This is kind of breaking news in the QR Code world: iPhones with iOS11 now support QR Code Reading with the native camera app out of the box!
That means finally all 3rd party QR Code Reader are obsolete. No reading problems anymore, no ads displayed, no spy-calling-home-apps in the background necessary – Apple now supports just simple, fast and reliable QR Code decoding with the built-in camera app!
For marketers this means using QR Codes in advertising might be a game changer. It is super easy now for users to scan QR Codes. There is no technical barrier anymore because installing a third-party-app is no longer necessary.
The new ios11 is available since middle of September 2017 depending where you are located. The QR Code reading function supports all types of QR Codes. Have a closer look here: Continue reading
When printing a QR Code the following tips will help you to sustain the readability of your QR Code. Nevertheless always do scan tests before printing QR Codes in a high volume. Continue reading
If you want to print a large number of unique QR Codes on labels you may want use the label merge function of Microsoft Office Word. This tutorial guides you how to import a list of QR Codes from an Excel file into a Word template before printing the labels or export them to a print-ready Adobe Pdf file.
The most common QR Code type is a QR Code with an encoded URL. When scanning such a QR code the user is either being linked to your website directly (static QR Code) or he is redirected through a tracking URL to your website (dynamic QR Code). The following example explains the two approaches in more detail:
Static QR Code
With a static QR Code the user sees immediately where he is being redirected when scanning the QR Code, because the target URL is directly encoded into the QR Code. But what if for some reason the target URL is broken, removed or you just want to redirect the user to a different URL? If you have printed the QR Code already on thousands of magazines, you have a problem.
Dynamic QR Code
With a dynamic QR Code you are not only able to change the target URL of the QR Code after publishing but also track from where, when and from who the code has been scanned. This is accomplished by routing the user through a tracking server first and then redirect the user to the original URL. The first URL is called the tracking or Vanity URL. In most cases a tiny URL is used, so the QR Code can be printed in a smaller size, because less characters have to be encoded into the QR Code.
Always be careful when using a QR Code tracking service. Some providers route the user through a landing page first, where an ad is displayed before continuing to the target URL. Another risk is if the tracking server goes offline, the dynamic QR Code will not work anymore.
This is why we recommend you to use our fast and secure infrastructure. We do not display any ads and you can create both – static and dynamic QR Codes – for free. Get to know more about our free QR Code Manager or start creating static QR Codes right away:
Create a dynamic QR Code
There is a simple answer why using QR Codes in your marketing activities is a MUST:
Scanning a QR Code is the fasted way to open specific content in the browser!
To give you an example: A new blockbuster movie is out and is promoted with posters in the streets or with ads in magazines. To let people interact with the poster a link and a QR Code are added, like shown in the illustration above. The link redirects the user to the movie trailer, so people can already preview the movie on their mobile devices, before watching the movie in the theatre.
One way to solve the technical barrier for people to scan QR Codes would be to include a QR Code scanner in the native camera app of a Smartphone. People will not need to install a 3rd party app anymore and direct support in the OS will make QR Code decoding much faster.
iPhones with iOS11 support native QR Code Reading
As of September 2017 updating Apple devices to iOS 11 enables users to read QR Codes without a third party app! Read more about how to use the native camera app decoding QR Codes here:
Microsoft Windows phones support native QR Code scanning
Microsoft did a first step towards QR Code recognition in their camera app, but with only 2.6% market share in the worldwide smartphone market this is just a small portion. Lumia phones have a built in QR Code Reading App, but making a QR Code readable requires to setup the camera every time a QR Code is scanned. Using a 3rd party scanning app is much more comfortable.
Google is afraid of QR Codes killing their Ad business
An assumption why Google has no interest in supporting QR Code decoding in the native camera app is because a direct link in the QR Code bypasses Google Search. Google wants you to use their search engine for displaying ads and tracking your behavior instead of directly linking you to a website.
Motorola as a first mover
However Motorola, who is using Android as their basic OS, updated its native Camera App that allows QR Code scanning. The app can be downloaded for Motorola devices here.
There are native QR Code scanning solutions for Windows, iPhone and Android devices. However Microsoft needs to improve the UX drastically, so that people will actually know how to use the native camera function for scanning QR Codes instead of downloading a 3rd party app. If Google sees a potential harm in affecting their ad and tracking business, they could release a native camera app that tracks all QR Code scans and previews the target URL of the QR Code in addition with some ads displayed below before redirecting the user to the website. Finally Apple included native QR Code decoding since the Asian market is using QR Codes almost everywhere and Apple might wants to be a player in the QR Code payment industry. Let’s see how Android will follow…
An easy way to get more followers for your social networks is to use Social QR Codes. Place them on your folders, your products or in your shopping window to give people the opporiunity to like you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter.
