera – and with the right apps you can scan QR and Barcodes with your device. Today we take a look at 5 great free scanning apps.
If you’re not familiar with QR Codes yet, check out this excerpt from Ross’s article on how to read QR Codes with your iPhone.
QR (”Quick Response”) codes (as pictured below), are two-dimensional bar codes that you might have started noticing on web sites, in magazines or on products when you go shopping. They allow you to quickly scan them with your camera and either launch a web site, show product info, display plain text, send an SMS message and much more.
2. After it’s installed, tap the Bakodo icon to launch the app.
3. The first time you launch Bakodo, you’ll need to decide of a couple options. The first is if you want to use your current location.
4. Then you’ll get a message telling you the device is now capable of scanning QR Codes – since I installed it on an iPod Touch 4th Gen, it can only scan QR Codes.
5. Now where you see QR Codes while browsing the web, just launch the app and move the outfacing camera at the code for it to capture the data contained in it. You can test any of these apps using the QR Code at the beginning of this article.
The cool thing is, this worked on QR Codes without having to being perfectly aligned with the screen. You don’t need to push a button, just simply scan the camera over the code.
6. You’ll here a beep when it scans the code, then displays the information included in the QR Code. Like in this example we scanned the code above for Simple Help. From here you can check out the data included in the code, or open the site on your device.
7. If you scan a barcode and there isn’t information in their database about the product, you can manually enter it in.
1. Scan – The name of this app is simple and it does what it says…scans QR Codes. You can download it through the iTunes App Store or directly from your device.
2. After it’s installed tap on the Scan icon to launch it.
3. The interesting thing about Scan is it has a larger area for you to capture the QR Code. When it captures the data you’ll hear a beep…no need to press a button, it just captures it.
4. Then unlike Bakodo, it takes you directly to the website, download, or whatever data is included in the QR Code. That’s all there is to Scan, it really doesn’t get more simple than this.
1. The next one we’ll take a look at is i-nigma (4) QR reader. Again, just install it from iTunes or directly from your device.
2. After it’s done installing just tap on the i-nigma icon to launch the app.
3. Then point your camera at the QR Code you want to scan, and if the code is pointing to a website, it will open in Safari. Of course then you can use Safari to bookmark the site or share it with others.
4. Also, after you scan a QR code you can share it out on social networks as well. After capturing the QR Code data, you can go back out of Safari, then tap the Share button in the lower right corner.
5. That brings up a list of different ways to share the QR Code data. Here we’ll take a look at the social sites you can share it to…tap the Facebook, Twitter button.
6. It will bring up a list of several social sites you can share it on, the cool thing is the list is quite comprehensive. it includes the most popular social sites, and probably some you’ve never heard of if you tap More at the bottom of the list.
7. As with most other scanning apps for iOS, it will also scan bar codes, and we seemed to have the best results with i-nigma. We scanned the UPC Barcode of a Clutch CD. It found the Product Code, and gave links for purchasing it online.
8. This can come in handy while you’re at a store with your iPhone and want to scan a product, and find out if you can get it online cheaper.
9. Another nice set of features is pulling up the menu when scanning a code. Just tap the Menu button at the bottom.
10. This brings up a menu of different options like changing the app settings, checking scan histories, checking favorites, and a lot more.
11. Check out the 3DVision website for other free products…including tools for creating your own QR Codes. While testing i-nigma, the scans were incredibly fast, and the app worked very smoothly.
1. Another quality free (ad supported) app for scanning QR Codes and sharing them via email or social networks is Qrafter.
2. After installing the app, tap on its icon to launch it.
3. When it launches, you’ll see from the main menu you can scan with your camera or scan from Photo Albums.
4. Here’s an example of scanning a QR Code for the Iron Man movie. Notice it gives you multiple Actions like open the URL, sending it via email, Tweeting it, and more. Here we’ll look at posting it on Twitter… under Actions tap on Tweet URL.
5. If this is your first time using it, you’ll be prompted to initialize Twitter access, tap on Yes.
6. Enter in your username and password, then tap Login.
7. The tweet will have a link to the site, the Qrafter hash tag, enter in additional text if you want, then tap the Send button.
8. After you send the tweet, you’ll see a message that it’s been sent successfully.
Mobiletag Barcodes Reader
1. The final one we’ll look at is Mobiletag Barcode Reader. It has a nice interface and is fairly similar to the ones above, sans the ability to share on multiple social networks but does allow sharing on Facebook.
2. It’s available on other devices other than the iPhone or iPod touch as well. To find out if it will work on your device check out their website. The first time you launch the app you’ll be prompted to add your current location or not.
3. Tap Scan at the bottom and notice you can switch between barcode or QR Code mode.
4. Here we scanned the QR Code above and were taken directly to the Simple Help site in Safari.
5. @e switched over to Barcode mode and scanned a CD.
6. Then it did a search and came up with different results for purchasing it online.
7. You might want to find results based on your currency. Just go into settings and make the change.
8. Here are results we got for US Dollars after scanning a CD.
9. It should give you the best price for the item you scan, and you can go directly to that site to get it. Or you can check out the other options and look around. Notice too that you can send the results via email.
If you’re looking for great free QR Code and Barcode scanning apps, hopefully you find one that fits your needs in this list. If there is one we didn’t show, leave a comment below and tell us what your favorite one is.