QR deCODEr – Help

Important hints on how to use QR deCODEr:

Supported types of barcodes


QR deCODEr is meant to support so called QR codes only! (QR codes are 2D codes with normative squares in three of the four corners.) This is the primary purpose for this application. Ordinary barcodes and others are NOT SUPPORTED. The online decoding service behind QR deCODEr theoretically can decode a variety of different barcodes, but it is almost impossible to snap a picture with your Palm Pre (without autofocus) that is clear enough for this to work. So for now: QR codes only!!!

Image quality required for successful decoding


Image quality is key for successful decoding. QR deCODEr can handle a variety of image distortions, etc. but it can’t perform magic or miracles. Try to snap a picture of the code as clear and crisp as possible and remember these few rules:

- Clear, crisp and small rather than big and blurred. The decoder can deal with small codes quite well, not so much with blurred ones, no matter how big.
- No flash! The big white spot created by the camera’s flash makes the code unreadable (see images below)
- Steady and straight. Try not to take pictures from the weirdest possible perspective, have the camera point straight down on the code.
- Size matters (at least somewhat)! Try not to fill the whole screen with the code. It’s unnecessary and doesn’t help. Anything between extremely big and extremely small should work.


The Palm Pre & Pixi cameras have very limited focusing capabilities and no macro mode, so it’s not always possible to snap a picture good enough for decoding. Some codes are just too small, some ambient conditions just too dim or too bright to get a decent picture with a smartphone. If you find yourself in such a situation, you may give it a second or even third try and your picture might just be good enough for decoding but sometimes it just doesn’t work.

Server availability

This is a private, spare time project backed by limited resources. Seems the initial interest in the application exceeded the capabilities of my servers. I’m looking into how to fix this, but as said before: there are only limited resources for this project. So be patient! As soon as the initial heat cools down, decoding should work more reliably.

Update: An additional three servers are now available for decoding your snapshots. That will hopefully take care of all the “server unavailable” issues. I simply didn’t expect over 2000 downloads and 4000 decoding requests in less than 24 hours.


  1. why did you remove the app from the preware link? It works real well. Thanks.

    • I didn’t remove it from anywhere. In fact, I had no idea the app was listed on preware to begin with.

  2. Hi, I just downloaded the QR deCODEr and I was able to use it for the first time without any trouble. I have a question regarding using it for future use though: I took a photo of a code for a program to send a text message to someplace. After taking the photo, QR deCODEr successfully scanned and coded all of the information, so that the destination number for where to send the text appeared, as well as any text that needed to be added in the beginning of the message. My question for you is how can I use this to send a future text message to the same place. In other words, what happened to that code that I took the picture of? I can no longer find it in the QR deCODEr or in the photos section of my phone. When I attempted to send a text to that same sender, the number was not store in my phone. So, is something like this (QR deCODEr) really for one time use only or do people have to take a photo of the code each time they wish (in my case) to send a text to this sender? Sorry, but this is my first time using this technology!

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