iPhones with iOS11 support native QR Code Reading

ios11 qr code reader iphone

This is kind of breaking news in the QR Code world: iPhones with iOS11 now support QR Code Reading with the native camera app out of the box!

That means finally all 3rd party QR Code Reader are obsolete. No reading problems anymore, no ads displayed, no spy-calling-home-apps in the background necessary – Apple now supports just simple, fast and reliable QR Code decoding with the built-in camera app!

For marketers this means using QR Codes in advertising might be a game changer. It is super easy now for users to scan QR Codes. There is no technical barrier anymore because installing a third-party-app is no longer necessary.

The new ios11 is available since middle of September 2017 depending where you are located. The QR Code reading function supports all types of QR Codes. Have a closer look here:


When you open the camera app and you hold the camera over a QR Code, the app will display a small box in the upper screen with the QR Code type and the action to be performed. When the camera recognizes a URL, the app suggests opening the URL in the Safari browser.

website qr-code

Create a Website QR Code



Finally, Apple decided to allow connecting to Wi-Fi networks directly through a QR Code. This was not possible before using a third-party app.

wi-fi qrcode

Create a Wi-Fi QR Code



When creating a QR Code with a vCard encoded, Apple devices now recognize the contact information and offer to add the contact to the address book. However, please note that static vCards have limit space for contact information and that data cannot not be changed after the QR Code has been printed. Moreover, users have reported that the internal camera app replaces the first name with the last name and vice versa and there are problems decoding UTF-8 characters. To overcome these issues, we recommend you to use Mobile Business Card QR Code as an alternative for rich contact information.

vcard qr-code ios11 add to contacts

Create a vCard QR Code



With a calender QR Code you can encode an event to a QR Code that is added directly to the calendar when scanned.

calendar qr-code for events

Create a Calendar QR Code



With a short message encoded in a QR Code you can send an SMS right away to a mobile phone number

message qr-code

Create Message QR Code


There are many more QR Code types that can be decoded by the new operating system of Apple, like PHONE QR CODES, MAPS QR CODE, MAIL QR CODE



Another cool feature introduced by Apple is that QR Codes with mobile deep links encoded may redirect you directly into an App. For example, a deep link fb://profile/797956836984515 will open the Facebook App on your Phone and jump to our Facebook company page.

facebook mobile deep linking qr code


Please use such deep links with caution! If someone scans the QR Code from above and the Facebook App is not installed, the QR Code simple does not work!

mobile deep link to non-installed app


Instead of using deep links we recommend using Facebook QR Codes. They first check if the App is installed and if not, the browser with the Facebook page is opened as a fallback.

Create Facebook QR Code


We think that removing the need of a third-party app to decode QR Codes, will have a boost in people scanning QR Codes. The low technical barrier for scanning and the high dissemination will make QR Codes again a valuable tool in the marketing world.

Please let us know what you think about the new reading feature or if you want to see other types of QR Code here.




Peter is the founder of the QR Code Platform qrd.by. He is a QR Code enthusiast and consults agencies with his expertise to launch successfull QR Code campaigns. Get in touch with him on:


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