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Top 5 iPhone QR Code Apps

Marc
  • On March 22, 2011
  • http:/www.marcforrest.com

I have been doing a bit of research around QR Codes in South Africa, and they are definitely on the rise. There is so much potential for them, especially in SA, where most people have a cellphone, and although I am only looking at iPhones in this post, a lot of cellphones are starting to support them now.

There are hundreds of different QR Code reader apps available for the iPhone, and I have done some research around them, to see which are the best. I put 11 QR code readers which I had heard about and found on the app store, and tested various aspects of the apps, as well as trying to see if different types of codes can be snapped. These included calendar entries, contacts, URL’s and even a modified code (on the right).

Most of the readers managed with the basics like URL, text & SMS, but a lot of them struggled with the trickier codes like calendar entries & the modified codes. Here are the top 5 in my findings. To see the full results you can see the Google Doc test sheet here. All test codes were created using the Google QR Code API , except the altered image. I have also included QR code links to each app on the right of each app, to download them from the app store.

5. Quickmark – $0.99

Calendar – No
Contact Information – Yes
Email Address – Yes
Geo Location – No
Phone Number – Yes
SMS – Yes
Text – Yes
URL – Yes
Altered Image – No

This was one of the first QR code readers I ever used, thanks to Google who suggested it when they launched their QR code product in the US. The best thing about this app, and something very few of the apps do, is that i opens straight to the screen where you can snap the code. Despite it’s small limitations, this is one of the better designed apps, and a must have for QR Codes.

4. RedLaser – Free

Calendar – No
Contact Information – Yes
Email Address – Yes
Geo Location – Yes
Phone Number – Yes
SMS – Yes
Text – Yes
URL – Yes
Altered Image – No

Although this app isn’t designed specifically for QR Codes, it does a pretty good job with it. The app is fast and resolves the codes quickly as well. The fact that it scans normal barcodes and compares prices etc is a bonus, and another keeper in the QR Code folder on your iPhone

3. BeeTagg Reader Pro – Free

Calendar – No (Reads the image, but does not display the information correctly)
Contact Information – Yes
Email Address – Yes
Geo Location – Yes
Phone Number – Yes
SMS – Yes
Text – Yes
URL – Yes
Altered Image – No

Another favorite of mine, but the fact that it doesn’t read the calendar info correctly is a bit of a let down. The interface in the app is clean and simple, and you can also read codes from previously saved photos.

2. i-nigma – Free

Calendar – No
Contact Information – Yes
Email Address – Yes
Geo Location – Yes
Phone Number – Yes
SMS – Yes
Text – Yes
URL – Yes
Altered Image – Yes

One of the only 2 apps that could read the altred image gives this a nod at number 2, but still can’t read vCalendar events. Pity though, otherwise this would be right at the top. Another plus for this app is that it is also an “instant-open” app, which means no tapping before snapping your code.

1. Optiscan – $1.99

Calendar – Yes
Contact Information – Yes
Email Address – Yes
Geo Location – Yes
Phone Number – Yes
SMS – Yes
Text – Yes
URL – Yes
Altered Image – Yes

Although the price of this app might be a bit high, it is well worth the $2. The app is super fast, and is the the only app able to capture each of the tests successfully. I have to admit, this is by far one of the best apps I have used overall on the iPhone, and is a MUST have if you are going to be snapping QR codes. Just get it :)

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So as you can see a lot of the QR code apps are very similar, but the key for me is speed, which Optiscan delivers. There are constantly new QR code readers being added to the app store, so if you know of any I have missed, leave a comment below, and I will add them to the google doc for future reviews. If you want to keep up to date with the goings on in the QR world, I highly recommend http://2d-code.co.uk/ which delivers the best QR code news daily.

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Comments

  1. You may want to test Qrafter also. It was featured in The Sunday Times of UK in its first month. You can get it from http://qrafter.com/get/

  2. Forgot to add, I suggest you to try my generator on http://qrafter.com/ to check the capabilities of the readers you test and see more uses QR Codes.

    Also Qrafter is the only app that can download and open vCards directly from Safari at the moment.

  3. Steve O'Connor

    Thanks for the recommendation, Mark!

    Optiscan is one of the few readers that has put a lot of work into the scanning engine, which is why we generally have a better scanning ability. We also have some great new upgrades coming that will make it seem like you’re getting $20 worth for your $2 ;)

  4. neal

    Optiscan is $5.99 on the Australian iTunes store. Wonder why

  5. Nice looking site. I posted the plugins that I am using on my site. Do you mind sharing the names of the plugins you are using? They look great. Here are the list that I have used. I am currently going through all the plugins so I expect this list will change in the future.

    http://chimac.net/2011/05/09/useful-wordpress-plugins/

  6. @neal There were price fluctuations across all iTunes stores during April as we were running some pricing tests. If you check now you will see it is priced at $2.49 AUD.

  7. Vlad

    QR code is a great invention people made. I’m making mobile apps currently and find it really cool to implement QR codes into them. I’m amazed at QR code coupons http://www.Snappii.com app builder allows to create. They are really helpful for small businesses.

  8. Well, we tried all oh those apps when we made our qr codes, thanks!

    You can see our labs at http://qr.gielve.com/

  9. Check this iPhone Code Scanner apps ranking to see more alternatives:
    iOS.zRanks.com/ranking/iphone-code-scanner

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