It has been quite a while since I posted my iPhone QR Code Scanner Round-up. Since then, I have made the switch to an Android phone. I’m now sporting a gigantic Samsung Note 2.

So, obviously, I should do a Droid QR scanner comapro. Here it is!

As before, I scanned the following types of QR codes:

  • URL
  • Phone Number
  • SMS
  • email
  • vCard 3.0
  • MeCard
  • vCalendar
  • Google Maps
  • GPS coordinates
  • Free Formatted Text

And again, I created each QR Code with Kerem Erkan’s generator. It is still the best one out there.

This time around, I was much less willing to offer half points. Generally, it either functioned in a usable way or it didn’t. 7 half points out of 90 total tests were awarded where the scanner functioned enough to be of use, but not 100% as expected. If you are interested, here is the spreadsheet I put together with the specific faults for each app/code combination.

Easy QR Code Toolbox

Score: 2/10
Cost: FREE

We start with the bottom of the barrel. This app scans rather quickly but it seems that it doesn’t want to do anything once it scans the code. It pops up a message letting you know that it scanned, then it just sits there, begging you to give it another shot. Next!

Google Goggles

Score: 4/10
Cost: FREE

This one has a REALLY low score, but is still a great one to have. Why? well because you aren’t going to use it as a QR Code reader. It does some great things with search. It is THE search tool to use for visuals. Instead of typing something or speaking a phrase to search, use the camera. It works well for product barcodes as well. While it is poor for QR Codes, it is awesome for a lot of other thing.

Score: 4/10
Cost: FREE

ScanLife / AT&T Code Scanner

Score: 7/10
Cost: FREE

We are quickly getting into the apps that get a passing score. This one has a serious drawback though. It is slow to scan. It doesn’t want to do much with GPS or Google Maps QR codes and it isn’t fully compliant with email… where it really leaves you hanging is the most common type of QR Code, the URL. It loads into its own browser and the couple pages I tried were rendered too large for the screen and quite unusable.

AT&T seems to have decided to include their skinned/branded version of ScanLife on their Droid devices, so these two are listed together. Both apps behave identically.


Score: 7.5/10
Cost: FREE

Here is another passing score, but really, why bother? It has a lite version and a non-lite version on the Play store, but both are currently free. It makes a cute (annoying) sound when it scans. It does scan the most common QR Code types and it gives you a preview of the main image and page title when you cans a URL code. Some shortcomings are not giving you all the expected options when you scan a Vcard or phone number.

QR Barcode Scanner

Score: 8.5/10
Cost: FREE

We are now getting into the acceptable range. This one is relatively quick and seems to do just about everything you’d expect with the exception of SMS. It also doesn’t load the subject or message when scanning an email QR Code.

Barcode Scanner

Score: 9.5/10
Cost: FREE

This on is quick and simple. My only two gripes are that it, like many others, doesn’t load straight to the scanner. The only scanning issue I had was the Google Maps QR Code. It doesn’t know to launch the navigation apps, it wants to load the browser, but that works too, just not what was expected.

Finally, there is a tie for the lead!

i-nigma / QR Droid Private

Score: 10/10
Cost: FREE

Both of these scanned all 10 types of QR codes and offered all the options you’d want for each type of code. YAY!

Between the two, I probably liked QR Droid the best. It’s interface seemed a bit better laid out. QR Droid also lets you generate QR codes, but I’ve not tested how compliant they are. It also launches slight quicker i-nigma has a nice feature that lets you zoom into a QR Code, that maybe useful if your code is on a billboard or some place where you can’t get close enough to.

For me, I’m keeping both of these on my phone. The rest have already been uninstalled. What pains me is that the QR code scanning experience is already fragile enough. I can only imagine that many people have stopped using them because they started with inferior apps.