Barcode scanners are systems that read and translate barcodes from images, into alphanumeric characters. The scanner matches data on the barcode to that of the corresponding information in the database. Mostly, the barcode printed in products contains data including the manufacturing date, batch number, expiry date, and the price of the product.
What is a Barcode Scanning Software System?
Barcode scanner software help in managing the inventory of businesses. Traditional barcode scanners scan 1D linear barcodes which appear as an image of parallel lines and spaces (known as quiet zones). The quiet zone is used to prevent the scanner from picking up information that isn't required in the barcode scan.
Types of Barcodes
For decades, 1D barcodes had been and are still being used to record data, despite them being limited to 20-25 characters. But today, several different barcode types are being used worldwide.
So how do barcodes work? It’s easier to consider them as a tech-savvy method of transmitting strings of alphanumeric characters. These characters can be compared to a vehicle’s license plate number, which can be used to fetch more details about the car and its owner.
Different barcode types have different volumes and dimensions, which makes them useful for particular sectors in various industries. Barcode technology is ever evolving. Today, one doesn’t even need a barcode scanning device to read barcodes. Your smartphone is capable of scanning most of the modern barcodes, with the help of a barcode scanner app.
Here are some barcodes types that are being used today:
One of the first barcode types, Code 39, is usually implemented in the healthcare, electronics, and government sectors.
It is a type of 1D alphanumeric code in which all of the 128 ASCII characters can be included, and the code can be of any size or length.
It has been derived from the 128 ASCII character set and is specifically used by the shipping and packaging industries. It follows a setting that lets users customize the length of the barcode.
Universal Product Codes (UPC)
Universal Product Codes are perhaps the most popular of all barcodes across the globe. Found in almost every product, these were initially created for accelerating the process of inventory tracking and receipt generation for grocery stores.
International/European Article Number (IAN/EAN)
Similar to UPC, EAN is used in the academic sector, especially by libraries, booksellers, and educational institutions to keep track of books. EAN codes are generated with the help of International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN)
This linear 2D barcode is found in documents such as ID cards and drivers’ licenses because of its abilities such as encoding for multiple data sources in a single code. This can be elongated more than 2D barcodes such as QR Codes and Data Matrix.
Data Matrix is one of the standard 2D barcode types today as its square-shaped codes can store large amounts of data in a small space. Data Matrix codes are quite popular in sectors such as healthcare and electronics.
Quick Response (QR) Codes
QR Codes are the most trending barcodes today and are becoming more popular. QR codes are being used to read internet-based information, such as offers and online payments on their smartphones. With the help of a barcode scanning app, one can quickly scan almost all types of QR codes. They aren’t as compact as Data Matrix, but QR Codes are quite often used in product promotions and storefronts.
Features and Benefits of Barcode Scanner Apps
The reason why people are choosing barcode scanning apps is due to their multitude of features and benefits. Some of the features of barcode scanners are:
One of the benefits of barcode scanner apps is that they are quite convenient. At this present age of smartphones, one simply needs to get a suitable barcode scanning app to create as well as read barcodes.
Compatible with all the major operating systems, barcode scanner apps are easy to install and configure. Some of the best apps are available in online marketplaces such as the Apple Store and Google Play Store.
- Creation of Barcodes
Apart from reading barcodes, some of the standard barcode scanning apps also allow users to generate barcodes and QR codes for their products.
List of 10 Best Barcode Scanner Apps
Here are some of the best barcoding apps available in the market:
The BarCloud App is a comprehensive, cloud-based app designed for asset and inventory management for businesses, compatible with all iOS and Android devices, along with desktop internet browsers. It provides features like auto backup and scheduling backups, data safe and accessible even remotely.
From inventory management to task management, and keeping a record of batches and serial numbers, BarCloud provides comprehensive features. With its latest check-in and check-out feature, inventory can be seamlessly organized and retrieved whenever required. Users from all the platforms have offered positive feedback for this inventory management and product scanner app.
- Option to input data manually or scan
- Comprehensive data storage options
- Stock record management tools
- Data export data in Excel and PDF formats
- Optical and graphical analytics tools
- Warning of overdue stock, low and expiring inventory
Scandit is a software development kit (SDK) that provides businesses to integrate barcode scanning in their systems with the help of the Scandit Barcode Scanner app. Scandit Barcode Scanner SDK transforms devices such as smartphones and desktops to efficient tools for barcode scanning. Hence, this smartphone barcode scanner can be used by both customers and businesses.
An SDK is like an application development interface (API) for programmers and app developers for building iOS and Android applications.
Although Scandit is not a conventional ready-to-use mobile app, it provides all the tools to customize and create barcode scanning apps with features of your choice.
It also enables businesses that commission mobile applications for specific requirements such as inventory management and stock monitoring.
- Transform phones (both iOS and Android), tablets, desktops, and other smart devices into barcode scanners
- Fast and precise barcode scans and results
- Wide range of systems supported
- Is compatible with basic devices without autofocus
- Efficient scanning from all angles
QuickMark is a barcode scanner app that lets users scan as well as create QR codes barcodes. This scanner is compatible with all the leading platforms and can read a number of different layers of barcode and barcode formats. This versatility makes it one of the most diverse and equipped barcode apps in the market.
By reducing your burden of manually entering data such as serial numbers and inventory information, users can easily and rapidly record data such as prices, dates, product names, batch number, manufacturing details and so on. Altogether, users are happy with the usability and features of the app.
