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iPhone app review: AT&T Code Scanner

June 16, 2011

I recently had occasion to procure a shiny new iPhone 4 (read: old iPhone died) and have been trying out all kinds of apps given all the space I now have to fill.  I’ve been looking at iOS payments, finance, investing, shopping, and marketing apps in particular.

Based upon my investigations, and building on the groundwork Travis Robertson laid with his previous series of Android QR code reader reviews, I thought I’d kick off a new intermittent series of iPhone app reviews by looking at the best QR, UPC, and Data Matrix code scanner I’ve come across for iOS to date.

That iPhone code reader is the AT&T Code Scanner (click here to download).  Watch the Youtube video embedded below (or click here if the embed isn’t working) for an overview of the scanner and how it works.

If you’re like me, you’re thinking “What?!?”.  It is a bit non-obvious why AT&T would have a code reader of their own.  Maybe it’s to increase traffic, though I believe the app will work over other networks, too.  Or maybe it’s to keep a finger on the pulse of things since clicking on a scanned link hits AT&T’s server first, thus recording what link you scanned in via the reader.

Whatever the reason AT&T decided to offer it, their app is a good scanner.  Here’s the skinny from my perspective.

Positives:  Fast.  Locks onto a code placed inside the screen input box usually before you even get a chance to get the code centered or focused upon (see the blurry example below showing one code I scanned for an idea of just how forgiving AT&T’s app is).  Offers to connect you to the encoded information (often a URL but the app also supports scanning note, phone call, and contact card information among other things) very quickly after scanning the code.  Also offers options to create your own codes via an AT&T site and to configure a number of settings for how you are notified when you scan something.


Click here to read the complete review on the PayPal X Developer Network including a look at app negatives and my overall impression and rating of it.


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  1. How do I email scanned leads to myself? When I go to the email option it just says, “There is currently no SMS history.

  2. Layne, I’ve emailed links after I opened them using the AT&T Code Scanner, i.e. email from Safari if scanning opens a web page, from Youtube if it opens a video, etc. Hope that helps!

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