Archive for September 3rd, 2010

Fun with barcodes and an Android phone

The Android Market has some incredibly fun (and semi-useful) apps for reading and handling barcodes and information. Here’s a quick run-down of a few and some potential uses. You should be able to easily find and download these apps from the Market.

Barcode Reader (website) – Zxing’s barcode reader app will read and display the content of many barcode formats.

  • UPC-A and UPC-E
  • EAN-8 and EAN-13
  • Code 39
  • Code 93
  • Code 128
  • QR Code
  • ITF
  • Codabar
  • RSS-14 (all variants)
  • Data Matrix (‘alpha’ quality)
  • PDF 417 (‘alpha’ quality)

In addition, content (such as URLs, contact information, wifi data) can be acted upon. Zxing’s barcode reader also functions as a library/API for other programs, and some other Android apps may require it. Zxing also has a barcode generator which can be found here.

ScanLife (website) – Not my favorite, but fun as well. Similiar to the above, but the content is displayed from a website and can’t be acted upon. Not as useful as Zxing’s barcode reader.

Barcode2file (website) – This app has found a special use for me. Uses the Zxing library for reading, and allows you to scan codes in bulk and either send them via email or save them to a text file. Incredibly useful for me at my job, and I use it frequently.

PC_BCR (website) – This app, combined with your wifi-enabled phone, actually allows you to use your phone as a wireless barcode scanner for your PC. Requires you to run a small app on your PC (supports Windows and Linux) and then run the PC_BCR app on your phone. Supports “serial” and “keyboard wedge” interfaces on the PC.

Have a fun and/or useful barcode app to share? Have anything additional to share about the apps above? Please do so in the comments!


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