How to Scan QR Codes using iPhone, iPad

Is this guy loving his QR codes?

Animoji, or an exciting QR Code offer. You decide…

Apple quietly introduced a very useful new QR code scanning feature in iOS 11. This means iPhones and iPads can now scan these codes in almost no time at all.

What they do

That may not sound so impressive, but this means you can now easily use your Apple device to source information and services, including:

  • Product information on some labels
  • Advertising and marketing offers from ads on billboards or magazines
  • To source additional visual and written assets when exploring some public attractions like galleries or museums
  • To download apps or other media relevant to something you are looking at
  • To make payments in many places
  • To make a call, to send a Tweet, to vote

Or even to give the author of this report a few Satoshi’s to help him meet the rent.

How to read a QR Code on iOS 11

It is now really easy to use a QR Code on your iOS device, just follow these steps:

  • Make certain your device is running iOS 11
  • Open the Camera app (tap the app icon, from Control Center, swipe from the lock screen or just ask Siri).
  • Point the iPhone’s camera at the QR code you want to scan
  • Keeping the iPhone steady just hold it in front of the code you want to scan until a small notification appears at the top of the screen.
  • The notification will offer an action required by the code, usually a link to a website or app
  • Tap on the notification and your device will automatically do that action.
  • “boom”.

What if I don’t have iOS 11?

You can also use QR codes on older iOS devices thanks to third party apps, for example:

Each app is slightly different, but in general they work by opening the app, pointing your iOS device and tapping a button. That’s no way as effective as Apple’s built in system, but works all the same.

This video shows you how easy it is.

Why it matters

QR codes are a big deal, particularly in Asia and key Apple market, China.

The APAC region saw an estimated $1.65 trillion of QR code transactions in 2016. In China 404 million use mobile phones to make payments according to DBS bank, and in Russia there are over 62 million mobile money accounts according to digital money guru and author Dave Birch (Source: Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2017).

Usage is also increasing in the US, where an estimated 34 percent of smartphone users have scanned a QR code.

Ultimately, it’s only a matter of time before products in the shops use QR codes as price tags, enabling customers to pay in any way they want – in cash, using Apple Pay, or even using cryptocurrency.

It’s not so widely known that you can also use these codes to make it easier to access Wi-Fi networks. More public spaces should use QR codes to share public Wi-Fi access details with customers – it’s way easier than the scrap of paper and poorly scrawled password technique such places so often use. Here is a place where you can generate your own QR codes.

Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

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