December 24, 2019

Have you seen those funky looking bar-code like things popping up more and more recently? Well they aren’t actually barcodes, but they work a lot like them. If you’ve got a smartphone like an Apple iPhone or an Android system, you can actually scan these codes in order to visit websites or access other information. They’re a great way to start getting more interactive with your surroundings, and getting to websites without having to remember to enter the URL—and without having to fiddle around with your phone’s keyboard.

That’s why QR codes are becoming more and more popular. They make it easier to get the information you want at the click of a couple of simple buttons. As most phones have access to the internet, you simply snap the QR code and are then taken to the website stored in the QR code. That takes away a lot of fussing about when trying to type, spell and remember URLs and website addresses. QR codes are great for businesses and they’re great for regular phone users just like you. But how do you actually use them?

If you want to know how to scan a QR code with your phone, then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’re going to look at a few of the issues surrounding QR codes. What actually are they, how do you use them, and why are they good? Keep reading to find out.

What are QR codes and how do they work?

As we’ve already touched on, QR codes are simply codes that your phone’s camera can recognise and the software on the phone will decode the code to find the location of a website. They work a lot like a barcode. While you won’t be able to tell what the code says yourself, your phone can capture and read them easily (much more easily than text recognition). This makes it simple and easy for your phone to then load the webpage address in your phone, making it much more convenient for you, the phone user.

How to scan a QR code on Android

If you’ve got an Android phone, you probably want to know how to scan QR codes next. Here’s how you do it:

Firstly, you need to check if your Android phone has the capability to scan a QR code. There are such a vast number of different Android phones, and not all of them have this ability. If yours doesn’t, you might need to install some updates or even get a new phone.

One step if you don’t currently have QR scanning ability on your Android phone is to install Google Assistant. This has the ability to do it for you. Simply download the app in the app store and get it up and running. Then you can load up Google Assistant with the app button, or by long holding the home button on your phone. Alternatively, you can voice-activate it by saying “Ok Google”. Some other apps can also automatically detect QR codes, so if you have one of these, you might not need to install Google Assistant.

Once you’ve made sure you’ve got the right software installed and that your phone has the capability to scan and read QR codes, you can then open the app to get started. Make sure you’ve located a QR code or have one handy. The app will then either start scanning or you’ll have to locate the scanning function and press it so that the phone and app start looking through the camera to see what they can find.

The next step is probably obvious. Hold the phone over the QR code so that all the corners are visible in the scanning window on your phone. Hold the phone steadily for a couple of seconds so that the device can scan the code. Make sure you hold your phone directly above the QR code and at an adjacent angle.

If everything works as it should, the app will then give you a few options as to what you want to do with the QR code. This will often be navigating to a website, but a lot more information could be stored in a QR code than just that. So it could be an option to download a file direction, or open an app and perform an action on your phone. Make sure you have faith in the source of the QR code, and you can then select the appropriate option and get started with the next step.

How to scan a QR code on iPhone

To scan a QR code on an iPhone, things are reasonably simple. IPhones have built-in QR reading apps so you won’t have to download extra software like you might with an Android. You might not even need to open the app, as holding the camera over a QR code at the right position should automatically alert and scan it. If this doesn’t work, you can load the QR scanner manually.

Again, make sure all four corners are visible in the app’s viewer. Leave it steady for a few seconds. Having too much of an angle could make it harder for your camera to read the app. You’ll then be presented with options from the code, like visiting a website or downloading a file.

Benefits of QR codes for your business

QR codes are a great way to start interacting with visitors in a fun and compelling way. They also get people to take action where doing so manually (like on a web browser) might take longer and be more difficult. If you want someone to download your free file, you can have a link to it in a QR code. Getting someone to first visit your site manually, then find the right download page can be difficult and time-consuming. So can getting them to remember a lengthy download URL. All these obstacles could lose you customers, when a QR code can get you there quickly and easily.

About the Author James S

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