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 251-300 of 355) (355 new)


message 251: by Mike (new)

Mike I'd love to see an app like this for my Android phone! Right now there are only third party apps available on the Android Marketplace.


message 252: by Anne (new)

Anne Pentlicky This is a great feature for someone like me who can often remember all the details of the story but cannot remember the title!


message 253: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Lisa,
Sometimes you'll find the ISBN barcode printed again one one of the pages just inside the back cover.

Lisa wrote: "Unfortunately, my library covers the isbn bar code with their own library bar code."


message 254: by Corinne (new)

Corinne Waiting for the Android version...let us know when it arrives!


message 255: by Corinne (new)

Corinne Waiting for the Android version...let us know when it arrives!


message 256: by Larry (new)

Larry I give up! Are the previous posts not showing? The app for android IS available!


message 257: by Jen (new)

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

I have the iPod Touch and was able to get this app.


message 258: by Corinne (new)

Corinne Larry wrote: "I give up! Are the previous posts not showing? The app for android IS available!"

They are, Larry, but I wasn't going to read all 6 pages of posts. I think it would be helpful if Goodreads updated the article itself to include the Android info.

Thanks
Corinne


message 259: by Carrie (new)

Carrie I can't seem to get the scanner to work on my iPhone 3. Is it too old? The image of the bar code looks blurry and nothing happens when I center it between the green lines. Any advice?


message 260: by Stephan (new)

Stephan VERY COOL feature! Makes it much easier to register books! Thanks!


message 261: by Tecmunky (new)

Tecmunky How about doing this for Android devices ... after all, we are 25% of the market now ... c'mon get it together.


message 262: by Stephan (new)

Stephan Tecmunky wrote: "How about doing this for Android devices ... after all, we are 25% of the market now ... c'mon get it together."

I agree totally!


message 263: by Tecmunky (new)

Tecmunky Melissa wrote: "The DROID app is called MyBookDroid. It will also allow you to load into Goodreads. Its also FREE!!!!"

MyBookDroid is *NOT* "the DROID app" ... it is a third-party app, and really needs work / does not integrate well with goodreads ... yes you can import from goodreads, and add books to goodreads *one at a time* .. i tried it now i am uninstalling it and waiting *yet again* for an Android app ..

That's my pet peeve: everyone thinks once they make an iPhone app they think they are finished, and they will be if they keep thinking that way.


message 264: by Anne_MB (new)

Anne_MB Fantastic!! Thank you so much for this! Works really well on my iPod Touch.

The only improvement I would love would be a way to clear the scanned books list.

Thank you.


message 265: by Janet (new)

Janet I tried to download this app and it said it is no longer available...how come???


message 266: by [deleted user] (new)

would this allow one to check the prices and availability of books. if so the shrewd shopper could scan a title in the book store and then check to see if he can get it cheaper on the internet. Also would be very useful to the book scouts (those who search for rare and out of print items for resale) Besides all the wonderful uses for the bibliophile, this ap could be a valuable tool for the bargain hunter.


message 267: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Brandel I am really excited about this app! However, after scanning about 40 books last night, it crashed (froze up and shut down) and I lost my entire list. I'm kinda reluctant to start again in case it crashes again. How do you shift the list from your phone to your account online? Do you need to assign them individually to your shelves?


message 268: by Jason (new)

Jason Ettore wrote: "Stacy wrote: "Same here. I updated, double checked I have Version 1.1.5, restarted my iPhone. No scan choice."

Weird. Then the only other possibility is that your device is not on iOS 4. I forgot ..."


Hi-Would be great to put something in the advertising for this telling us antiquted iphone users that unless we have the iphone 4, we are out of luck!


message 269: by Raphaelus (new)

Raphaelus If this works then its pretty cool.
Great job,


message 270: by Raphaelus (new)

Raphaelus If this works then its pretty cool.
Great job,


message 271: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte The scan shows up on my app on my iPhone, I center it over a bar code but there is no apparent way to tell it to scan! I push, swipe, tap, etc. every possible spot but nothing happens. Help!


message 272: by Nancy (new)

Nancy A Do you have to have the latest iPhone for the scanner to appear?


message 273: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte I figured it out - you just have to be sure to get the barcode centered in the area defined for it, hold it still and it will scan without pushing any buttons and a little beep indicates it has done so - patience is the key - and I'm not the most patient of people but it works very nicely now that I know that.


message 274: by Stacy (new)

Stacy Nancy wrote: "Do you have to have the latest iPhone for the scanner to appear?"

Unfortunately, yes.


message 275: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte My iPhone is a 3G that is more than a year old and the scanner works so you don't need 4G or the very newest phone.


message 276: by Irwan (new)

Irwan This is a cool feature! Good job!


message 277: by Jana (last edited Feb 07, 2011 04:18PM) (new)

Jana I scanned about 30 books and they were all showing up on my list of scanned books. But the next time I looked the list was gone and it says there are no scanned books and they never showed up on web-based Goodreads.com account. Do I need to start all over again? And if so, how do I get them to sync with Goodreads.com? And then how do add them to their appropriate shelves? Or do I have to do them all one at a time?

