Top 5 Free QR Code Apps For Your iPhone

So, you want to get started using QR codes but you need a QR code app.  Which one do you choose?

Fortunately, you have a lot of choices.  There are thousands of search results for the keywords “QR scanner”.  Some are good.  Some are bad.  And let’s just not mention the really awful ones.  Today, let’s focus on the Top 5 Free QR code apps you should consider for you iPhone.

Top 5 Free QR Code Apps

Bakodo – Barcode Scanner and QR Code Scanner

Top 5 Free QR Code Apps For Your iPhone - BakodoDedoware Inc.

4+ star rating with 3,416 reviews

Top 5 Free QR Code Apps For Your iPhone - Bakodo - App screenBakodo does a good jobs scaning QR codes quickly and easily with just a second or so delay upon opening.
You are shown the data (in this case, a URL) and given the option to perform the default action (Open URL) or to view the data.  If the encoded data is not in an expected format, such as this one from Core Bamboo, you are given the option to view the data.

Every code that I scanned which contained an improperly formatted URL, omitting the http:// for example, Bakodo hyperlinked the data and I could reach the site as intended.  The app also keeps a history of your scans so you can revisit a site even after you no longer have access to the QR code.

Pros:

  • Scans quickly
  • Option to view the encoded data
  • History of previous scans

Cons:

  • To open a URL from a QR code, you must scan the code and then touch the Open URL option

Summary:

Bakodo is a nice scanning app that will most likely fit your needs well.  There are several other features and even a pro version of the app that eliminates the ads and gives access to even more features.  Good combination of features and ease of use.

Scan – QR Code and Barcode Reader

Top 5 Free QR Code Apps For Your iPhone - ScanQR Code City

3.5 star rating with 24 reviews

Top 5 Free QR Code Apps For Your iPhone - Scan - App screenScan has one of the easiest interfaces I’ve seen.  All you do is open the app, aim your device at the QR code, and you transformed into a QR code scanning machine.  Codes are scanned quickly and easily with very little fluff in the form of extra features.  If the QR code contains a URL, a browser is automatically opened.  If the QR code contains text, the text is displayed.  Simple, clean, efficient.

Pros:

  • Scans quickly
  • Automatically performs the default action based on the formatted data
  • Works well with URLs that leave off the http://

Cons:

  • No way to view the encoded data prior to opening the page or performing the action
  • No history of scans

Summary:

Scan is a clean, simple app that works in a variety of situations.  If you are looking for a scanning app that requires little or no interaction besides opening the app, Scan is for you.

RedLaser – Barcode Scanner, Shopping Assistant & QR Code Reader

Top 5 Free QR Code Apps For Your iPhone - RedLaserebay Inc

3.5 star rating with 453 reviews

Top 5 Free QR Code Apps For Your iPhone - RedLaser - App screenRedLaser has always been my go-to scanning app, the first one I ever used way back when.  This app is quick to scan, keeps a history of your scans, offers suggestions depending on the other codes you have scanned, and much more. You can even add loyalty cards to RedLaser.

When a code is scanned, you are presented with a popup showing the encoded data and options to perform the default action.  This works great if you want to see the contents of the QR code but not so well if you just want the app to work without interactions.  Other features include the ability to search for deals, add store alerts, Scan on Startup, and much more.

Pros:

  • Scans quickly
  • Option to view the encoded data
  • History of previous scans

Cons:

  • To open a URL from a QR code, you must scan the code and then touch Yes to open a browser

Summary:

Overall, RedLaser has a ton of features that are handy to have.  If you want a full featured, free scanning app, RedLaser may be the one for you.  Plus, it has a red laser graphic that looks like KITT from Knight Rider when you scan QR codes.  If only it would help my iPhone talk, drive around, and fight crime….

i-nigma QR code, Data Matrix, and 1 Dimensional Barcode Scanner

Top 5 Free QR Code Apps For Your iPhone - i-nigma3GVision

3.5 star rating with 59 reviews

Top 5 Free QR Code Apps For Your iPhone - i-nigma - App screenPerhaps one of the fastest scanning apps I’ve seen, the i-nigma QR code scanner packs some great features into this simple app.  It has a history of your scans, you can add favorites, and you can choose between opening a URL with or without confirmation.  Without confirmation will take a second longer but once you scan the code, you are taken directly to the website, much like Scan.

Pros:

  • Scans quickly
  • Option to view the encoded data
  • History of previous scans
  • Choose between automatically opening a URL or confirming the action
  • You can share the data as a text message, QR code, or on social media

Cons:

  • None that I can see

Summary:

The QR code scanner from i-nigma is well designed, simple, and easy to use.  If you are often giving product recommendations to friends and family, the share feature on this app would be an easy way to tell the world about your QR code adventures.

QR Code Reader for Kaywa

Top 5 Free QR Code Apps For Your iPhone - KaywaKaywa

4.5 star rating with 6 reviews

Top 5 Free QR Code Apps For Your iPhone - Kaywa - App screenThe QR code reader from Kaywa  is a very clean looking app.  While most of the other apps have some sort of target or indicator mark to help you line up the QR code, this app just scans the code at any angle, as long as the code is in focus.  URLs are opened in a browser that is built into the app.  From there, you can choose to open in Safari, share via SMS, email, Facebook, or Twitter.

When you look at the history, you will not only see an image of the QR code itself but also the data, what type of data (text, URL, etc), and when you scanned the code.  If you select a previous scan where the QR code contained text, a quick tap of the image (indicated by a graphic of a thumb and the word “TAP”) will copy that text to the clipboard.  This is an interesting feature that could be very useful in the right situation.

Pros:

  • Scans quickly
  • Clean appearance
  • Actual images of the previous QR codes scanned
  • Option to automatically open URLs or not

Cons:

  • None that I can see

Summary:

Kaywa does a great job on this app.  It is not the simplest app on the list but it’s not weighted down by extra features.  It scans quickly and easily.

Conclusion

If you want to get started with QR codes, you are going to need a QR code app and these 5 are all great choices.  If you’re already a QR code veteran, consider sharing these apps with your friends to get them hooked.  Better yet, try them all and see what works the best for you.  It helps to have several for testing purposes and just to change things up.

Which QR code app is your favorite?  Leave a comment and let me know.