- Helps in scanning multiple barcode and QR code formats
- Compatible with various platforms
- Image recording capability for easy access and data transfer
- Easy-to-use and quick with the ability to transfer scanned data
ScanLife is another competent barcode scanner and inventory management app that is consumer centric. It enables consumers to scan barcodes and QR codes on different products to fetch user data. You can manage all types of data, such as ingredients, nutritional facts, manufacturing, and expiration date.
ScanLife scanner app can be integrated with larger platforms for enterprises that wish to inform and engage consumers by introducing QR codes in their marketing policies. Users across platforms are satisfied with its features and tools.
- Complete online and offline logging and recordkeeping of products scanned
- Email reminders
- Various useful insights of products with the help of QR scanning
- Built-in social media integration and sharing option
- Business platform for better online engagement with customers
Lynkee Reader is a barcode scanner and barcoding app which is focused more on the customer rather than product managers or inventory supervisors. It is a simple app focused on scanning both 1D and 2D barcodes such as Data Matrix barcodes.
With Lynkee Reader, one can easily read a variety of codes such as vCards which are meant for the storage of contact information and maintenance a log of previously scanned barcodes.
Customers’ testimony suggests Lynkee barcode reader app is fast and precise. However, a few feedbacks from consumers say that there are instances when the app doesn’t open or scan efficiently.
- Provides QR code generator
- Reads barcodes from camera, webpage or files
- Reads barcodes, such as vCards, URL, Geolocation, Data Matrix, Flashcode
- Provides addition and sharing of product reviews
- Provides the option to create personal Lynkee Reader profiles.
UpCode is an easy-to-use barcode scanner and barcoding app available on Apple Store and Google Playstore. It supports 1D (Data Matrix/QR /Ean 8 & 13), 2D and barcodes.
It also provides the option for users to generate their optical barcodes without any additional cost. Using this software, users can scan all modern barcode formats for fast access to various data such as graphics, music, videos, files, websites, etc. It also provides an inbuilt sharing feature that lets users share their content with others.
It is more popular on Google Play, and its multitude of features and the fact that it is free makes it one of the popular apps in the market.
- 1D, 2D, and Bidi barcode scanner
- Compatible with QR, Data Matrix, 1D Ean 8 & 13 barcodes
- Provides the option to create optical barcodes
- Enables fast access to media, websites, and various other content
BeeTagg provides its users with an array of different applications, namely; a mobile barcode and QR scanner app, a QR code generator app, a contact management app, an app for checking price and manufacturing, and recently introduced, an app to make personalized and stylish QR codes. One of the best features of BeeTagg is that it is free in spite of the features that it offers.
The multifunctional barcode solution is chic and efficient if we talk about its functionality. However, its only flipside is that it doesn’t come with any complete inbuilt database functions. Being said that, it provides the facility to copy and paste data and barcodes to document.
- Goes beyond merely opening a browser window
- Contextual actions
- Obtains more info from a single code than most barcode scanner apps
- 2D systems including QR Codes, BeeTagg Codes, and Datamatrix
- 1D codes including EAN-13 and UPC-A
- Create your contact code to exchange information
- Supports a variety of content types, including vCard, Texts, SMS, e-mail, event planner, etc.
EZ Office Inventory
EZ Office Inventory is another comprehensive business barcode scanning and inventory management solution on the list. It provides a free barcode scanning application for the management, tracking and maintaining accurate inventory data.
When taken as a complete package along with other tools, users can customize its features like data storage, analytical tools, etc., for a unified experience. One of its best aspects is that it is easy to install and can be integrated with a plethora of business applications.
- Custom barcoding
- Rapid bulk scanning
- Member ID scanning
- Real-time asset locating, assigning and alert management
- Delegated model for concerned officials to be active participants
Zbar Barcode Scanner
Zbar Barcode Scanner app is a free and open-source barcode reading solution. It is enormously efficient in the reading of different barcode types and can even scan barcode formats from various sources such as videos, images, files, and raw intensity sensors.
Zbar Scanner is compatible with barcodes formats such as QR codes, EAN, Code 39, Interleaved 2 of 5 among various other types. One of its best aspects is that it has a convenient user experience and is designed for both personal uses and business.
- Linux/Unix, Windows, iOS
- High speed - real-time scanning from video streams
- Small memory usage
- Not limited to images
- Suitable for embedded applications using inexpensive processors/hardware
- Modular components can be used together or separately
CodeREADr is an all-encompassing barcode scanning software specially designed for SMEs and startups. CodeREADr offers end-to-end scanning and inventory management solutions and is designed for businesses to manage their stocks seamlessly.
This barcode scanning system provides additional functions such as barcode generation, serial number tracking along with scanning and inventory management, on a single platform. It is compatible with Windows, Android, iOS and can also be accessed via the web.
- Rapid Barcode Scanning
- Data collection with custom forms
- Validation of scans in real-time
- Working offline with auto-sync
- Photo-capture, GPS and Signature scanning
Ten of the best bar code scanning apps, mentioned above can provide necessary tools, both small and large businesses for their scanning and inventory recordkeeping requirements. They make barcode scanning easy and provide easy access wherever and whenever required. These barcode scanning apps are sure to help manufacturing, wholesale, and retail businesses along with customers to read, record, and store the necessary data of products. Therefore, using any of these apps can seamlessly help in the management and efficient optimization of the inventory operations in an organization.