Goodreads Blog

Barcode Scanner in iPhone app

Posted by Ettore Pasquini on January 24, 2011
The latest version of the iPhone app (1.1.5) features a barcode scanner! We added this feature for two reasons: to scan your books and easily add them to your Goodreads account, and to quickly pop up information about a book, if for example you are in a bookstore trying to decide which book to buy.

The scanner is available in the iPhone app under My Books. After each scan you will see the book title and cover appear at the top of the screen: if you tap on that, you can quickly see reviews about the book you just scanned. Regardless, all your scans will be saved in a list that you can browse once you close the scanner. From there, you can add them to your shelves or simply read the reviews whenever you want.

Barcode scan in Goodreads iPhone appScanned books in Goodreads iPhone app




There's one known issue though: the scanner will close on its own if you leave it open for too long. This is necessary to work around a problem in the actual barcode scanning software, which is not under our control. Your scanned books won't be lost. A workaround to this issue is to force-close some of your other apps running in the background.

We hope the barcode scanner will make it even easier to add your books on Goodreads and improve your experience at your favorite bookstore!

UPDATE: I added some topics in the help section for the most common problems related to the barcode scanner (and the iPhone app in general). Please refer to those first for a possible answer to your questions.

UPDATE 2: version 1.2.1 adds the widely requested "mass-add" feature: add all your scans to the read or to-read shelves, as well as the ability to just clear your scan list.

Comments (showing 1-50 of 352) (352 new)


message 1: by Tien (new)

Tien Fantastic! Can't wait to try it out!


message 2: by Maggie (new)

Maggie This is a great update. Almost every time I go to the library, I run across a few books I'd like to add to my "to read" list. This will make putting them there a lot easier.


Guardian'sKeeper kool. I agree with maggie. Totally.I ma try it. It will be sooo amazing!And KOOOL!


message 4: by e.c.h.a (new)

e.c.h.a Wow...Cool!!!!


message 5: by Joseph (new)

Joseph I just tried it out and it is AWESOME!!!!!


message 6: by Hanul(: (new)

Hanul(: Yay! That sound so cool! :)


message 7: by Terri (new)

Terri Cool!


is mee... kissa ooooh, that's so cool...
too bad i don't have an iPhone


message 9: by e.c.h.a (last edited Jan 24, 2011 07:33PM) (new)

e.c.h.a Sorry...Is this application only for iPhone? Is iPod touch can use this application too?


message 10: by Cesya (new)

Cesya Joseph wrote: "I just tried it out and it is AWESOME!!!!!"

How do you do it?


message 11: by is mee... kissa (new)

is mee... kissa e.c.h.a wrote: "Sorry...Is this application only for iPhone? Is iPod touch can use this application too?"

no idea, i don't have either of them... oh well


message 12: by Keturah (new)

Keturah Stef wrote: "I wish this app was free, ohh how I would use it like crazy. Dx"
The app is free and awesome!


message 13: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Lane Does the app update automatically on my iPhone, or do I have to update it manually?


message 14: by Karen (new)

Karen Can you use this with the ipod touch?


message 15: by Katy (new)

Katy I tried it and liked it! Great add!


message 16: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Lane Stef, I think the app was free on my iPhone as I recall, so it might be due to the Droid.


message 17: by e.c.h.a (new)

e.c.h.a Karen wrote: "Can you use this with the ipod touch?"
I'm asking the same question too Karen :) There's anyone can answer our question?

@Stef...Really? This bar code application can use in android phone? What type android phone? Any kind android phone?


message 18: by Lisa (new)

Lisa That is SO cool!


message 19: by rivka, librarian moderator (new)

rivka Karen wrote: "Can you use this with the ipod touch?"

Yes, the iPod Touch can use the GR iPhone app.


message 20: by The UHQ Nasanta (new)

The UHQ Nasanta I'm so glad this was implemented. Hopefully, it will encourage me to put up the rest of my paperback books on Goodreads. Right now, I only do so in a haphazard manner - and infrequently, at that. Thank you for this update!


message 21: by Nyssa (new)

Nyssa Can not find the option to scan?? I've updated/synced the app, and went into "My Books". My choices are to "View My Profile" or choose one of my bookshelves. Nothing about scanning....


The Crimson Fucker Great! but when it comes out for Android OS???? don't get me wrong! Iphones are great!* but more people have droid!



*:not really!


message 23: by mahatma (new)

mahatma うれし... i'v tried it and succesfully uploaded my new books to the shelfs. thank youu...


message 24: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Frashure Awesome! Is there any way to clear the list of scanned books?


message 25: by Neen (new)

Neen Nice... I'll be giving this a try =)


message 26: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Just scanned an entire bookshelf in my apartment in moments. Love this! Thanks so much for the update.


message 27: by e.c.h.a (new)

e.c.h.a rivka wrote: "Karen wrote: "Can you use this with the ipod touch?"

