Faster barcode scanner! (v9.1.2 for iOS / v9.1.3 for Android)

Adding comics by barcode is one the main features of the app and an essential part of that is the camera barcode scanner.

For this update, our mobile app developer Pim has spent a few days optimizing that camera barcode scanner. The idea was to make better use of the power of today’s devices, both in cameras and computing power.

And the results of his tweaks are amazing. The scanner is now much faster!

The difference in scanning speed will be especially noticeable when scanning the longer barcodes seen on modern comics, with a 2 digit or 5 digit extension. Correctly scanning that extension is essential for identifying the exact issue and variant.

We would love to hear how the new scanner works out for you, let us know below.

Can we get a feature to scan the cover image to identify the comic? When you buy a virgin copy (vs a trade dress copy) I sometimes have to scan the cover with another app (Google or eBay) just to identify it. I then have to type it in and scroll to find it.

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That is on our ideas list, but we are not sure if the investment to create such a feature is worth the trouble.

Our doubts are:

  • how well will it work? Will it be able to discern between virgin and trade dress?
  • for comics with barcode, we suspect that barcode scanning always be faster and more accurate
  • for comics without barcode, wouldn’t the Issue search in the Add Comics screen still be a faster and more accurate way to find the exact issue?

I will fully admit that scanning the cover sounds like a great feature, but we’re not sure if… in the end… it will turn out be just a gimmick that users try a few times and then decide to go back to adding by Barcode or Issue.
And if that is the case, it would be a waste of a HUGE investment…

I often don’t use the current barcode scanner. It has always been far more picky and slow. I noticed no difference with the update. Still had to try moving it in or out to get it to read. Sometime it doesn’t pick up the extension and I am still getting books that don’t have their UPC code in the database. More often than not I just type the codes in as it’s not all that much slower than scanning. Sorry but the scanner and how some of the titles and collected editions are organized are my biggest pet peeves of CLZ. I much preferred the old scanner to the current one.

BTW the Overstreet Access app has uses a cover image ID system and I gave it a try with a number of books, not virgin or trade dress, and it worked very well. I was surprised. I haven’t used it much though because I only use the guide services. So, I would guess it is possible to get something working. Nothing is foolproof though not a barcode scanner or cover image identification.

I am sorry to hear the new scanner is not working better for you.

Which device are you using the scanner on?
Also, have you tried EXT mode to force it to pick up the extension?

iPhone 11 I believe. I have tried ext mode, didn’t make a difference. The problem comes from sometimes it will read when I haven’t even had a chance to get the whole barcode in. This variable reading is the problem. There’s no consistency to when the damn thing will read.

iPhone 11 should scan really really fast and accurate.

Are you using suboptimal lighting conditions maybe? Not enough light or too much and causing glare?

That is exactly what the EXT mode should prevent. It forces the scanner to wait until is “sees” an extension too.
If you have it set to EXT should it should always pick up the extension.

I am getting the feeling that you are maybe much too close by with the scanner.

Lighting is not an issue. Distance is the issue but it’s not about being too close or too far when you cannot establish the optimal reading distance. The old reader was far more reliable. This one isn’t, but sure blame the user. I will keep to keying in the numbers.

I am not blaming the user.
I am having a conversation with you to find out what the problem is exactly. I need to find out why this is working so badly for you, while for most other users, the old scanner already worked very well and the new one is even faster.

But earlier, you said:

If the new scanner really is even worse for you, then I would like to investigate that.
Of course, only if you are interested in helping with that. If not, that’s fine too.

The cover scanner in HipComic’s app works flawlessly. It is really their most compelling feature.

Interesting. How is their comic database? Is it complete? How is the quality of the data?