Nir Sofer has released a new program called SimpleCode Generator. It allows you to convert links to QR Codes that you can use with any smartphone.
This can help you when you want to visit a mobile version of a website, it is also convenient if you would like to continue reading an article on the go.
Let's take a tour of the application. SimpleCodeGenerator has a minimal interface. See that text box at the top of the window? You can paste a URL in it and hit the "Generate QR Code" button afterwards. The program will create a QR Code image for the given link, and display it in the large empty space of the GUI.
To use the image, switch to your smartphone and fire up your QR Code scanner app if you have one. Some mobile browsers such as Firefox have a built-in QR Code scanner. Tap on the "New Tab" button/menu or on the address bar, and you should see a "Scan" button with a QR Code symbol next to it, tap on it to open the browser's scanner. You may be required to give permission for the browser to access the camera.
Once you have done that, point your phone's camera and focus on the QR Code created by SimpleCodeGenerator. The camera app should convert it to a URL that can be opened in your mobile's browser. That was really easy, wasn't it? Try scanning the following image, it should open Ghacks' homepage.
The program isn't restricted to links per se; what I mean is that you can use it to generate QR Codes for text content too. If you are going to do that, you may want to click on the 4th icon on the toolbar, or hit the F7 key, to switch to the multiple lines mode. Beyond a cool way to share texts or secret messages, I don't really see a point of this. But maybe you will find it useful.
SimpleCodeGenerator isn't a groundbreaking program, in my opinion. There are browser add-ons which offer a similar feature. I have been using the Send Tab to device feature in Firefox for a long time. A few months ago, I came across an add-on called QR Code, which places a button in the address bar. All you have to do is click on it to generate a QR code for the current web page. While the extension does support saving the QR Code to an image file, it is restricted to a single format, SVG.
SimpleCodeGenerator on the other hand, offers more options, it can save the QR Code in 5 image formats: PNG, GIF, JPG, TIFF and BMP. Use the hotkey Ctrl + S to save the image, you'll need to type the file extension when naming the file, to save it in a specific format. Click the copy image button on the toolbar, and you can paste the QR code in other programs, which is useful if you want to share it using instant messaging services and social networks.
SimpleCodeGenerator is freeware and works offline, as is the extension I mentioned.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.