QR codes just don’t seem to be going away. In fact, they appear to be growing in popularity, as apps like Snapchat, Kik, and Messenger adopt them. You can even find QR codes on food labeling, and Amazon has begun using the matrix barcode on some of its packaging. Even if you’re a fan of scanning QR codes, you might not be crazy about having to use a separate app just for that purpose. Google has come to your rescue, adding its own QR code scanner into Chrome.
Exercise caution with QR codes
Before we go any further, let me explain why you need to be careful about QR codes. These things are a security risk each and every time you scan one, because you haven’t the foggiest clue where it’s going to take you. You could end up on a phishing page or a site loaded up with malware. If you just go nuts and scan every QR code you come across, you might end up in hot water.
Now, what’s this about Chrome having a QR code scanner?
Google seems to throw some of the caution to the wind, and has recently updated its Chrome for iOS app to include its own QR scanner. You can now read in the matrix code straight from your browser, and go to the appropriate website. All of this happens inside the Google Chrome app now, so you don’t have to burden yourself with a separate piece of software just for QR codes. That means it’s even easier to save that website address for later, since you can just bookmark it within Chrome without copying and pasting anything.
How do I find Chrome’s QR code scanner?
Google has made it easy to get to the QR scanner, whether your iPhone has 3D Touch support or not. The first method for reading in the matrix barcode is through iOS’s Spotlight. Just swipe down from the top of your iPhone’s screen and type in “QR.” The option will appear to open Chrome and scan a QR code. That’s all there is to it. You don’t need an extra app at all anymore. In this example, the QR code leads to our own website.
If you have 3D Touch support on your iOS device, it’s even easier. Just deep press the Chrome icon, and you’ll see an option to activate the app’s built-in QR code scanner. Center the matrix barcode in the square, and you’ll quickly be surfing to the link behind the QR code.
Will QR scanning ever go completely native to iOS?
Of course, it would be pretty simple and easy to add QR code scanning capability into the Camera app on iOS. Apple has already put some of the capability into the iPhone, inside the Wallet app, where you can scan coupons, boarding passes, tickets, and so forth. It doesn’t work for any other QR codes, though. Why isn’t support for these matrix barcodes built fully into the mobile operating system, though?
The reason is the limited adoption, so far, of QR codes. Smartphone makers have been reluctant to put the functionality directly into their operating systems, and that’s likely to continue to be the case. That’s perfectly fine, though, now that Chrome has the feature.