Here’s how to scan QR codes natively using stock iOS 11 Camera app on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch device, pretty easily.
iOS 11 is very much loaded with new features, but some of the best ones are the things Apple didn’t discuss on the opening keynote of WWDC 2017 stage. For example: the camera app can now scan QR codes by default, no extra software necessary.
So iPhone running iOS 11 in the fall can eventually scan QR codes directly in camera app on iOS 11, which is the feature the app will natively provide a QR scanning function to all compatible device users. For now, some of the beta users have taken to Twitter to share a glimpse of the feature in action, though, it appears expectedly straightforward: open the Camera app, point the iOS device at a QR code, and simply tap on the drop-down notification to act upon it. That’s it!
There are several other hidden features in iOS 11, Apple has offered developers access to a barcode scanning framework in the iOS SDK for quite some time now, but it seems that one new feature addition within iOS 11 is the ability to natively scan QR codes without needing any additional software.
Wait! If you’re opting to run an iOS 11 beta and got an idea of welcoming in a QR code resurgence, then follow the simple steps below to see how to interact with QR codes in iOS 11.
Step 1: With iOS 11 installed, launch the stock Camera app on the device. No third-party needed here and certainly no downloads from the App Store required.
Step 2: Next, you can’t scan a QR code without the presence of a QR code. Make sure you have some literature with a QR code printed on it or generate your own from the Internet with some arbitrary text in. For instance, if you want to use WhatsApp profile on WhatsApp Web, you do the same with QR code scanning to enable and activate WhatsApp on the internet web and desktop.
Step 3: Using the native Camera app, as mentioned above, point it at the QR code, which will either be in print or on a display, and tap on the screen to focus if required.
Step 4: And that is literally all that you need to do. The QR code will be recognized without having to use any additional third-party apps or readers. The information will be extracted, but not quite as popular as you’d imagine.
Snapchat and Facebook both have started using their own variants to make it easy to add friends, but QR codes remain fairly niche tools on the whole. Especially when you use WhatsApp Web Client.
Also a bit of shame. QR codes can make accessing and sharing useful data – like contact information, URLs addresses, phone numbers, etc – incredibly fast and easy. Theoretically, it should be even faster than typing a query into Google, summoning Siri, or asking your friend.
It’s highly likely that having native QR code reading built into iOS will mean that people actually start taking the technology seriously once again and putting it into practice. But there’s just always been one problem: you have to install a separate app to scan them.
Considering speed is the whole point of using QR codes in the first place, having to go out of your way to download a scanning app is enough of a deterrent to ignore them altogether. Even if we already have an app installed, we’d much rather use the default camera app instead.
Again, this won’t be Apple’s first idea to come out. You can do the same with Samsung’s camera on the Galaxy S8, for instance, but you have to activate Bixby assistant feature first. That small extra step is basically enough to ensure people who even not know what a QR code is, only a handful of people wil ever use it.
Indeed, the only solution QR codes could possibly be widespread and useful if if there’s no barrier at all. Users need to be able to discover the feature on their own. With iOS 11 coming this fall, someone prior to that tries to take an advertisement, invitation, business card or other item that happens to have a QR code on it, they can access the info a lot more quickly.
We;re sure we will see more on this as iOS 11 is progressed, including finding out additional titbits, but for now, it’s great to know that the native Camera app has been integrated with some additional power that users will find valuable. Thus, expecting Android devices will soon follow the suite. With Apple natively scanning QR codes now, expect to make a bit of a comeback in the next year or two.
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