QR codes

How to scan QR codes on iPhone

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A Faster Way to Scan
Scan QR codes faster with these tips.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

You can scan and open a QR code directly from your iPhone camera or a picture — you don’t have to download a third-party app. Here are the three ways you can open them: inside the camera, using a shortcut in Control Center and directly from your photo library. 

If you’re in a restaurant and you want to open their digital menu, or you’re setting up two-factor authentication using a code, you don’t want to fiddle with installing an app. This functionality is built right into your phone.

Keep reading or watch our short video.

Quickly scan a QR code from inside Control Center [Pro tip]

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Add a QR code scanner to Control Center
The dedicated Code Scanner app is ready when you need it.

Control Center Pro Tips WeekWe want to help you master Control Center, one of the most powerful and underutilized features on Apple devices. Cult of Mac’s Control Center Pro Tips series will show you how to make the most of this useful toolbox on iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac.

Need to scan a QR code in a jiffy? Add a handy code reader to Control Center on iPhone and iPad that’s quick and easy to find in just a swipe. We’ll show you how.

iOS 14.4 brings improvements to QR codes and Bluetooth audio

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iOS 14.4 debuted to the general public on Tuesday.
iOS 14.4 isn’t a substantial update, but it does include new features.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple released iOS 14.4 to the general public on Tuesday, along with the iPad equivalent. According to their developer, these allow users to scan smaller QR codes, and to classify their various Bluetooth devices so audio notifications can be routed correctly.

It also closes a security hole that hackers might have actually used to break into iPhones.

How to scan QR codes from the lock screen in iOS 12

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Knock yourself out scan qr codes
Knock yourself out.
Photo: Thomas Leuthard/Flickr CC

Ever since iOS 11, your iPhone and iPad have been able to detect a QR code in the camera frame, and pop up a banner at the top of the screen to open the link embedded within it. This is a great way to quickly extract a URL from a billboard, or from a particular nerdy lost-cat poster stapled to a utility pole.

Now, iOS 12 brings a dedicated QR-scanning shortcut that you can invoke right from your iPhone’s lock screen. Let’s see how to scan QR codes in iOS 12.

How to scan QR codes with iOS 11’s Camera app

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QR codes
Beware sketchy QR codes if you’re using iOS 11.
Photo: Thomas Leuthard/Flickr

QR codes are set to take off in a big way, thanks to a new feature included in iOS 11 that makes scanning the quirky-looking blocks easier than ever before.

Apple didn’t announce the feature during its WWDC 2017 keynote, but the new QR-scanning capability is among the many minor iOS 11 features that may prove to be a big deal. Even though QR codes have been around for nearly two decades, they haven’t been super-useful to regular consumers.

That’s about to change.

HomePod software leaks new ‘SmartCamera’ feature for iPhone

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iPhone 8 facial recognition
We could be waiting a long time for iPhone 8.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s HomePod might have revealed another huge new iPhone feature after developers did some more digging into the beta software for the upcoming smart speaker.

The software appears to reference an unannounced “SmartCamera” feature built into iOS 11 or the yet-to-be-released 2017 iPhone. And it could totally change the way we snap photos.

11 awesome iOS 11 features Apple didn’t bother to mention

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The best gesture in iOS 11 isn't just for iPad.
The best gesture in iOS 11 isn't just for iPad.
Photo: Apple

Developers just got an early preview of Apple’s upcoming iOS 11 update for iPhones and iPads today during the company’s WWDC 2017 keynote in San Jose.

The new update packs some huge new features that make iOS more powerful and easier-to-use than ever. Apple’s update is so jam packed that some of the best new additions didn’t even get some stage time at WWDC.

10 Awesome iOS 7 Features That Apple Didn’t Mention At WWDC

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iOS-7-lock-screen

I’ve given iOS 7 a lot of hate this morning — just because I hate its icons — so I thought it was about time I showed it some love. It may not look the best, but the next-generation of iOS is packed full of awesome new features that should greatly improve the user experience.

A lot of those were detailed during Apple’s keynote at WWDC yesterday, but some got left out. So here’s ten awesome features in iOS 7 that didn’t get a mention at the event.

Learn How to Mobilize Your WordPress Website [Deals]

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CoM - mobilize-wp-site-1.1

If you are one of the owners or developers of one of the 60 million websites powered by WordPress and want to know how to integrate it with mobile, one of the most powerful marketing tools of our lifetime, then you are in the right place.

With this actionable video course you’ll learn how to use a WordPress mobile plugin, use a responsive WordPress theme, and a mobile theme to mobilize your site. And you’ll get to it while savings 60% in the process. That’s because this Cult of Mac Deals offer is only $39 for a limited time!

Good-Samaritan FinderCodes System Now Powered by Fedex, Keeps Sender, Sendee Anonymous

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I did something really dumb in Vegas last month — I forgot my sunglasses in a Starbucks. A couple of hours after trapsing through a mall, I realized what I’d done, and panicked; they weren’t cheap. I anxiously retraced my steps, ending up back at the cafe. Some fabulous Samaritan had turned them in.

If I’d left my phone behind instead — or something else large enough for a FinderCodes tag (sunglasses aren’t) — the good guy (or girl) could have easily FedExed it to me anonymously.

FinderCodes Wants To Help Strangers Return Your Lost Gadgets

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findercodes

Apple’s Find My iPhone feature is great for whenever you lose your iPhone or MacBook, but what about when you lose other stuff, like a wallet, dog, luggage, camera, keys, or anything else? There are a few GPS solutions that you can attach to everything you prize most in life, but that’s kind of costly.

FinderCodes is a new service that is trying to make QR codes actually useful by allowing people to attach one to everything they love so it can be traced back to them through the FinderCodes database. It’s simple, but more elegant than writing your name, address, and phone number on everything.

New Emergency Program Uses iPhones And QR Codes To Save Lives

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Lifesquare uses QR code stickers, iPhone app to provide emergency workers with health data
Lifesquare uses QR code stickers, iPhone app to provide emergency workers with health data.

Healthcare has been a natural fit for the iPad and, to a slightly smaller extent, the iPhone. iOS devices can provide interaction with electronic records and other patient information as well as offer access to reference guides, medical images like X-rays, and even remote diagnoses via FaceTime.

A new program being tested in California’s Marin County aims to bring some of those abilities to paramedics in the field. The program, which equips paramedic teams with iPhones via a specialized QR reader app, is a joint venture with Silicon Valley startup Lifesquare. Its aim is to allow paramedics instant access to patient information using QR codes stickers.

Show Your iPhone Photos On Any Screen In The World With Scalado PhotoBeam

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Finally, a non-sucky use for QR codes

One of the hallmarks of great Apple software is that it makes you smile like a kid when it does something unexpected and undeniably cool. The first time you pinch-to-zoom, for example, or when you swipe over a picture in iPhoto for iOS and it automatically applies a correction depending on what’s under your finger.

The other hallmark of Apple’s apps is that they look great.

Scalado’s PhotoBeamer manages the first of these things, appearing to work as if by magic. On the second, though, it fails somewhat.