Many smart phones and mobile devices are capable of scanning QR codes out of the box. Any phone with a camera and a 2D code reading app will also be able to scan QR codes.
Nearly all phones running the Android operating system have a QR scanner included, as do the latest BlackBerry devices. Both the Android Market and BlackBerry App World also offer scanning apps as well.
iPhone users have several options at the Apple app store, as a QR reader is included as part of the iOS. Options for QR code apps from the Apple app store include Optiscan, Qrafter, and QRReader. QRReader is available for free.
Nokia phones running the Symbian operating system come with a pre-installed scanner that can read both UPC bar codes as well as QR codes. Phones that run the Maemo operating system have an app called mbarcode which can also read both the UPC bar codes as well as the QR codes.
Windows phone users can download an app called QuickMarks to be able to scan QR codes on their phones.
One of the most robust and popular QR scanner is from BeeTagg. Not only does it read the nearly ubiquitous QR codes, but it can also read Datamatrix and its own proprietary BeeTagg codes.
This is a sampling of some of the apps available capable of reading QR codes.
When shopping for an app, consider not only the price (free is always attractive), but also the robustness. Many of the free or los-cost apps will read QR codes only. While the QR code is widely used by retail companies and aimed at consumers, some organizations, such as many associated with the US government like the Department of Defense or the US Postal Service have adopted the Datamatrix as their standard 2D code.
Be a smart consumer and evaluate if an app’s capabilities match your scanning needs to determine if it’s the right app for you.