QR Code decoding support for native camera App on iPhone, Android or Windows devices

native qr code decoding cam app

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:ios11 native camera qr code reader iphone

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[1] 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[2].

Motorola as a first mover

Motorola native Cam App supports QR Codes

However Motorola, who is using Android as their basic OS, updated its native Camera App that allows QR Code scanning[3]. 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…

[1] http://www.idc.com/prodserv/smartphone-os-market-share.jsp

[2] http://www.quora.com/Why-havent-Google-or-Apple-embedded-a-QR-reader-in-their-Camera-apps

[3] http://www.techtimes.com/articles/80661/20150831/motorola-updates-camera-and-gallery-apps-now-allows-qr-code-scanning-and-saving-albums-to-microsd.htm


Get Followers with QR Codes for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

social actions webAn 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.

Facebook Like

Scan this QR Code to like qrd.by on facebook

facebook qr code qrd.by

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 Facebook / qrd.by and benefit from QR Code marketing insights

 Get more Instagram & YouTube followers

With our QR Code Generator you can different Social QR Codes types. Here are some more examples:



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.

Twitter QR Code qrd.by

With a Twitter QR Code you can redirect people to your twitter profile to create more followers

QR Code twitter message

With this QR Code you can tweet the message: Create Social QR Codes with http://qrd.by/#facebook @qrdby #qrcode

Create Twitter QR Code

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

Using QR Codes on Business Cards: vCard vs. mobile Website

vcard vs. mobile website

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.

Continue reading

What is a “Custom Shortened URL” in a 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.

Custom Shortened URL

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.

Dynamic QR Code – Changing the target URL

A QR code usually has a static URL encoded to which the user is redirected after he has scanned the QR code. In case the target URL is no longer up-to-date or does not exist anymore, you may use a dynamic QR Code instead. 

Dynamic QR Code

With the free QR Code Manager from qrd.by it is easy to change the destination URL. The URL in the QR code is always the same, but first redirects to our company website and after editing the target URL to this blog.

Create a Dynamic QR Code

With a dynamic QR code, you can change the target URL subsequently. Even if the QR code has already been printed on posters, flyers or in magazines, you can redirect the user after the scan to any landing page, anytime, without having to print the QR code again.

For instance, if you are using a QR Code to redirect the user to a temporary available voucher, you can change the target URL after the promotion has ended.

If you create a dynamic QR Code on our platform he will never expire!


Minimum Size of a QR Code

Minimum QR Code size

Recommendation: A QR Code that encodes up to 72 characters (which is the length of a typical URL) should be printed in a size of 20×20 mm (0.79x0.79″) when scanned from a distance of 20cm (7.9)

Surface Scan Distance QR Code Size
A4 e.g. Magazine 20cm 20mm x 20mm
A3 e.g. Poster 1m 100mm x 100mm
3x4m e.g. Billboard 10m 1m x 1m

Before applying this recommendation please consider the following tips. If you you are printing a designer QR Code please also read Printing QR Codes with Colors.

Consider the scanning distance

Rule of the thumb: the ratio between scanning distance and the QR Code size is 10:1. So if you want to scan a QR Code from 10 meters (390″), the size of the QR Code should be 1 square meter (39″). Or if you print a QR Code on a post card, the user will scan the QR Code from a distance close to 15cm (5.9″). Applying the rule the QR Code may have a minimum size of 15mm (0.59″).

Quiet Zone around the QR Code

Quiet Zone QR Code margin

Have at least a Quiet Zone of 4 Units arround your QR Codes.


If you print a QR Code always leave a quite zone (margin) around the QR Code. We recommend to have 4 units of white space arround your QR Code to ensure it can be read by any QR Code reader.


Use shorted URLs

How much information do you want to store in the QR Code? The less the better. Use shortened URLs instead of a long URL. The shorter the URL the less units a QR Code will contain and there for can be plotted smaller.

A shortened URL with up to 17 characters will produce a QR Code with 21×21 units. Encoding a longer URL with up to 72 chars will result in a QR Code with 35×35 units.

QR Code with a long URL


QR Code with tiny URL

A shorted URL: http://qrd.by/t


Use low Error Correction Level

When creating a QR Code you can set an Error Correction Level. The higher the level is set, the more of a QR Code may be destroyed while the QR Code will be still readable. However, a higher level also increases the size of a QR Code. We recommend setting the error level L for QR Codes without an embedded logo. This will give you the smallest possible size of a QR Code. The following figure shows you a QR Code with the same encoded URL in two different error correction levels:

QR Code Correction - Level L QR Code Correction - Level H
Level L 7% Level H 30 %

Use scale able vectorized QR Codes

It is important create QR Codes in Vector format. If you are plotting QR Codes from a .png or .jpg source, they may get blurred and cannot be read anymore.

Create optimized QR Code

Smallest QR Code Contest

Download the QR Code Contest .pdf document and print it out. It contains various QR Codes in different sizes. In theory you will be able to scan QR Codes with a size of 5mm (0.19″), depending on your printer and your scanning device. If you are able to scan QR Codes in an even smaller size, please let us know!!!

Devices that scan QR Codes < 4mm (0.16”)

Huawei Ascend XT H1611 (3mm QR Code was printed on a Canon MF4320 laser printer with 600dpi)

Devices that scan QR Codes < 5mm (0.19”)

Apple iPhone 5
Google Nexus 5
Huawei Ascend Mate 7
LG D802, D959
MicroMax Q450
Nokia Lumia 635
OnePlus One
Samsung GALAXY ACE 3, GALAXY Note 4 Edge, GALAXY S4, GT-I9500, SGH-I317
Sony Xperia Z1
Xiaomi MI 2SC

QR Code Decoding: What’s behind the code?

