Android Barcode Scanning

The Best Android Barcode Scanner Solutions


"We use over 200 Scanfob® 2002 wireless laser barcode scanners with Android phones in our courier business and they work exceptionally..." testimonials.

Android Barcode and RFID scanning solutions are available for virtually every Android device that runs Android 2.1 and later.
Click here to see list of Android devices for wireless barcode and RFID scanning.

Barcode Scanning

One question commonly asked when looking to scan barcodes with an Android phone, is "why not use the camera scanner?"

Most camera phone cameras are designed for average picture taking, not for barcode scanning.
Camera phone scanning will work for very light use, when time is not a factor, barcodes are short, barcodes are not condensed, barcodes are clearly printed, and lighting is ideal.
When scanning with a camera, the user can spend many seconds to scan each barcode. When lighting is poor or shaded, position of the barcode is such that the camera can't be properly aligned, or the barcode is damaged, a camera scanner may not work, or may be too slow and cumbersome to be practical. A true barcode scanner is the best choice for fast reliable barcode scanning.

The main reason camera scanners are not used for commercial applications is slow speed and inconsistent scanning, the table below should be helpful for clarification.

A barcode scanner like the Scanfob® 2002 mobile Bluetooth laser scanner, typically scans hundreds of times per second, so the speed of scanning is typically perceived as almost instantaneous for the user. Barcode scanners like the Scanfob scanner can scan barcodes with also offer features like batch mode with memory to store more than 10,000 scans in the scanner memory and downloaded from memory for later processing. This allows the scanner to be used for multiple solutions.

Scanfob® Scanner

Camera Scanner

Speed (typical) Instant Several seconds1,4
All major code types Yes No
Consistent scanning Yes No
Decode errors No Sometimes5
Condensed Yes No
Low light Yes No / Poor2
Shaded light Yes No / Poor2
Code length 70+ 323

1. Camera scanning in inconsistent lighting will show some barcodes simply won't read even trying for 30 seconds and more.
2. Better when camera has software controllable LED.
3. Depends on camera resolution, barcode density & quality.
4. Test for yourself with Grid-In-Hand® Mobile Grid and List-In-Hand® Mobile List apps on Google Play.
5. See sample camera phone barcode scan decode error

Video: Scan package tracking numbers with Scanfob® 2002 laser scanner and camera phone

BatchMagic Grocery scanning with restock.comThe small size of scanners like the Scanfob® 2002 scanner provides excellent convenience for mobile applications with Android. The Scanfob scanner can easily be attached to the back of the Android phone with velcro to provide one-handed barcode scanning. To see an example, click the image at the right.

The Scanfob 2002 also has different Bluetooth modes to allow the scanner to work not only with Android phones, but also with PC, Mac, and other computers that support Bluetooth HID mode for simple input like a keyboard.

Android barcode scanners like the Scanfob® 2002 can provide Bluetooth Spp (Serial port profile) mode. When used with software like SerialMagic Gears for Android, this provides far more powerful way to process scans since it can avoid the need for the user to tap into a field before scanning. Applications like Grid-In-Hand® Mobile Grid* and List-In-Hand® Mobile List* demonstrate how valuable this can be.
*Mobile Grid and Mobile List are available on the Google Play.

Video: Scanfob wireless Bluetooth barcode scanner for fast scanning on Android.
Video: Scanfob wireless Bluetooth barcode scanner for fast book scouting on Android.

Scanfob® 2002 scanners work with iOS (iPad-iPhone-iTouch), Android, Windows 8/7/2008/Vista/2003/XP, BlackBerry, Symbian S60, Windows Mobile, J2ME, PalmOS, and more.