The Beacon Uses QR Codes, Short for “Quick Response”

Here's how to use them with your smartphone

By Ken Wells
Use your smartphone camera to access the Beacon’s homepage with this QR Code.

As you look through this issue of the Beacon, you may notice something new. Those “checkerboard things”, like the one pictured with this article, are called “QR codes” (for “quick response”) and they allow you to use your smartphone to navigate effortlessly from the printed page to online content. This is exciting, because it means that the monthly Beacon is now linked to dynamic online content that can be updated weekly, daily, or even in real time!

Why is this great? First, it will allow Beacon readers to access detailed information such as Town committee minutes, directly from the Beacon to the official Town of Andover committee webpage. Second, it will allow organizations and advertisers to share up-to-the-minute information, such as our advertiser’s “Weekly Specials”, or the ever-expanding Andover Hub’s “Calendar of Events” . Finally, it will even allow readers to make online purchases or donations with advertisers and organizations. Look for the Andover Hub’s homepage QR code, and the “Donate to the Beacon” QR codes printed in this issue, to test them out!

If you have an iPhone (iOS 8 or newer) or an Android smartphone, you can scan QR Codes to easily view the linked website, without typing in an awkwardly long web address. Your camera app is capable of scanning QR Codes on both of these operating systems.
Here’s how you do it:  Just point your smartphone camera at the code. While the camera is focused on the code, you will see a yellow rectangle around the image and a QR button will appear at the bottom of your camera screen. Just click that button and the webpage will automatically open in your browser.

Older smartphones can read QR codes too, but you may need to download a free app such as “QR Scanner”. To read a QR code with the app, just open the app and point the camera at the code. It will ask you to click to confirm that you wish to open the webpage.

Send an email to to tell us about your QR experience, and include your suggestions about what kind of content you would like to see QR-linked in the pages of the Beacon.