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Got a Smartphone, Get a QR Code Reader

Oct 31, 2011   //   by David   //   Blog, Business  //  1 Comment

qrcodearticleFurther to my popular post about QR Codes, I figured it was time to talk about reading these codes.

QR Codes are starting to gain a little ground in advertising, who am I kidding, they are popping up everywhere. One of the early adopters of this technology was Real Estate agents and like most implementations you have a broad mix of excellent use to useless. I’ve seen lawn sign with QR Codes in front of a home for sale that link me directly to the house details (photos, price, agent contact info) and location-aware functionality that shows me other homes the agent lists in the area. I’ve also seen the same kind of placement that send me to the agent’s website with no easy way to find details about the house I’m standing in front of. I have clients using them for newsletter signups at their retail counter, others with them on their front door to send after hours visitors to their website and some using them on all their print marketing to engage that “younger audience”. No matter what they are doing with them, it’s up to the viewer to have some way of using the QR Code.

Enter the smartphone. Just about everyone has one, be it iPhone, Android, Blackberry or Windows 7, but how many have a QR Code reader installed? Do you? If you don’t, you should. QR Codes aren’t just limited to sending you to a website, they can:

  • Link to website (targeted content specific to what you are scanning the code for)
  • Text (larger blocks of text information)
  • Enter a Phone Number
  • Send an Email
  • Prepare a SMS Message
  • Enter business card contact info using vCard
  • Link to Google Maps for directions
  • Paypal Buy Now
  • Connect to Social Media (Facebook Like, Twitter Tweets, etc)
  • Get music through iTunes link
  • Show a Youtube video
  • Connect to WIFI network for Android Devices

Pretty cool, huh?

Depending on your smartphone, here are some of the available QR Code scanners, most of which are free.


Scan (Free) – this is one of my favorites so far (iTunes)
Qrafter (Free and Paid versions) – (iTunes)
Optiscan ($1.99) – (iTunes)


ScanLife (Free)
Barcode Scanner (Free)
QuickMark (Free)
QR Pal (Free)


ScanLife (Free) – up until I switched to an iPhone recently, this is one I used on my Blackberry.
BeeTagg (Free)
QR Code Scanner Pro (Free)

Windows 7

Quickmark (Free)
BeeTagg (Free)

There are many, many more so make sure you read the comments in the app store and feel free to post your favorites here in the comments.

The sooner you get an app, the sooner you can start taking advantage of those funky codes and business owners and marketers will love you for it.

1 Comment

  • Check out Macy’s latest promo sweepstakes. It’s called Macy’s Backstage Pass. You scan a QR code to enter the contest. It’s not perfect though. I needed to download their QR reader called ScanLife because the contest function wouldn’t work with my fav QR reader, Scan (on an iphone). You’ve presented some innovative ways to use QR codes!

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