Blackberry Barcode Scanner?

Aaron August 14, 2009 5


We here at SPN love to hear about new devices. News has recently been picking up about the Blackberry 9700. Most of the device news has been hardware related and nothing has shown any software. So we’re thinking one thing: Where’s the software?!!

Blackberry Messenger 5.0 leaked a few weeks ago and it seems like everyone is running it. Even a few of my non-techie friends have installed it. The one feature I love is the barcode scanning for BBM contacts. Now this is all great when using blackberry messenger, but imagine the possibilities developers could do with this feature?

So I looked under the API documentation (as of 8/14/2009) for 5.0 and did not find anything. I actually scoured through the entire documentation and did find some other neat stuff though. Awhile back I actually tried the Zxing (an image processing) library on the Blackberry but due to memory [lack of] issues it failed. Zxing actually processes the same QR Code images that BBM uses; Zxing is used and supported on a variety of platforms.

So the Android devices have barcode scanning will we?

That question I cannot answer at this moment. The technology is there, as we have seen the Blackberry Messenger process QR images and quite well might I add.  There are a bunch of things the Blackberry can do but developers have limited access outside of the headquarters in Canada. I totally understand that we do not need access to every API, because we’ll end up with an unstable OS cough*windows mobile* cough. We can only  hope that RIM gives us access to this internal API, so us developers can start making some apps!


  1. diane August 15, 2009 at 8:44 PM -

    the messenger 5.0 link does not work for my phone 9700by tmobile

  2. dan August 16, 2009 at 2:39 PM -

    i downloaded OS 4.5 for my 8330 curve lost all my Blackberry Messenger contacts but i now have BBM 5.0 all the contacts i am reloading say waiting for authorization even though the other party has my contact info and has accepted my request kinda stuck here….

  3. Sean Owen August 17, 2009 at 4:09 AM -

    I am a developer of the library you mention. I think I can solve your out of memory problem. In the BB camera app, turn the resolution and image quality down to a minimum.

    The BB does not actually have APIs for accessing the camera*, so apps do this gross hack wherein they launch the native camera app and listen for it to save an image. The user experience is terrible but all that is manageable. This is why the camera app matters.

    * this might have changed since I last looked at this in 2008 and I have reason to believe so. That should open the door to proper apps. Ours is a contributed client that is not maintained so it will always use this hacky mechanism (but as a result ought to work on older BBs like the Curve)

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