QR Barcode Readers for BlackBerry Reviewed

41 Comments

blackberrycool_qr_code

Yesterday, Google began distributing QR code window stickers to the top searched 190,000 local businesses throughout the US. This is big news for making QR codes more popular in North America, as our friends in Japan are already benefiting from them, having implemented the technology on a massive scale.

So what QR code reader for BlackBerry is the best? Here are some of the QR code readers for BlackBerry that I’ve found and reviewed. If you know of others, comment them and let us know what you think.

Although I use the Bold 9700, I found most QR code readers weren’t updated to support OS 5. Therefore I’ve gone through them with the Bold 9000.

NeoReader

Downloading NeoReader is simple, just visit get.neoreader.com from your browser and install.

When it comes to reading the QR code, NeoReader did a fantastic job. There are several options for the QR code reader such as Click (takes a picture and analyzes), Enter Code (manually enter barcode numbers) and History (history of the barcodes you have scanned). I found navigation could be a little better, as the back button didn’t do anything. The UI for this app is really clean and easy to look at. Another downside is all the personal info they ask for. I assume it all goes to your user profile somewhere, but I just wasn’t interested in inputting the data.

BeeTagg

To download BeeTagg, visit get.beetagg.com from your BlackBerry browser.

Once you boot up BeeTagg, it powers on the camera and without prompt, you know you’re supposed to be taking a picture of the QR code. This is where the app really failed me. I kept getting errors because I wasn’t filling the frame properly with the code, but there was no indicator while I was taking the picture as to where the code should be. The UI for this app and the end user experience made it really difficult to capture the code. Also, after I took the picture, it prompted me to press 4 to start the camera but pressing 4 did nothing.

UpCode

To download UpCode, visit www.upcode.mobi from your BlackBerry browser.

UpCode asks for permissions that other applications did not ask for. While I can’t be certain why it’s asking for me to allow “personal information” changes, I’m a very trusting person and allowed it anyways. I was worried not accepting would affect the review but perhaps you should not allow just to be safe.

In terms of functionality, UpCode was smooth and very good at reading the QR code. The UI is simple, just fill the frame with the QR code and click the trackball. It didn’t take long for the code to be read, and the app sent me to the appropriate site.

Okotag

To download, go to www.okotag.mobi and scroll down to the bottom of the page for the registration and download link. This was by far one of the more annoying apps to download. Once I had created an account, it took some poking around and reclicking the download button before it recognized I had an account and was ready to download the app.

Once you boot up the app, you get 2 main options: Decode and My Tags. Clicking Decode brings up the camera and after taking a picture of the QR code, nothing happened. I then clicked “end” to back out of the camera and it brought me back to the app. Without knowing what to do, I just assumed I had to click Decode again, which brought up a “Please, wait…” notification that never ended. I checked My Tags but all it said was “No pixes yet stored”. Whatever that means.

UPDATE: ScanLife

To download ScanLife, visit getscanlife.com from your BlackBerry browser. ScanLife is a really well designed application and the UI looks very clean. It has several options including Scan, History, About, Share ScanLife and Settings. The settings simply lets you toggle the sound. ScanLife did a good job of reading the code and when read, displayed a message saying “This code is not registered or was created from an unknown source.” It then lets you continue to the site. Overall, ScanLife is a really great app.

Overall, NeoReader is the best. The app works really well and the user interface is simple. I highly recommend it to all BlackBerry users.

UPDATE: It’s sort of a tie between NeoReader and ScanLife. I would say ScanLife is probably an all around more useful app because it can handle a wide variety of codes. On the other hand, I found the scanning process much easier with NeoReader, as it was more automated.

UPDATE (December 28th, 2010): Recently, Motek released Code Muncher, a free, ad-supported QR code reader that lets you quickly and easily scan 2D QR codes. If all you’re going to scan is simple QR codes with basic URLs or contact information, this is a great app.

  • Nan Palmero

    Great list, Kyle! I would also add that Microsoft has their own version of the technology, which is available from http://www.microsoft.com/tag/

  • Nan Palmero

    Great list, Kyle! I would also add that Microsoft has their own version of the technology, which is available from http://www.microsoft.com/tag/

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ Kyle

    Good call Nan. I should also add that you can use the native BBM QR code reader to open QR codes with embedded URLs and such.

