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QR Codes – All about apps (1)

QR codes are a great way for Lions to support their activities and public relations. The SMiLE Pin, our famous billion dollar give-away at #LCICon 2015 in Honolulu, is a great example. It utilizes a QR code to connect people directly with the SMiLE website đŸ™‚QR codes - a blog post series by SMiLE

During the SMiLE #LCICon seminars, the question was raised “How can i discover, what message or content the QR code keeps inside”? So time has come to talk about apps that can be used to “read” and “create” QR codes easily.

So you asked for it – here it is: A series of posts dealing with some hands-on practice around the use of QR codes for Lions.

Part 1: Using QR code apps for iOS

There are probably lots of so called QR code reader apps out there in the app stores for iOS and Android. Lets keep it simple and easy for you – try one of my favorites đŸ˜‰ In this article, my favorite iOS app Qrafter will be used. Stay tuned for another blog post, covering an Android QR code app.

Qrafter for iOS (Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, etc.) comes in two versions. The free one – simply Qrafter – has some advertising, where as the paid version – Qrafter Pro – has not and adds some extra features. Both can read AND create QR codes! I use the app for more than two years and it already supported several Lions club activities as well as some public relation at Multi-District level.

 

Reading …
a QR code with Qrafter is easy …

Reading QR codes with Qrafter

  1. start the app
  2. select scan
  3. aim with your smartphone camera at the QR code

Immediately the app decodes the content and based of its nature, lets you select an appropriate action

  • open a web page
  • show a location on Google Maps
  • Twitter a message
  • etc.

That was easy, right?!

Bottom line: “Reading” a QR code with an app is simple and it links people in a convenient way to your web pages, guide them to a location or let them transfer the club business card details hassle free in their smartphone contacts.

 

Choosing an app …

What distinguishes QR code apps from another are things like:012ad1c91b951cb21738a0f348c84c50f33851fca1

The better ones care about your safety:

  • Checks, whether the web address the QR code provides might have malicious content
  • translation of shortened URLs (bit.ly and such) to the real web address (more info on url shortners)

Some keep things convenient:

  • launching the app starts scanning immediately (configurable)
  • configure immediate default actions (open the web page in standard browser) or
    have you select an appropriate action for the content (e.g. share the web address on Facebook instead)

Feature focus:

  • App lets you also create QR codes
  • Supports extra QR code content types
    • Business card
    • Event dates
    • Phone calls
    • Tweets
    • Text messages
    • Mail

Qrafter supports all of this and more. There might be other apps of similar quality and features – let us know your favorite app!


Part 2 of this blog post series will introduce a QR code app for Android smartphones and tablets. Check it out!

In case you need some base information about QR codes, read the SMiLE blog article QR codes for Lions


 

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