Archive for the ‘iPad’ category

QR Codes

December 26, 2012

So what the heck is a QR Code? Maybe you’ve heard the term, maybe not. These days you see them everywhere. A QR code is that little square bar code thingy that one sees on advertising. Here’s an example:


QR codes typically can be found in advertising, product labels and the like. Sometimes you might see them on the back of a business card. They can be used to store pointer to a web site (URL) or just plain text. QR codes on the back of business card usually contain contact information.

You can see QR codes just about anywhere. You see them in ads and on labels. I’ve seen them on billboards, though I don’t think bill board placement is particularly useful. How are you going to scan the code from a moving vehicle. You think that texting while driving is bad? Try reading QR codes while driving.

So how does one read and decipher a QR Code? First thing that you need is a smart phone. There are several apps for decoding QR codes, many of them free. The app uses your phone camera to scan the code and then decode it. The app that I use on my iPhone is called QRReader. There is a free version and a $.99 version. The free version has ads. You pay the $.99 to get rid of the ads. Fairly simple to use. Just start the app and line up your phone about 2-3″ from the add. As soon as the code is in focus the app beeps to let you know that it has been captured.

Here’s an image of the code being scanned:

2012-12-26 11.21.58

The app also has the capability to create a QR code. Also, there are a number of QR code generator web apps, most of them free. Here’s an web app that I’ve used at You can either save your QR code as a JPEG file, email or print it.

There you have it. Now you can use QR codes to amaze and amuse your friends.

More Apps

December 26, 2012

Time to talk about some more iPhone and iPad apps. These are apps that I tend to use a lot and in no particular order. I will try to include a pointer to the app on the iTunes store and/or developer web site,

Genius Scan

Genius Scan utilizes the rear facing camera as a scanner. This is primarily an iPhone app, but it runs on any iPad with a rear facing camera. The app takes a picture using the camera, then it allows you to de-skew the image so that it is square. Here’s a couple of screen shots to explain what I mean.

Once you save the image as either color, b/w or greyscale, you can title, add tags, etc. Then you can either save to dropbox or email the document. There is a basic version (free) and a plus version ($2.99).


Waze is a GPS Mapping app. What makes Waze different from other mapping apps is that it free. Waze uses the network connection to update the Waze servers with information about traffic, road obstructions and police presence. It will suggests alternate routes when traffic is bogged down on your priority route. You can report accidents, slow downs and speed traps. You can optionally have those reports appear on Twitter and/or Facebook.

To use this app safely in a car, you will need to get some sort of windshield mount and a 12v power connector. You can find this stuff online at Amazon and other online etailers.

Here’s the iTunes link

Now for fun stuff. Let’s talk about games. Here are few of the games that I use to amuse myself when I’m bored and tired of reading.


Okay, I admit it. I’m a crossword puzzle junkie. The crossword puzzle app is called “Crosswords“. The Crosswords app automatically downloads passwords every day. You can choose which puzzles to download. If you have a subscription to crossword puzzle providers (like the NY Times puzzle) you can enter the username and password to download those puzzles.

You can also sync puzzles between IOS devices. You can start a puzzle on your iPad and finish it on your iPhone.

Word Warp

Word Warp is a word jumble game. Each round you are given six letters that you must unscramble into words. If you get any of the six letter words, you get to continue to the next round. Simple but amusing. Each round lasts 2 minutes. There is a free version with ads and a paid version without ads.

That’s enough for now. More post to come on apps.