iOS 17 will finally fix this annoying iPhone camera problem

QR code interface on iPhone
The current QR code interface on iPhone (Image credit: Future / Apple)

Apple’s iOS operating system is exceptionally intuitive and easy to use, but that doesn’t mean the platform is completely free of annoying quirks. 

Take QR codes, for example. Apple introduced support for scanning QR codes with the iPhone’s Camera app in iOS 11, but when viewing a code, the link popup would appear as a pesky push notification at the top of the interface. 

Then, in iOS 13, Apple mixed things up by placing that yellow link button within the camera viewfinder itself – which was an improvement on the previous method, but still a source of frustration for many, particularly those with supersized iPhones whose thumbs had to hyperextend just to select the link. 

In iOS 17, though, Apple appears to have come up with a universal solution for all iPhone sizes and finger lengths. As spotted by 9to5Mac, when you scan a QR code in iOS 17, the link button instantly appears at the bottom of the Camera app interface, making it much easier to tap with your thumb (in the same way that the Safari search bar now appears at the bottom of the screen).

The updated QR code interface on iPhone

The updated QR code interface on iPhone (Image credit: 9to5Mac)

There is actually a shortcut to enabling this feature in iOS 16 already – as soon as you move a QR code out of frame, the link bubble should drop down to the bottom of your iPhone’s camera interface – but in iOS 17, QR code links will appear at the bottom by default, rather than floating around the viewfinder to begin with. 

This may seem like an insignificant change, but with QR codes becoming an increasingly common method of sharing information, it’s good to see Apple trying to make the process of accessing them as smooth as possible. 

For more on the other iOS 17 features unveiled at WWDC 2023, head over to our detailed roundup of the 10 best iOS 17 features worth knowing about. We've also reported on the iOS 17 upgrades heading to Apple Maps and iMessage, as well as Apple’s new StandBy feature, which will turn your iPhone into a smart display, of sorts.

iOS 17 proper isn’t expected to roll out until September this year, but the iOS 17 beta is currently available to those enrolled in Apple’s Developer program. 

Axel Metz
Senior Staff Writer

Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 

Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.