Android App Review: Barcode Scanner

This one's a classic, and with 10 to 50 million installs, it should be. Most of you have probably heard of it, but for those who haven't, it's called Barcode Scanner and you're going to want to get it.

Barcode Scanner is pretty straightforward. Open up the app, line up a barcode in between the rectangular viewfinder, and you're off to the races. If you're scanning traditional barcodes, Barcode Scanner will give you price comparisons on whatever product you're looking at as well as user reviews.

What really makes Barcode Scanner something you'll want to download is the fact it scans and reads QR codes. For those who don't know, QR codes are those black-and-white squares found at the end of all of our app reviews. They usually contain data like a text file, or in this case, a link to an app on the Market. Having Barcode Scanner at your disposal means you can just scan the code and get taken to the app in the Market, no searching necessary.

Barcode Scanner also has some cool sharing options. You can send information you scan to someone via a text message or you can share it on any number of networks you've downloaded on your phone. That includes email, bluetooth, or in my case, Google+. It's another simple and intuitive way to get the word out about something you scanned and makes it easy on others trying to access the same information.

Barcode Scanner is completely free to download and totally ad-free as well. It's a small app with no frills about it. You can scan barcodes (and QR codes) and that's about it.

If you've got an Android phone, you probably already have it, but in case you don't, download links and a few more screenshots are after the break.

Joshua Munoz
  • This is awesome like goggles, amazon, and shop savvy
  • I love the oxymoron of having a barcode to scan in order to download a barcode scanner.
  • It's not an oxymoron, but yeah, I thought the same thing :)
  • Even dumber is the idea of sending a Barcode in a sms message.
    Phone can take a picture of their own screens to interpret the image. Completely unmentioned is the uption that lets you share a webpage via Barcode Scanner which displays the url in a qr code on your phone so your friend can just use Barcode Scanner to shoot your screen. It's faster than a text message when you want to send a url to some other device in the same room.
  • *ROFL* I can't help but agree!
  • I still have this installed, because a couple apps require it, but I never actually launch it, I use Google Goggles for all my barcode-scanning needs.
  • I like having this app, but often it takes forever to focus & capture. @ the architect. Jumbo shrimp = oxymoron, this situation is more ironic.
  • 'Jumbo shrimp' is debatable as an oxymoron since it is the same as 'large crustacean'. Living dead is an oxymoron.
  • Never tried it as I feel the permissions are excessive for a "simple barcode scanner". Read and write contact data, read browser's history and bookmarks? Really? I'm not going to get into a debate about why the author needs those permissions. As well intentioned the reasons for these permissions may be, developers change.
  • A vCard can be embedded into a QR code (a lot of business cards recently use this). Therefore, barcode scanner needs to be able to write contact data if you want to import someone's contact info from a QR code. The barcode scanner app can also display a QR code on screen with your contact info or with a link from your bookmarks, if you want to share it with another phone, which is why it needs bookmark permissions. See
  • "Having Barcode Scanner at your disposal means you can just scan the code and get taken to the app in the Market, no searching necessary" Whatever happened to simply clicking on a link? Whew!
  • You're limiting yourself to being on a web browser. Barcodes for apps are on posters, magazines, ads, etc. that are not on a computer or smartphone screen.
  • I have 5 different barcode scanners (Barcode Scanner, ShopSavvy, ScanLife, RedLaser, and Google Shopper) on my phone. I've been meaning to get into all of them and figure out which is best, but I haven't made the time. Anyone have any insight?
  • I wouldn't mind seeing a Comparison done by AC. Comparing all the barcode scanners, the pros / cons of each. I think a lot of people would appreciate that
  • That would be awesome!
  • I would definitely love this!
  • I know, I'm weird, but I rarely hold my phone in landscape. This app would be great if it would fix the screen when you hold the phone vertical. it still works perfectly fine vertically, but the buttons are sideways. - just a suggestion for a great app. Thanks.
  • once i started using Google goggles, i've never looked back.
  • does someone knows how can i share everything i scan with my laptop ? to look the bar-code in the search bar of amazon using the laptop?
  • Create Android barcode generator,
  • The Android barcode generator I am using now is this:
  • good article, share with you the barcode generator to create qr code in word:
  • I'm an investigative shopper and find the Barcode Scanner app to be priceless when questioning a price. It's actually an enhancement to the shopping experience as passersby often stop to ask if I'll check a barcode for them. It's given me no problems at all on my smartphone and I'd highly recommend it to those who aren't willing to take prices for granted. You can't imagine how much money this app has saved my family and friends! It's also great for identifying items with questionable barcodes.
  • I'm in the document management business, and we're frequently installing barcode applications for desktops, databases, and other purposes. It's an absolute God-send to be able to scan the barcode from a document and see what the barcode actually says. It has solved MANY problems where the client wants to blame our software for not reading their barcode, only to find out that their barcode is wrong or badly formed. Also useful while shopping to do quick comparison shopping - it tells me in seconds if something is available at, and what it costs. Reads MANY different barcode formats including the ubiquitous UPC, the common "3 of 9", 2D DataMatrix and several others.
  • I just installed and so haven't made much use of it - i did try it with a flyer and it worked. I have CONCERNS that no one seems to have mentioned. Before downloading it said it gives the app the ability to tap into contacts, to see history of internet and book matks, to check out networks, and on and on. I would rather simply pay and retain some degree of privacy. Holy smokes how many emails will go out with my name on it.
  • So the following sentence is how I got here.
    When shopping, I thought a barcode scanner would give me info on products without the need to go home to research. I hope it works like I imagined.
    Once here I decided this website would be very helpful, so I'll try out the many times the website has to offer. I just got my first smartphone so I have much to learn and explore. Android Central looked like it would serve as a good tutor.
  • Trying it for the first time