App Review: Free QR Code Readers for iPhone

It’s surprising that the iPhone had yet to come pre-loaded with a built-in QR Code reader. For now, you have to download one in the App store. There are a lot of options, but do they work? Let’s take a look at some of the free options out there (like most apps, I prefer not to pay money for them).

Microsoft Tag Reader:

Scan Tags from your mobile phone for instant access to information, websites, videos, reviews, and more.

This is the only reader available to read what are called ‘Microsoft Tags.’ Easypurl Insider actually blogged about these new technology recently in a recent post titled ‘QR Codes Plus Microsoft Equals…” Like many other reviewers, I rarely got this scanner to work. Most surprisingly, even tags created by Microsoft didn’t scan or finally scanned after several times of trying. Not really effective if you’re on the go or want to scan an ad quickly while walking around. Grade: D

AT&T Code Scanner:

Free mobile application which provides a fun and easy way to scan 2D (QR and datamatrix codes) and 1D (UPC and EAN) barcodes found in magazines, stores, and online, unlocking new ways to experience the world.

This app one scanned data matrix and UPC codes with ease, but it had trouble scanning actual QR codes — I had to make sure it was really centered, still, and on the code for at least 10 seconds for it to read it (if at all). Big drawback. That being said, outside of QR Codes this scanner works pretty well on most other barcodes, and I really liked the UPC scanner on this one and had fun scanning various office supplies around Easypurl Headquarters to see what kinds of cool online deals I could get. Grade: B

i-nigma 4:

I-nigma reader installed on your mobile, you will be ready to decode mobile barcodes and connect direct to the mobile internet.

The best one so far, quickly scanned any QR code I waved in front of it. No need to hold it steady and wait…it even scanned codes off my shiny computer screen! Grade: A+


The NeoReader is a universal barcode scanning application that transforms your mobile phone into a barcode scanner and allows you to access mobile web content by scanning codes from print ads, publication, packaging, billboards, retail display, broadcast media, or any other medium.

A really simple and lightweight reader that uses the phone’s camera application to take a picture of the code. Not as fast as i-nigma, but at least it works everytime! Grade: A


Fast, accurate decoder. Simple, intuitive user interface operates in both portait and landscape modes. Capture auto-launch and capture. No shutter release necessary.

Only read QR codes about 1/3 of the time, and it took a steady accurate aim of the camera to get a read. Grade: C

These reviews cover only a handful among dozens of free QR code readers out there. What reader is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

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