    Although, I tried reading the QR code that is in the Google blog post with the BBM QR code reader and while it recognized the link as “http://www.google.com/m/place?cid=5246521125511575215″ it only opened the Google.com mobile site.

    As Simon (twitter.com/simonsage) pointed out on Twitter, they might not be compatible?

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com Kyle

    Good call Nan. I should also add that you can use the native BBM QR code reader to open QR codes with embedded URLs and such.

    Although, I tried reading the QR code that is in the Google blog post with the BBM QR code reader and while it recognized the link as “http://www.google.com/m/place?cid=5246521125511575215″ it only opened the Google.com mobile site.

    As Simon (twitter.com/simonsage) pointed out on Twitter, they might not be compatible?

  • http://my.blastoffnetwork.com/wanderlust Craig

    I personally think BeeTag is the best I have used. I have never had an of the problems you mentioned.

  • http://my.blastoffnetwork.com/wanderlust Craig

    I personally think BeeTag is the best I have used. I have never had an of the problems you mentioned.

  • http://my.blastoffnetwork.com/wanderlust Craig

    I personally think BeeTag is the best I have used. I have never had an of the problems you mentioned.

  • murpythadog

    Not sure but have you tried edocrab for BB? I was a beta tester, it worked for some items I had laying around my desk. I don’t know it if scans that specific barcode or the old school barcodes.

  • murpythadog

    Not sure but have you tried edocrab for BB? I was a beta tester, it worked for some items I had laying around my desk. I don’t know it if scans that specific barcode or the old school barcodes.

  • Used NeoReader

    I have used NeoReader in the past and did find that it worked well. However, my only complaint was that I had to lower the camera resolution, in the camera settings, each time I wanted to use NeoReader. Of course, I also had to remember to switch it back after. Perhaps it is a limitation of the APIs but it would be nice if NeoReader could change the camera settings automagically as needed, or handle the bigger pics. Other than that, I have no complaints.

  • Used NeoReader

    I have used NeoReader in the past and did find that it worked well. However, my only complaint was that I had to lower the camera resolution, in the camera settings, each time I wanted to use NeoReader. Of course, I also had to remember to switch it back after. Perhaps it is a limitation of the APIs but it would be nice if NeoReader could change the camera settings automagically as needed, or handle the bigger pics. Other than that, I have no complaints.

  • Used NeoReader

    I have used NeoReader in the past and did find that it worked well. However, my only complaint was that I had to lower the camera resolution, in the camera settings, each time I wanted to use NeoReader. Of course, I also had to remember to switch it back after. Perhaps it is a limitation of the APIs but it would be nice if NeoReader could change the camera settings automagically as needed, or handle the bigger pics. Other than that, I have no complaints.

  • Jordan

    I use Edocrab (barcode backwards) as well. Definitely works with Q-codes. Nice thing about Edocrab is that, once the barcode is scanned, it will hit the web and find the lowest prices for that item. Works about 90% of the time. Some items just are not recognized.

  • Jordan

    I use Edocrab (barcode backwards) as well. Definitely works with Q-codes. Nice thing about Edocrab is that, once the barcode is scanned, it will hit the web and find the lowest prices for that item. Works about 90% of the time. Some items just are not recognized.

  • Robbied

    I use the one with BB Messenger 5.0. Works Great and I dont have to download yet another app to waste my memory!!

  • Robbied

    I use the one with BB Messenger 5.0. Works Great and I dont have to download yet another app to waste my memory!!

  • John

    I been experimenting with QR codes using http://www.beqrious.com/ I like there generator and they have a few interesting things they post on there blog.

  • John

    I been experimenting with QR codes using http://www.beqrious.com/ I like there generator and they have a few interesting things they post on there blog.

  • http://non John

    I been experimenting with QR codes using http://www.beqrious.com/ I like there generator and they have a few interesting things they post on there blog.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ Kyle

    @Jordan – Edocrab can scan a QR code, but it doesn’t actually do what the QR code intends it to do. For example, when you scan the above link, it just says “No product matches for http://www.blackberrycool.com.”

