Check it out – and thanks to the author, whoever they are!
Just publishing an updated list of real estate websites powered by our API and technology in partnership with the Contra Costa Association of REALTORS. See the product description and more details here: http://www.ccartoday.com/public/pressbuilder-websites
We are always happy to help research and understand the consumer experience with QR codes, as well as the limits of QR code customization. As such, we coordinated briefly with the folks at Ohio State University in the AIDC (Automatic Identification and Data Capture Lab) as they prepared to test the limits of the consumer experience with styled QR codes.
If nothing else, running through their short scan test of various code designs will let you help understand what consumers experience is like with various scanners and designer codes, and give you a chance to marvel at some more of Patrick Donnelly’s exceptional work.
So, get your scanner out, and take the online scanning test here – it takes all of 5 minutes to get through: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/QRCode_Research
For the past few years one of the best deals in the technology space has been the free version of google apps. Email, documents, calendaring and a whole lot more – for free, so long as your business did not have more than 10 users.
Sure, storage limits applied for the google mailboxes and documents, but the limits were very reasonable for most users. If you wanted branded email @yourdomain, plus all the power of the google apps environment and cloud based services, google apps free version was a great deal.
If you already submitted your domain to google apps and are using the free version, rest assured, google apparently intends to continue to honor your free user status. If not, however, you will need to pay $50 per user per year (or $5 per user per month if not prepaid) for the suite of services.
Technically this makes google apps one of the pricier solutions out there, at least at a glance. Many major hosting providers will sell you email and related services at less than half of that cost. However, the case can still easily be made that google apps continues to be a very good bargain considering the cloud based nature of the services, the tight integration between documents, calendaring, and email, as well as the overall storage space provided.
Add to that the growing power of the apps marketplace, where you can still find great apps that integrate with the core services painlessly, and often for free with certain limitations, and I can still comfortably recommend google apps as a solid deal and a good way to move much of your business off of your ‘single point of failure’ local device and into the cloud.
If you point your browser over to apps.google.com this morning and click ‘pricing’ you will see that there is no longer a free option. Google does still give you a 30 day trial with no cost and no commitment, and their pricing for now appears to be the same for the standard version of their offering. For the cost of a holiday flavored latte you get a really robust set of tools, ideal for small and medium team and brokerage environments, with 25 GB of email and 5GB of Drive (formerly docs) storage.
Alas, unless you submitted your domain for the free version prior to early December, the free version is now dead. Google estimated its profits for this set of services last year at around 1 Billion dollars, and we can expect that amount to grow now that the free ride is no longer available.
Do you like money? How about saving yourself some money during the holiday shopping season? Then point your web browser over to SidePon.com and start saving money effortlessly as you shop online.
They aren’t leveraging QR codes yet, but when we stumble across a cool service we like to share it with you!
Coupon sites like Groupon have been all the rage over the past few years of course – but this is the most simple, yet sophisticated way that we have found to take your coupon experience with you in your browser wherever you go online.
How to get started? Simple, just point your browser to SidePon.com. Start typing the name of your favorite shopping website (e.g. Target.com, etc.).
Then just click ‘Launch SidePon’ for the store you want to shop…
SidePon will load your store website, and populate its coupon bar with coupons for that store!
All you have to do now is shop! As you shop, scroll through the relevant coupons, click to copy the coupon code, and start saving money.
With positive reviews from consumers, and from major app reviewers like TechCrunch and KillerStartups, this service seems like a minimally invasive, super simple way to save money as you shop online.
We applaud the simplicity and effectiveness of the webapp, and look forward to hearing more about the service as it continues to grow its user and coupon base.
The new QRstyler platform is now available, and it packs in a lot of new features. One of the slickest of these new features from our development team is the ability to change the target URL of a QR code even after you have started marketing with that code.
Print you code once, and have the flexibility to redirect where it points whenever you want!
How is this possible? Earlier versions of Qrstyler leveraged the popular bit.ly URL shortener to help control the length of the URL and redirect your codes scans. While this was an effective solution, it slowed down the scan response ever so slightly, and more importantly it locked in the target URL for you codes.
After examining how our global customer base used our platform, we determined that the best way to offer performance and flexibility was to internalize our URL shortener. So we rolled our own, which means that all the tracking, as well as the ability to redirect your code to a different target URL, is baked right into QRstyler.
We were the first custom QR encoder on the planet, and we continue to try to raise the bar for our subscribers with great, free functionality.
Create a free account and start encoding, and now redirecting, today! Just pop on over to QRstyler.com to get started.
Need more capabilities, custom designs, and more? Upgrade to premium to access our design services, flexible landing pages and mobile lead capturing QR campaigns. Just drop us a line at email@example.com.
Creating stylish custom QR codes with the QRstyler platform is fun and easy. Now more than ever with the release of our new platform.
But businesses need be able to track their codes effectiveness. And with the lead capturing QR campaign codes our new platform offers, you need to be able to track and administer your campaigns effectiveness as well.
The new QRstyler platform includes a state of the art tracking interface designed specifically to let you easily track the performance of your codes, how many scans and leads they are delivering, and more!
Track any code that you have made with poweerful metrics that are easy to access, and easy to read. Get an immediate sense of your codes impact, and usage, by time, mobile device type, and location.
Want to see more tracking features? Just drop our team a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When this author was solicited by C|Net to be interviewed for a story regarding QR code adoption and best practices, I was more than happy to comply. Of course, the media typically has a motive that isn’t always revealed in the pre-interview brief. That was certainly the case here, as during the interview I was repeatedly asked to speak to the potential for QR code abuse.
