All about QR codes

If you have ever wondered what those black and white jumbled up barcode boxes are, then you are probably looking at a QR code (Quick Response Code).

Last updated: 16th Oct 2018 at 4:29pm

A traditional barcode consists of a row of vertical black bars. A QR code takes advantage of both the vertical and horizontal  black bars and the result is a pixelated square box.

These days, you will see QR codes everywhere. They may be printed in the magazine that you are reading, on a sign at a tourist attraction, in a museum or at the airport. The purpose of QR codes, is to let you use your smartphone to access information or websites, without having to type a URL into your web browser.

Some of the things that a QR code may be linked to include websites, tickets, coupons, product information, boarding cards, contact information or AR experiences. The camera in your smartphone has the power to read these QR codes but sometimes you will need to download a free app, if your camera doesn’t have the feature pre-loaded.

How to scan a QR code on an iPhone

With an iPhone, there are three ways that you can go about reading QR codes:

  1. If you have an Apple iPhone or an iPad that is running on iOS 11, then it will have a QR code reader built into its camera app. You will need to open the camera app and bring the QR code into view. If you hold your iPhone still for a moment, then the camera app will automatically recognise the QR code (you do not need to take a photo). You will see a notification pop-up and you simply need to tap on this to follow the link. In most instances, the Safari web browser will be activated in order to take you to the website or other information.

  2. For anything that is deemed to be a pass such as tickets, boarding passes, coupons and loyalty cards the Wallet app is the tool to use. Open the Wallet app and tap on the plus icon, located in the Passes section, at the top. Following this, you need to tap the option labelled ‘Scan Code’. If you attempt to scan a QR code that is not a Pass, then you will simply see an error message. If this happens, simply open your camera app and scan the QR code again.

  3. If you don’t like using either of these methods, then you can download a QR code reader/scanner app from the App Store. These are usually free to download and will handle all of your QR code reading needs, from within one app.

How to scan a QR code on an Android phone

Most Android mobile phones do not come with a QR code reader app pre-loaded. This really isn’t a big issue because you can download a free QR code reader app from the Play Store. The app will download in just a few seconds and when you open the app for the first time, the app will ask for permission to use your camera for image or video capture.

To scan a QR code, you should open the app that you have downloaded. The camera in your smartphone is then used to capture the QR code. You will then be taken to the website or content that is linked to that particular QR code.

Using QR codes with Asda Mobile

If you are using your Asda Mobile SIM card, then you can download a QR code reader app using your mobile data. The apps are small in size (1-2MB), so you don’t need to go looking for a Wi-Fi hotspot. You should be aware that if you scan a QR code then your mobile data will be used to load in the webpage or any other content that the QR code links to. The good news is that Asda Mobile has just increased its bundle data allowances, so you can get double the amount of data on your 30 day bundle until 28th August 2018. So now you can scan QR codes with even more freedom than before.

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