UPDATE: OK, so I figured out the problem...after you scan each book you have to click on the name of the book which takes you to another page to add it to your bookshelves and then click "Submit" which THEN puts it into Your Books.


message 278: by Kris (new)

Kris 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...."

Ya me too can't see the option to scan?


message 279: by Charlotte (new)

Charlotte Those of you who cannot find the option to scan: have you updated the app in the last few days? Try updating the app and syncing your phone again.


message 280: by Katharine (new)

Katharine Alfonso wrote: "Great! but when it comes out for Android OS???? don't get me wrong! Iphones are great!* but more people have droid!"


Yes! It would be wonderful to see a blog post on when we will see a Goodreads app for the Android OS. It's already ahead of Apple in market share, and continues to make rapid gains:

http://paidcontent.org/article/419-sm...

If someone could please let us know a timeline on when we can expect to see this, I think many users would greatly appreciate it. Many thanks!


message 281: by Myrna (new)

Myrna How soon it will be available for Android?


message 282: by mabco (new)

mabco Excellent! I hope my nudging you for this feature had some impact on your decision to implement it! I think you said you had been talking about something similar to a barcode scanner; I think the barcode scanner was the best choice. This will definitely encourage me to use the iPhone app more. Thanks!


message 283: by Alan (new)

Alan I was delighted when I discovered this feature. I wrote an article on Connected Magazine in which I quote the Goodreads barcode reader as a example: Beyond the Flat World, http://www.connected.org/is/flat-worl...


message 284: by Larry (last edited Feb 08, 2011 01:04AM) (new)

Larry Could we please have an update on this blog to say that it is available for android phones?


message 285: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Alan, thanks for posting that Connected Magazine link to your Beyond the Flat World article about the gr scanner feature.

I liked your description of how using apps to go beyond a flat online world to one that interacts more fully with the offline world represents unique and appealing form of connectivity.

Alan wrote: "I was delighted when I discovered this feature. I wrote an article on Connected Magazine in which I quote the Goodreads barcode reader as a example"


message 286: by Alan (new)

Alan Natalie wrote: "Alan, thanks for posting that Connected Magazine link to your Beyond the Flat World article about the gr scanner feature.

I liked your description of how using apps to go beyond a flat online ..."


Thanks Nathalie. I was so delighted with the Goodreads App I really had to figure why it seemed ground-breaking.


message 287: by Natalie (last edited Feb 08, 2011 07:21PM) (new)

Natalie For me the difference between the gr app's scanner feature and just using the redlaser app is that the gr scanner feature links a book for sale -or your own personal books immediately with both your "outside world" (aka your friends' feelings about the book) or your personal world (your decision about what am I going to read next?)

Alan wrote: "I was so delighted with the Goodreads App I really had to figure why it seemed ground-breaking."


message 288: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Like many others, I'm eagerly waiting for the Android version. That barcode scanner feature sounds incredibly awesome!


message 289: by Tina (new)

Tina This is cool, but I mostly read ebooks :)


message 290: by Diego (new)

Diego Munoz This is excellent. I used it with the iphone 4, and am very satisfied!! Thanks a lot!


message 291: by Nancy (new)

Nancy A has it worked for anyone using the original iPhone?


message 292: by Lars (new)

Lars Sounds good,
When will you have an android app with scan function?
Lars


message 293: by Bob (new)

Bob Patterson How about making it available on Android.


message 294: by Justin (new)

Justin Goffinet Whoever was in charge of not making an Android app, epic failed their common sense check. iPhone has never come close to being a global leader of phone sales. Android recently did exactly that. Woops?


message 295: by Alan (new)

Alan Justin wrote: "Whoever was in charge of not making an Android app, epic failed their common sense check. iPhone has never come close to being a global leader of phone sales. Android recently did exactly that. Woops?"

To each his own reality, Justin! I'm sure there must be loads of novels about such things.


message 296: by Scott (new)

Scott I dont see the scan option either and I have 1.1.5 (77) on my 3GS I am still on the 3.x version of iOS... whats wrong?? This would have been fantastic to get all my books in.


message 297: by Antiquemom (new)

Antiquemom does anyone know how many books you can load?


message 298: by Ettore, Resident iOS guy (new)

Ettore Pasquini Antiquemom, there's no limit to how many books you can scan.


message 299: by Ettore, Resident iOS guy (last edited Feb 09, 2011 11:05AM) (new)

Ettore Pasquini Everyone, I added some help topics for the barcode scanner issues and gotchas. They are all available in the help section with the other iPhone related topics. Please check there to see if you can find an answer, but feel free to contact us if you are still experiencing problems.


message 300: by Kewball (new)

Kewball Alan wrote: "Justin wrote: "Whoever was in charge of not making an Android app, epic failed their common sense check. iPhone has never come close to being a global leader of phone sales. Android recently did ex..."

Ah, dear Alan, somebody is wrong on teh Internet! http://blog.appboy.com/2010/05/4-reas...


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