Of course, my preference was really to speak to QR code best practices. The idea that QR codes can be abused, e.g. that someone can send you someplace you don’t want to go post scan, is certainly nothing new. But the reality is, the vast majority of ‘bad behavior’ happening online is the result of malware delivered via email and direct browser linking, and search engine poisoning. The simple fact is that at this time, there are many times more known exploits for desktop/laptop browsers than there are for smartphones and tablets. Like on the order of 100 to 1.
So every time I was asked the question about the potential for abuse for QR codes, I was forced to point out that the threat vector is so new, so different from what malware and virus authors have been doing for years, the hardware platforms (smartphones and tablets) so much tighter and better controlled via updates and controlled operating systems, that the topic was basically nonsensical. In my time in the technology space I have seen thousands of laptops and desktops compromised by malware and viruses. I have never once seen a smartphone compromised by malware. Not once.
Still, as I mentioned, it is all a question of the threat vector. As smartphone and tablet usage has exploded, there has certainly been a lot of interest by the bad people out there with too much time on their hands in trying to figure out how to abuse them. Making QR codes, or physical hyperlinks, the ‘bad guys’ in this little drama is still rather silly. All QR codes do is to help you get from the offline to the online. Scan the code, go to the resource encoded. Just like links on a webpage. Still, this is an issue that we at QRstyler have been looking at for some time. As the first custom QR encoder on the planet, we feel a certain responsibility to help to raise the bar in the QR code space.
When I first heard discussions of ‘is it really safe to scan QR codes’ in late 2011, I worked (admittedly between hearty chuckles) with our team to envision a way to raise the consumers confidence in the simple but immensely powerful QR code technology.
That is when our team first came up with our ‘safe scan’ feature. Now to be clear, there is nothing anyone can do, anywhere, on any platform, to absolutely guarantee a safe experience. The best you can do is to use common sense, best practices, and trusted sources. One of those trusted sources out there is google. And one thing google offers is their ‘safe browsing API.’
Now an API is just a fancy acronym for a platform to let developers like those on our team integrate their system into an existing platform. Safe browsing is fairly self explanatory – this is a list of URLs that google maintains of known or suspected compromised websites. If a URL is not on that list, there is a very high degree of probability that they are safe to visit. Thousands of services leverage this database, and now QRstyler is one of them.
In the newest version of our application, we check every URL encoded on our platform in real time against this API. If it doesn’t pass google’s API, we do not allow it to be encoded. Even if it does, we check against their platform again whenever a consumer scans that QR code before we route them to that website. Every QR code that is generated on our platform is then given a badge of safety that they can publish or print with their final custom QR code.
Simply put, our safe scanning encoder is the first QR code generator to offer the consumer that extra degree of confidence in what they are scanning. This fits perfectly into our platforms vision about adding context (as well as style and brand) to every QR code our platform generates.
So look for the ‘deemed safe by google’ badge on every QR code that you scan, and scan with confidence!
This author scans a lot of QR codes. I scan them because I enjoy the ease of access to information that QR codes provide; but I also scan them in the course of my business. Making custom QR code templates for businesses, and embedding them in our first-of-its-kind QRstyler application so they can leverage them endlessly, requires me to scan codes constantly.
When we create a custom QR code template, businesses end up with more than just one code; they can leverage their custom, brand extending design as often as they want, creating unique custom codes for different URLs, QR campaigns and much more.
So when I opened my favorite QR code scanning application, called i-nigma, I got a pleasant surprise. The app now loads and is ‘scan ready’ in about half the time. While the app on my iphone only took about 2 seconds to load and enter scan mode previously, that delay, multiplied by thousands of scans, actually did have an impact. I was more than happy to wait the extra moment, since i-nigma is such a robust, ad free, free to use scanner.
i-nigma will scan virtually anything
What is the difference you ask? Aren’t all free QR code scanning applications the same?
Not at all. First, i-nigma does not serve ads, which is a must for my purposes. Second, and more importantly, i-nigma will scan virtually anything. The reason that the app took that extra moment to load is that their custom decoding algorithms are so amazing. You could literally take a business card with a QR code on it, place it in the washing machine with a load of rocks, and run a full cycle, and i-nigma would still scan the code.
Customized QR codes that embed a graphic ‘call to action,’ use corporate colors, and offer a sense of context to what they scan to are increasing rapidly. Just see the example above to get a sense of what our application can do. And as designers push the envelope in creating highly customized, beautiful QR codes, having a robust QR code scanning application saves the consumer time and ensures a positive experience.
Not only is i-nigma’s updated app faster to load, while still being the most capable scanner on the planet; it is also a little more fun to use now. The streamlined new interface is easier on the eyes, and gives instant access to help, your history of scans, favorites and more. These options were always there in the previous versions, but now it just feels more intuitive.
My hat goes off again to i-nigma. If you are searching for an answer to the question ‘what is the best free QR code scanner app for iOS or android,’ the answer is still i-nigma. Maybe now more than ever!
Just search your app store for i-nigma to start scanning with the best today.
Well, seems like we are on a bit of a roll, so why not keep it going. This guy does some COOL stuff – and he seems to have a significant breadth of talent, which we love (lots of us at QRstyler.com are, how do you say, massively parallel?).
If you have an online web presence, and are looking for ways to legitimately increase your traffic (you know, the kind of SEO stickiness that actually sticks, and doesn’t end up getting you delisted from google), we suggest you take an online stroll over to mattsonlinetraining.com