QR Code DecoderIf you scan a QR code, you will usually be forwarded directly to a website without knowing what information or URL actually stored in the QR code. In the worst case you will be redirected on a page that tries to install on your smartphone malicious software or tries to call a premium rate number.

To have more security when scanning a QR Code, you should use a QR Reader, that displays the URL stored in the QR Code first and asking for confirmation before redirecting you to the website.

i-nigma’s QR Code Reader [1] has an option in the settings menu, where you can choose to confirm an URL redirection before going online.

QR Code Read Settings    confirm-before-going-online

If this option is activated, a confirmation window shows up every time you scan a QR Code.

The website encoded in the QR Code is only opened when you confirm to go online by tapping the “Go Online” button. If you have the QR code as an image file you can display the content directly via the ZXing decoder [2].

Do you have Google Chrome installed? If so you can directly decode the QR Code with the Webcam in the browser with the Webcam QR Code Reader


Hot Designer QR Codes with vectorized EPS Logo

Many QR Code Generators allow to change the colors or embed a logo in a Designer QR Code. However, there are only a few generators that support vectorized .eps image uploads in addition to the standard rasterized formats like .png, .jpg or .gif.

If you print a QR Code in different sizes, the code and the logo will get blurred, pixelated and in the worst case unreadable. With our QR Code Generator you can upload scalable vectorized images in .eps format that will stay crisp no matter in which size they are printed:

Click to download this Hot Designer QR Code as pdf file and zoom in. The QR Code and the logo will stay crisp and clear.

pixelate logo

Non-Vectorized Logos are pixelating when zoomed.


Vectorized Logo will never pixelate at any zooming level




Create EPS logo in Adobe Illustrator

To upload your own EPS logos in a QR Code you have to register for a Premium Account (30-day free trial). Then you have to save your logo in Adobe Illustrator in the eps format (Version < 9).

adobe illustrator cs2 eps version8

Save an EPS file in Adobe Illustrator in Version < 9

In your account select a QR Code and choose the basic QR Code editor on the left and upload your created logo.

select qr code editor



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99,95% Uptime.

Today I had a very inspiring phone call with a QR-Code Enthusiast like us. We were talking about possible cooperations and how to merge our assets without getting depended on each other and how to create a win-win situation.

But before we could get into more details there were some concerns about using our QR Code platform which I had to clarify and I want to share with you:

No ADs!

No ADsWhen creating trackable dynamic QR Codes on our platform, it would be technically very easy to show banners or display an ad before redirecting the user to actual landingpage. There are many vendors who use this business model – We don’t! No matter if you are a free or paying customer, you will never see any ads.

Please be aware that many QR Code readers are placing ads directly in the App. Those ads have nothing to do with us!

99,95 Uptime

In theory it could happen that our servers are down and that someone scans a QR Code right in that moment. As a result the user would not be redirect to the original website.
We are constanly monitoring our servers and we are proud to have an uptime>99,95%. In ohter words: the probability that a QR Code redirect gets lost in nirvana is less than 1:13 Million.

TrashYour QR Codes are NEVER deleted by us nor they expire. Whether they are created using a free or paid account – as long as you do not delete the QR code by yourself, they will continue to work. Even if you terminate a premium account after one year, the QR codes continue to be fully functional upon request.

Daily Backups

Our geo-location based tracking system for QR Codes records thousands of datasets every day. A backup of this data is generated every day and stored on a secure location in our datacenter.
If you are a customer who subscribed to one of our plans, your data is always safe. We do not store any sensitive credit card information. This is done by our payment service provider, who is ISO-certified and PCI-DDS compliant. All sensitive communication is encrypted with a 256-bit SSL certificate.

Elastic Cloud Infrastructure

Our servers are cape able to manage thousands of parallel connections. In case it gets even more “busy” our cloud based server infrastructure adds additional computation power and memory depending on the traffic.

Performance Test for our Platform

Read more about our Pagespeed and Performance measurements.

Full control with the White Label Solution

In the unlikely case that qrd°by is shut down one day, all created QR Codes out there will not work anymore. This is not necessarily true. In case you are using our white label platform you will create QR Codes under your domain name. You can always use the backup feature in the account section to get all your QR Code data in CSV format and landingpages in static HTML. You will even find a code snippet for a basic url forwarder there. So you can continue to run your campaigns on different platforms.

Anyhow, thumbs up to all people out there who are already supporting us and give us constant feedback to enhance our platform, so that in the long run we will be the first choice when it comes to creating QR Code campaigns.

Peter Hlavac

Founder & CEO

QR Code Scan Notification

On your white label qr code platform of qrd°by your customers will always be up-to-date. If a user activates the e-mail notification option for a QR Code, he will instantly receive an e-mail alert as soon as the QR Code is scanned. The e-mail already contains the most important information about where and from which device the QR Code has been scanned, so the user is not required to login to get the statistics. The following screenshot shows you an example notification e-mail. However you can fully customize the notification e-mail using HTML templates in the Branding section.

If e-mail notification is enabled, the user will receive a notification alert as soon a QR Code is scanned.

If e-mail notification is enabled, the user will receive a notification alert as soon a QR Code is scanned.

As the administrator of the white label platform you can activate the global notification feature in the statistics section. Once activated you will receive an e-mail, as soon as any of the QR Codes, your users have created, are scanned.

SMS Alerts

SMS QR Code Scan AlertInstead or in combination with a email notifications you can now also send sms alerts when a QR Code is scanned to the user’s mobile phone. Learn more here:

SMS Alerts on QR Code scan