Facebook Like and Facebook Pages
With a Facebook QR Code you can either link the user to your Facebook site directly or link to a landing page with a like button included, like shown in the example below.
The magic thing about those QR Codes is that they automatically check if the Facebook App is installed on the mobile device. If so the Facebook Page is opened directly in the App. If not the page will be viewed in the web browser of the mobile device.
Scan this QR Code to like qrd.by on facebook
This QR Code leads to our facebook page
Create Facebook QR Code
However remember that your QR Codes are less likley to be scannend, if you don’t clearly communicate what happens after scanning the QR Code. Offer an incentive to scan your QR Codes and announce where the QR Code will lead the visitor to. For Example :
Scan this code to like us on / qrd.by and benefit from QR Code marketing insights
Twitter Profile and Tweeting
With a Twitter QR Code you can redirect users to your Twitter profile to gain new followers or encode a message in the QR Code that people can tweet after scanning the code.
With a Twitter QR Code you can redirect people to your twitter profile to create more followers
With this QR Code you can tweet the message: Create Social QR Codes with http://qrd.by/#facebook @qrdby #qrcode
Create Twitter QR Code
Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and more
With our QR Code Generator you can create up to 7 different Social QR Codes types. Here are some more examples:
You can do even more with QR Codes, like send an SMS, start a phone call, write an E-Mail and much more. Learn more about other type of QR Codes here:
Offline QR Codes
In this article you will learn about different ways how you can create a QR Code for your business card that links to your contact information. However there are pros and cons depending on which method you are using concerning performance, offline availability and size restrictions. We recommend you to use the QR Code Reader from i-Nigma for smooth decoding of business cards.
If you have an App in an App-Store you can promote your App with a QR Code. If a user scans the QR Code, he will be redirected to the App-Store where he can install your App directly on his Smartphone. But what if you have deployed your App to different stores (e.g. Google Play, Windows Phone Store, Amazon Store or the iOS App Store)? Do you need a QR Code for each store?
The answer is: No! You can use a single App-Store QR Code instead of creating a QR Code for each store.
The QR Code above knows from which phone the QR Code is scanned. Depending on the device the user is redirected to the corresponding app store.
Multi-URL encoded in a QR Code
An App-Store QR Code has a Multi-URL encoded. A Multi-URL contains multiple URLs. Depending on the device the user is being redirected to one of the URLs. When using a Multi-URL in a QR Code you can set a redirect for iPhone, Android or Windows Phones. If the QR Code is scanned by another device, you can also setup a fallback URL, to which the user is being redirected.
Country based App-Store Redirects
If you deploy an App the App-Store might restricts the App to specific countries or the App-Store is blocked in one country. For example, there is no Google Play Store in China  yet. To overcome this problem, you can set an optional App-Store link for each country. So if a user scans your QR Code with an Android device in China, he will be redirect to a different App-Store than to the Google Play Store. A user’s country of origin is determined using his IP address.
Try it out yourself by creating an App-Store QR Code below:
Create App-Store QR Code
If you are generating a QR Code, most of the times you want to redirect the user to a website, e.g.:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1R-jKKp3NA. This URL is called the target URL.
If you create a dynamic QR Code, the target URL is shortened by default to a random URL e.g.
http://qrd.by/0j6nte. This is called a shortened URL. With qrd°by you are able to customize such a shortened URL. Instead of
0j6nte you can set a human readable name e.g.
speech-steve-jobs. Such URLs are called custom shortened URLs or Vanity URLs.
Using a custom shortened URL to redirect the user to a video of the speech of Steve Jobs @ Stanford
What is the benefit of a custom shortened URL?
People who are scanning your QR Code will now see
https://qrd.by/speech-steve-jobs when the QR Code is decoded in the scanning app. This will give them a better idea of where the QR Code leads them to. Moreover a shortened URL encoded in a QR Code allows printing the QR Code in a smaller size, since fewer characters are encoded in the QR Code (See also Minimum size of a QR Code). Using shortened URLs also allow you to track who is scanning your QR Codes. So you can measure how succesful a QR Code campaign is performing. Read more about tracking QR Codes.
Custom shortened URL + Custom Domain
With the White Label QR Code Manager you can even set a custom domain for a dynamic QR Code. For example instead of
qrd.by you may use the custom domain
my.domain. The QR Code will then have the custom URL
http://my.domain/speech-steve-jobs encoded. With a custom domain you can keep your brand and your corporate identity without exposing that you are using our QR Code platform.