It?s official ? QR Codes have definitely made a comeback and are here to stay in 2020. You can see them popping up everywhere from scooter renting apps to Instagram and TikTok.
Do you still need to use an app? Surely enough smartphones should already natively support QR Code scanning. We will be looking at some of the best QR Code scanner apps and whether you need one or not.
The original purpose, of QR codes, was to track vehicles during manufacturing. But nowadays, QR codes are used for advertising, linking printed media with online media (such as websites, YouTube videos or online product brochures). Another popular usage sector for QR Codes is mobile payments.
What are the Best QR Code Scanners & Readers for Smartphones?
Here are our favorite scanners for 2020. Feel free to go through them and let us know down in the comments which ones you prefer to use and why.
QR Code ScannerPros & ConsPriceAvailable for
NeoReader+ Reads all types of barcodes+ Can export codes (paid)? Not entirely free$0.99Android, iOS & Windows
Pageloot QR Scanner+ 100% free+ Safe Scan & Scan history? No native app (see workaround)FreeAll platforms(Web App)
Kaspersky QR Reader+ Native App for iOS and Android+ Saves your QR code scan history? Not very fastFreeAndroid & iOS
QR Code Reader by Scan? Discontinued app unfortunately$1.99Android, iOS & Windows
Quickmark+ Scans multiple barcodes+ Bulk scanning feature? Not entirely free$1.99Android & iOS
GammaPlay+ Helps compare prices online+ Supports inverted color scanning? Only available for AndroidFreeAndroid only
I-nigma+ Also scans barcodes+ Can compare prices online? Outdated design, old appFreeAndroid, iOS & Windows
QR Droid+ Can also create QR codes+Also reads barcodes? Only for AndroidFreeAndroid only
Quick Scan+ Detailed history log+ Content sharing? Faulty quick scan featureFreeAndroid & iOS
Bar-Code+ Suppors also barcodes? Full of ads? Quite expensive$0.99 ? $3.99Android & iOS
TapMedia+ Has a QR generator also? No customization? Android version lacks barcodesFreeAndroid & iOS
QR Code Creator? Low average app rating? Deceptive subscriptions, please avoid this app at all costs!Beware!iOS only
But wait ? Do you even need a QR Scanner app nowadays?
Most smartphones like Android and iPhone already have integrated QR Code scanning built into the default camera app. Using your QR scanner ? Try to point the camera at the QR code to be scanned and you?re done.
How to scan QR Codes for iPhone
Thanks to iOS 13, QR Code scanning is really fast and native. The scans are fast and accurate, even in low lighting . Anyone below iOS 11 will need to use a separate app for scanning.
How to scan QR Codes for Android
If you are running Android 8 / Oreo or newer, you can natively scan QR codes in the camera app. Anything under version 7 will require using an app.
This One BIG Problem
The main downside with this however, is that they don?t save your QR Code scan history for later. This may not be an issue for the average user. Although, wouldn?t it be handy to have a list of all those QR Codes you have scanned in the past?
For power-users who demand only the best, there is a solution for this. You need a QR Code scanner app. While many of them are paid, there are some decent free online scanners out there.
The usage of QR codes is free, there is no license required to make them. Similarly for scanning, why should we pay anything? Let?s go through some of the best options available today in 2020.
A Detailed Review ? The 5 Best QR Code Scanner Apps
We would definitely put NeoReader in the top place. Developed by NeoMedia, this scanner app is very lightweight (only 4MB size).
The big benefit with this app is that it scans both QR codes and barcodes as well.
Additionally, the app?s history log can be exported as a list. The downside with this is that this feature is not free however, it costs $0.99 to unlock. You would be paying another $0.99 to remove the ads, so that sets you back at a total of $1.98 for all the features.
- Price: Almost free ($0.99 for QR Code export + $0.99 to remove ads)
- Available for: iOS, Android & Windows
- Get the app: Neoreader.com
2. Pageloot QR Code Scanner
Well, of course we are are going to pitch you our own product as well (100% Free, by the way) . The main distinction between Pageloot one and all the other competitors is that this one really is 100% free and works on all platforms. Plus we have this really cool Safe Scan feature ? helping block any malicious links. It is a web app, so you can access it via your browser here.
Once you have added the bookmark on your home screen, there really isn?t much of a difference between this and a native app. Let us know if you really prefer native apps much more. We could try to have it developed in the near future.
- Price: Totally free, for real (check it out)
- Available for: All platforms, it?s a web app
- Get the app: Pageloot.com
3. Kaspersky QR Reader
This one is a very simple app. It doesn?t have any extra features like reading barcodes. Although, as everyone knows Kaspersky is the king of security ? this app is no exception. They do a great job with containing any potential dangerous links.
We?ll be honest ? the QR Code scanning speed is not the best. But it manages to get the job done, nevertheless. If you are ok with a bit of lag and want to place emphasis on security, this one can deinitely be worth checking out.
- Price: Free
- Available for: Android & iOS
- Get the app: Free.kaspersky.com
This multifunctional barcode scanner, developed by SimpleAct is just great. It has a lot of cool features like bulk scanning. This lets you scan multiple QR codes in a row, without opening any annoying windows in-between. The downside, however, is that this feature comes at a cost ? $1.99 to unlock.
Both versions of QuickMark are available for iOS & Android. The Lite is the free version we recommend to start out with. If you find yourself enjoying the app, we see the price to be quite fair for such powerful features.
- Price: Free for Lite (+ $1.99 for Continuous Scan)
- Available for: Android & iOS
- Get the app: Quickmark.com.tk
This is one of the fastest QR and barcode scanners of the bunch. We really liked the barebones simple app. There wasn?t anything fancy about it ? but hey, it?s totally free and super quick. We really can?t ask for more.
The main downside with this one is that it?s only for Android. iOS users will have to look elsewhere, unfortunately.
- Price: Free
- Available for: Android only
- Get the app: Gammaplay.com
The Bottom Line
The major benefit of QR codes is they can be used for anything and everything. More importantly, they are beneficial for both customers and businesses. For instance, a business saves advertising costs as well as money by distributing a QR code to its website or URL.
Say for example you want to initiate a campaign where you provide daily discounts and offers based on the number of engaged customers. So, by using a QR code in your printed advertising you can link users to a website that is updated regularly based on the number of people who go to the campaign website by scanning the QR code.
By using a free online QR Code Scanner to read QR codes, it enables you to save the scan history for future reference. What makes the QR Codes unique is that by using such codes, businesses can give consumers a way to access unlimited information.
If you aren?t already using QR codes, you may be missing out on a lot of potential. Take a look at some of the free options we have listed and the possible benefits you can gain from it.
Does my smartphone have a QR Code Scanner?
Most likely nowadays, yes it does. You just need to find a QR Code (use one of the images in this article) and try to scan it with the camera app.
If it works ?great! If not, you can find a list of the best apps to use in this article. The one downside currently with native camera apps is that they don?t save the scan history. So for this purpose, you may want to use an app regardless.
How do I scan QR Codes with my phone?
Open the camera app and try scanning a QR Code.
If it doesn?t work, you may need to download an app. No worries, most of them are free. We strongly recommend the following scanner apps: Pageloot, Kaspersky, Scan and Quickmark.
Here is our top 12 list for QR Code scanner apps:
#App name1NeoReader2Pageloot QR Code Scanner3Kaspersky QR Reader4Quickmark5GammaPlay6I-nigma7QR Droid8QR Code Reader by Scan9Quick Scan10Bar-Code11TapMedia12QR Code Creator
Which QR code scanner do you think is the best? Let us know with a comment below!