Daily Tip: how to use QR codes on your iPhone or iPad

Seen those funky little QR (quick response) bar codes floating around and wondering how to scan them on your iPhone or iPad? QR codes are used to store useful information like web URLs, contact cards, e-mail addresses, etc... While QR reading isn't built into iOS, there are, of course, apps for that.

  1. First you'll need to get an app that reads QR codes. There are tons in the App Store. Some are free and some are paid. In this example, we are using a free app called RL Classic by Occipital. Others include [QR scanner](http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/qr-scanner/id377643590?mt=8&at=10l3Vy&ct=d_im){.nofollow} or [QR reader](http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/qr-reader-for-iphone/id368494609?mt=8&at=10l3Vy&ct=d_im){.nofollow} and tons to choose from will come up. Take your pick and download one.
  2. Next you'll need to find a nifty code to scan and open the app. It should pull up something just like above where you can scan a code using your camera app. Apps like RL Classic don't require you to take a physical picture - simply center the QR code in between the bars and it should pick up on it.
  3. Next you'll get some type of prompt showing you the information in the QR code. In this example it's a web URL. I can just tap to visit the URL or cancel and it will save it to my history.

That's it! You can now scan all those handy QR codes you see floating around in magazines, books, stores, and more.

Daily Tips range from beginner-level 101 to advanced-level ninjary. If you already know this tip, keep the link handy as a quick way to help a friend. If you have a tip of your own you’d like to suggest, add them to the comments or send them in to dailytips@tipb.com.

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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

Daily Tip: how to use QR codes on your iPhone or iPad


I don't think these will be around very long. It's faster and easier to just remember a URL, email address, or other info, than to go through the trouble of launching apps and snapping photos. I know they're big in Japan right now, and catching on here, but people will tire of them.

Nice article on how to use qr code. I am using the "QR code reader for iphone" app from the appstore. Pretty pleased with the performance of the app so far.

Google App for iPhone works too. Just click on the camera icon next to the search bar, then just aim at QR code. That's it!
This works great for me because I hate to have so many occasionally-used apps to clutter up my iPhone.

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Thank you for another informative website. Where else may just I get that type of info written in such a perfect means? I've a undertaking that I'm simply now running on, and I have been at the glance out for such info.

OK, u go thru those steps, and then what? In some cases, after a scan I am given options, which other software to use--including using the phone (the phone, really, for what?). I would not know the difference between using one or another and i feel this piece of info would be good to include as well. Then, assuming you click on a link, nothing happens usually, and if it does, then what?

It seems most people who use QR codes haven't ever read anything about how to best use them. Most QR codes I find are almost useless and provide little to no value to either party. This is unfortunate since I think it gives QR codes a bad rep, and causes people to scan them less in the future. Here's a good example of how to properly use QR codes... http://qfuse.com/blog/how-best-to-use-qr-codes/