Yes, the iPod Touch can use the GR iPhone app."


Wow..thanks for the info, Rivka :)


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Looks nice. Fortunately (for me) I've got a droid. Looking forward to the glorious day when goodreads will make itself compatible with my phone, too.


message 29: by Ben (new)

Ben We still need an iOS 4 retina optimised app! Gotta learn to walk before you run.


message 30: by Terri (new)

Terri YOU.GUYS.ROCK!!!!! I cannot thank you enough for giving me an app that does EXACTLY what I need it to do. Finally going to have a record of the books in my library. :D


message 31: by ൠSinful (new)

ൠSinful That is so stinkin' cool. Now if you will just auto add books when I download them from Amazon, I'd be set.


message 32: by Ettore, Resident iOS guy (new)

Ettore Pasquini Ben wrote: "We still need an iOS 4 retina optimised app!"

Yes! =) I noticed that, haven't had time to take care of it (yet)

But I agree, some graphics are not as crispy as they could be on new devices.


message 33: by Ettore, Resident iOS guy (new)

Ettore Pasquini Chris wrote: "Awesome! Is there any way to clear the list of scanned books?"

You make a good point.
Sorry, no, not directly. Only thing you can do right now is force-close the app. When you restart, the list should be gone.


message 34: by Ettore, Resident iOS guy (last edited Jan 25, 2011 12:58AM) (new)

Ettore Pasquini Nyssa wrote: "Can not find the option to scan?? I've updated/synced the app, and went into "My Books". My choices are to "View My Profile" or choose one of my bookshelves. Nothing about scanning...."

It might be that you didn't download the update, or maybe syncing with your computer failed? Not sure -- but check the version under Settings, you must have version 1.1.5 to have the scanner.


message 35: by Ettore, Resident iOS guy (new)

Ettore Pasquini Jennifer wrote: "Does the app update automatically on my iPhone, or do I have to update it manually?"

You have to do it manually, no way around that. iTunes should tell you that there's a new update available for the Goodreads app. Just download all available updates, sync the phone/ipod, and you should be good to go.


message 36: by Nyssa (new)

Nyssa Ettore wrote: "Nyssa wrote: "Can not find the option to scan?? I've updated/synced the app, and went into "My Books". My choices are to "View My Profile" or choose one of my bookshelves. Nothing about scanning......"

I did download the latest version, I did sync and I did check the version...all before making the post. In fact, I synced twice to make sure.


message 37: by Alastair (new)

Alastair Let me know when it is available on Android.


message 38: by Ella (new)

Ella Man, now I really wish I had an I-touch...


message 39: by Rose (new)

Rose I have an Ipod Touch that I received for Christmas and I love this added feature. Thank you so much!


message 40: by Steve (new)

Steve Cornelius I have the app and would use the barcode scanner, but it does not work. I tried the workaround that was posted, but to no avail.


message 41: by Beth (new)

Beth I tried this out yesterday and scanned my latest 2 books in - I love it! I just got a huge book haul and now getting them onto my TBR shelf is going to be so much quicker. Thanks a lot! x


message 42: by D.G. (new)

D.G. Ah drat! My iPod Touch doesn't have a camera so I can't use this feature. :(


message 43: by Angie (new)

Angie Wornom There needs to be an app for Android, like yesterday.


message 44: by Debbie (new)

Debbie Moorhouse Huh, neat. Worked on 3 out of 4 books I experimented with.


message 45: by Rachel (new)

Rachel worked on all of the books I tried it with. Love this!


message 46: by Stacy (new)

Stacy Ettore wrote: "Nyssa wrote: "Can not find the option to scan?? I've updated/synced the app, and went into "My Books". My choices are to "View My Profile" or choose one of my bookshelves. Nothing about scanning......"

Same here. I updated, double checked I have Version 1.1.5, restarted my iPhone. No scan choice.


message 47: by Stina (new)

Stina This will be great for that bookstore moment my friends and I always have where we're like "I wonder what goodreads has to say about this book"... :-D


message 48: by Tiji (new)

Tiji Just tried it out- and this is an awesome add!!! Thank you!


message 49: by Kerry (new)

Kerry e.c.h.a wrote: "Karen wrote: "Can you use this with the ipod touch?"
I'm asking the same question too Karen :) There's anyone can answer our question?

@Stef...Really? This bar code application can use in android ..."


It works with ipad, itouch and the iphone.


message 50: by Summer (new)

Summer Nettleman Stacy wrote: "Ettore wrote: "Nyssa wrote: "Can not find the option to scan?? I've updated/synced the app, and went into "My Books". My choices are to "View My Profile" or choose one of my bookshelves. Nothing ab..."

I am in the same boat. I saw this post and got super excited but my update does not show me the scanner. Is it only on the newer iPhones?


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