    @Nan – I downloaded the Microsoft reader. Check out this screenshot. Either it doesn’t support QR codes or it isn’t all that good at detecting the code. I think it’s fairly well positioned.

    http://www.blackberrycool.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/microsoft_qr_code_reader.jpg

    Thanks for the responses guys.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com Kyle

    @Jordan – Edocrab can scan a QR code, but it doesn’t actually do what the QR code intends it to do. For example, when you scan the above link, it just says “No product matches for http://www.blackberrycool.com.”

    @Nan – I downloaded the Microsoft reader. Check out this screenshot. Either it doesn’t support QR codes or it isn’t all that good at detecting the code. I think it’s fairly well positioned.

    http://www.blackberrycool.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/microsoft_qr_code_reader.jpg

    Thanks for the responses guys.

  • DomConway

    BeeTagg is the only one that works reliably on my Curve 8900, no problems with it so far.

  • DomConway

    BeeTagg is the only one that works reliably on my Curve 8900, no problems with it so far.

  • Chris

    Which ones support 5.0 and the bold 9700???

    Thanks
    Chris

  • Chris

    Which ones support 5.0 and the bold 9700???

    Thanks
    Chris

  • Chris

    Which ones support 5.0 and the bold 9700???

    Thanks
    Chris

  • http://kennycleaning.com/ Paul

    So far, I’ve tried all 4 apps with no success on my Blackberry Pearl 8100. Maybe the resolution is too low on this model? It’s very disappointing, I just got our Google Favorite Places barcode but i’m unable to test it. The only app that came close was NeoReader, it seemed to scan the barcode, but then just sent me to Google’s homepage. Oh well, hopefully others will have greater success.

  • http://kennycleaning.com Paul

    So far, I’ve tried all 4 apps with no success on my Blackberry Pearl 8100. Maybe the resolution is too low on this model? It’s very disappointing, I just got our Google Favorite Places barcode but i’m unable to test it. The only app that came close was NeoReader, it seemed to scan the barcode, but then just sent me to Google’s homepage. Oh well, hopefully others will have greater success.

  • Dan

    I had no luck with NeoReader on my Bold 9700 (os5). Kept giving me a “camera in use by another app” error.

    BeeTagg works on my Bold. Not a sexy app…but it works.

    I wish it could read vcards properly and port that info into my contacts list.

  • Dan

    I had no luck with NeoReader on my Bold 9700 (os5). Kept giving me a “camera in use by another app” error.

    BeeTagg works on my Bold. Not a sexy app…but it works.

    I wish it could read vcards properly and port that info into my contacts list.

  • David

    You have the wrong app name and link for Scancode – it’s actually called ScanLife and the URL is http://www.getscanlife.com

  • David

    You have the wrong app name and link for Scancode – it’s actually called ScanLife and the URL is http://www.getscanlife.com

  • MS

    HAd the same problem Dan had, get an error on NeoReader that Camera is already in use

  • MS

    HAd the same problem Dan had, get an error on NeoReader that Camera is already in use

  • phoneguy

    Did you read the EULA for NeoReader? These guys took a lesson from google, you basically sign your life away when you use it.

  • phoneguy

    Did you read the EULA for NeoReader? These guys took a lesson from google, you basically sign your life away when you use it.

  • ToTo

    ScanLife works like a charm ! between ScanLife and NeoReader I would say ScanLife is a lot better.. at least on 9700

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ Kyle McInnes

    I agree but Torch users don’t have this ability and RIM might be phasing it out.

  • Kirstylh

    Ive just had all sorts of probs downloading NeoReader it wasnt compatible with my BB Bold, but thankyou for the info about BB Messenger I have just tried it and it works a treat :0)

  • grumpyBB

    Thank you for the info – having been forced to use this silly thing called a Blackberry and struggling for ages to get AppWorld set up on a really silly BB 8520 and not succeeding, neoreader installed from the web a lifesaver !!

  • Bobmarley

    sucker