Frequently Asked Questions

How do I scan a code?

To help you better understand how to use Scan, here is a link to a video explanation of the app:

What types of codes does Scan recognize?

Scan currently recognizes QR Codes and certain 1D barcodes (UPC, EAN, ISBN). Scan does not support micro QR codes or data matrix codes.

The types of codes supported by Scan represent a vast majority of the codes intended for public use. Many of the unsupported code types are used only for private, industrial purposes. By supporting the most popular code types, Scan is able to read codes much faster than other scanning apps. Adding support for more types of codes would only make the scanning experience slower and less reliable.

I've tried everything, and the code won't scan. What's wrong?

Please be aware that scanning depends on a number of factors including your device's camera resolution. Some devices have cameras with low resolution, which makes scanning more difficult. Other factors include the complexity of the QR code, lighting, focus, angle of scanning, QR code size, and distance from the camera to the code.

Here are some things you can try in case scanning doesn't seem to work:

  • Try scanning in better lighting (or turn on the light if your device has one)
  • Make sure the code isn't overly complex (meaning too many black & white blocks within the code)
  • Make sure the code isn't partially covered, smeared, faded, or damaged
  • Make sure the camera is able to focus clearly on the code (you want sharp edges on the code blocks) - note that your device may not have a camera that can auto-focus
  • Try a variety of distances from the code for scanning (it doesn't necessarily need to fill the green guide frame - it can sometimes read better when appearing smaller on the screen)
  • Make sure you are not trying to scan at an odd angle to the code (the code needs to appear completely square on the screen)

I successfully scanned a code, and nothing seems to happen. What's wrong?

You may have successfully scanned something, but whether or not you see something useful depends on a number of factors:

  • If the code links to a website (as most are), you need to have a working Internet connection on your device; otherwise, you may just see a blank screen as it tries to load. You may need to check your device and Internet settings.
  • Scan does not control (or ensure the reliability of) all scanned content. For this reason, you may experience loading issues due to errors, outages, or malformed content residing on systems that Scan does not control. For QR codes, this is determined by the creator/publisher of the QR code. You may need to contact the owner or administrator of the code creator/publisher.
  • If you would like to create your own QR code content, we recommend using our QR code generator in order to provide useful, mobile-friendly content for yourself or your business.

Is there a way to delete a single history item instead of the whole list?

In Scan for iOS you can swipe left or right on a single history item to reveal a "Delete" button. Tapping on the "Delete" button will remove the corresponding entry from your history.

Do I need to sign up in order to use the scanner?

No, there is no account required to use Scan.

Is the Scan app Secure?

We don't store any information except that which relates to your scans. We store the time, the place, the content, etc. This is to help you remember what you were scanning or what you were searching for. Our servers are secure and we use industry standard encryption

Why isn't the sound playing on the video I scanned?

Video sound should play. The obvious things, that you've probably already tried, are to make sure your volume is up and not muted. Something that has worked on iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, etc.) is turning the mute switch on the side off and on again. You may also try messing with the rotation lock settings on an iOS device.

How can I download your app?

You can find all of our apps for download on our download page. Some people have had some problems finding our free version on the App Store. If you search for "QR Code Reader by Scan" it will show up.

How do I create a code?

We recommend using our QR code generator.

What is a QR code?

Most simply put, QR codes are 2D codes which can be scanned using a smart phone to access information or take some sort of digital action. For example, a business can create a QR code which links to their Facebook page so that when customers scan the code with their phone, they can view the Facebook page and instantly "Like" that that business ("Scan to Like"). Other actions may include "Scan to Follow" on Twitter, "Scan to Survey" for customer feedback, "Scan to Watch" on YouTube, and more. Summarized, QR codes are powerful hyperlinks for the real world.

How can I share or distribute my code?

Because QR codes are so easily scannable from both print and digital surfaces, distribution and sharing possibilities are near endless. The following is a short list of some the most popular ways to successfully share and distribute your QR codes:

  • Business Cards. Quick and easy way to network and exchange contact information.
  • Signs and Posters. Share more information and gain customers for products, events, and more.
  • Email footers. Another way for people to connect with you.
  • Flyers. Promote your event, service, business and more.
  • Placards. Great for restaurant tables, desks, bars, and more.
  • Storefront Windows. Enable customers and walk-by traffic to interact with your business like never before.
  • Events. Many use QR codes at trade shows, booths, concerts, sporting events, and more.
  • Print advertisements. QR codes are a great way to add analytic tracking to print advertisements like never before.
  • Product packaging. Enable your customers to find out more about your product.
  • Apparel. QR codes can be easily scanned from T-shirts, wristband, and other swag and apparel items.

What are some best practices for using a QR code?

QR codes are powerful and their capabilities are near endless, however, it is important to follow these basic practices to get the most our of your codes:

Test Your Code

Before distributing your code, make sure it works. Practice scanning it yourself.

Color, Border, and Size

These all have effect on the scannability of your codes. Darker colors scan easier than lighter. It is important for there to be sufficient padding/border space around your code. And lastly, if a QR code is too small, most smart phones able to scan it. To avoid these issues, it is best to test your codes before distribution.

Clear Call to Action

Tell people why they should make the effort to scan the code.

Deliver Real Value

Reward people for scanning your code. It's not enough to simply send them to your website. Do your best to link to something of value like a coupon, a video, special content, etc.

Mobile Friendly Content

Because most people will be scanning your codes with their smart phones, it is important that the content of the code is mobile friendly. This means the content should be formatted for mobile screens and quick and easy to interact with.

Scanned barcodes on products doesn't support other currencies besides USD

Right now we get all our pricing data from a provider that doesn't have local currencies or prices. We are working on adding this and we know it is important. Thanks for your patience and for using Scan!

Does the Scan app have a URI scheme?

Yes, the Scan apps on iOS and Android support a URI scheme. Here are all of the actions we support:

Launching the app

scan://scan, will open the Scan app (if installed) and bring it to the scanning interface.

Getting the results from the scan

If you'd like to launch Scan and receive the results of the next scanned item, you can use scan://scan?callback=YOUR_URI where YOUR_URI is a URI-encoded string containing the URI/URL of your app or website. In this case, after the user has scanned something in Scan, they will be transferred back to your app/website with an appended URL query parameter named scanned_data, which contains the text of the scanned content.

Getting the scanned result in a parameter

For example, you could (from your app) open scan://scan?callback=myapp%3A%2F%2Fmyaction (a callback to myapp://myaction), which would take the user to the Scan app. If the user then scanned a barcode or QR Code with the contents "12345678", then Scan would launch myapp://myaction?scanned_data=12345678 (which you could catch and use however you like).

Getting the scanned result somewhere else

If you want the scanned text/data to be somewhere different in your callback URI (for example, http://example.com/products/12345678/) you can just make the callback include the string SCANNED_DATA (all uppercase). Where ever that text is found, it will be replaced with the scanned text/data. In this example, you'd open scan://scan?callback=http%3A%2F%2Fexample.com%2Fproducts%2FSCANNED_DATA%2F (a callback to http://example.com/products/SCANNED_DATA/).

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