iPhone Can Scan QR Codes Directly in Camera App on iOS 11

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The iOS Camera app will finally be able to recognize QR codes within iOS 11, as was discovered yesterday during the developer-focused beta launch of Apple's new mobile operating system. On current iterations of iOS, users have to find and download a third-party QR code scanning application if they wish to use their iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to scan a code.

When iOS 11 launches in the fall, the Camera app will natively provide a QR scanning function to all users. Some beta users have taken to Twitter to share a glimpse of the feature in action, and it appears expectedly straightforward: open the Camera app, point the iOS device at a QR code, and tap on the drop-down notification to act upon it.

qr code in ios 11 camera

A few examples of iOS 11 QR code scanning via @daytonlowell and @theronster

Some examples that have been shared include joining a Wi-Fi network, adding someone to your contacts, and -- presumably -- any other scanning opportunities currently offered by QR code technology. The feature is turned on by default, but can be toggled on/off within the Camera section of the Settings app.

Check out the MacRumors iOS 11 tidbits post for more information about what can be found in the newest version of iOS.

Top Rated Comments

arggg14 Avatar
47 months ago
These are still a thing? I guess much more useful now that I don't have to find an app to read them first.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
longofest Avatar
47 months ago

Two thoughts:
#1 - QR Codes became a thing about 9 years ago, and then stopped being a thing (at least outside of package tracking) around 5 years ago. So Apple is quite late to this party. Maybe it'll come back now that iPhones support it.
#2 - At least it's coming at all. During the keynote it was only mentioned on a Chinese specific features slide, so I thought it would be handled like Emojis were initially, where it was limited to specific regions for no technical reason.

These are still a thing? I guess much more useful now that I don't have to find an app to read them first.

I’ve never used QR before in my life am I missing out?

QR codes are still used, and are handy. I use a QR code any time I go to the movies or to a sporting event as my virtual ticket to display on my smartphone. I see QR codes on development notices that go up around me that can link to more detail about what the development will entail. I also see stores display them with more information about a product, etc... I don't personally use those, but I see them.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
47 months ago


#2 - At least it's coming at all. During the keynote it was only mentioned on a Chinese specific features slide, so I thought it would be handled like Emojis were initially, where it was limited to specific regions for no technical reason.

I think it was mentioned on that Chinese-centric slide because QR codes are still a HUGE thing in China. Mobile payments in China reached US$5.5 trillion <--(that's a 't' btw) in 2016 and the majority of that was done using, you guessed it, QR codes. So to say they stopped being a thing is entirely dependent upon the perspective in which it's viewed. US consumer perspective - QR codes aren't as pervasive anymore. From Apple's business and Chinese consumer's perspective - QR codes are the bee's knees.

I assume from Apple's view, it's much more efficient to just enable QR code reading overall instead of making it regional.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
roland.g Avatar
47 months ago
Long overdue.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nicho Avatar
47 months ago
if anyone hasn't experienced the magic of QR codes, i live in China right now.

yesterday I went to a restaurant with my visiting family. at the end i asked for the bill (hadn't been there in a while) - turns out, they have a system compatible with wechat, alipay and another qr-code based payment system. scan the QR code on the corner of your table, it shows you the bill for your table - including pictures of everything you ordered, not just the text, making it easier to see if something's wrong. then you follow through the steps and pay. that's it. their system knows you've paid, you don't have to waste time queueing up to pay at the desk or waiting for the card machine to be brought to you (hint: this restaurant is veeeeeeery popular, and there's a lot of people there at any one time. it's china after all).

there are a lot of applications where qr codes just make more sense than NFC.

i can totally see ios 11.1 launching a qr code version of apple pay for china, accessible from the lock screen camera and then following the usual fingerprint authorisation procedures.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArtOfWarfare Avatar
47 months ago
Two thoughts:
#1 - QR Codes became a thing about 9 years ago, and then stopped being a thing (at least outside of package tracking) around 5 years ago. So Apple is quite late to this party. Maybe it'll come back now that iPhones support it.
#2 - At least it's coming at all. During the keynote it was only mentioned on a Chinese specific features slide, so I thought it would be handled like Emojis were initially, where it was limited to specific regions for no technical reason.
[doublepost=1496759572][/doublepost]

I’ve never used QR before in my life am I missing out?

No. When they were a thing, they were just an image you could point your iPhone at so it would visit a website. Normally the URL for the website was written out next to the image. Just for some URLs, it's quicker/easier to use the QR reader then to manually type out the URL.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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