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The amazing Android SDK v3

Published on | By Miles Skorpen

After months of development, we’re proud to launch version 3 of our Android Scanning SDK! This update is available now in our developer portal.

Version 3 is the biggest SDK update we’ve ever released, and it includes massive improvements to every facet of the engine. With this release, our Android SDK is on par with our iOS SDK, and blows away our competition.

Most importantly, despite adding tons of new features, scanning on V3 is 20% faster than our previous version on all API level 9+ devices.

The biggest changes are in required device functionality. We now support fixed focus cameras, front-facing cameras, and all device form factors. In practice, these changes mean we suport nearly every Android device—and that the RedLaser scanning SDK can excel on tablets like Google’s new Nexus tablet.

We’ve also significantly expanded the software customization options in our Android SDK:

  • Add graphics to the custom overlay
  • Add custom buttons and text anywhere
  • Landscape mode
  • Alter the size / position of the scan window

Taken together, Android apps can now be as heavily customized as our iOS applications. We’re excited to see what will come out of these changes!

And that’s not all. The update also enables a host of other special features.

 

Multiscan comes to Android!

Multi-scan: Older versions simulated multiscan by stringing together camera sessions. With Version 3, we bring true multiscan. This means fewer duplicate results, a lighter demand on the device’s processor, a smoother experience, and a big speed boost!

 

Associated codes: Version 3 will intelligently detect associated codes—like MSRP or issue numbers alongside ISBN numbers. This helps handle a number of product categories more smoothly, and enables some advanced app functionality.

Coupon checking: If you support scanning coupons in app, it can sometimes be important to check if the scanned coupons are coming from real publications, or are photo copies or print-outs. With the coupon checking functionality, you can take a screenshot of whatever is scanned, for further analysis.

Stitching: This feature allows users to stitch together big barcodes one bit at a time. This is highly demanded by our automotive users, since it can be great for VIN / Code 39 scanning on older devices with lower resolution cameras.

To round things off, we’ve added Codabar support, updated our sample application, and created a thorough Android docs section. You can see some more screen shots below. Enjoy!

  

 


iOS SDK 3.3.0 release: Codabar support, new scanning engine, improved sample application

Published on | By Miles Skorpen

The RedLaser team is proud to announce the release of our iOS SDK version 3.3.0. This release is now available to all production accounts, and for evaluation.

This new update contains a number of new features and bug fixes. Of particular note for our users: this update removes the unique device identifier [UDID] call from the SDK.

Use of these identifiers was deprecated in iOS 5.0, and recently, accessing UDIDs in an application may result in rejection in app review.  Due to this change, developers should use RedLaser iOS SDK version 3.3.0 or later in all future applications. This change will not impact existing applications. Historically, we’ve used UDIDs in our licensing system, particularly for developer accounts–they are never used outside of RedLaser. We’re changing our licensing system to use an alternative device identification system.

Two other changes are highlighted in our updated sample application.

First, the RedLaser iOS SDK now supports scanning Codabar barcodes. The most prominent user of Codabar is FedEx, which uses the symbology for its airbills. It is also commonly used by libraries, photo labs, and American blood banks. Codabar can be enabled in a similar fashion as other code symbologies in the SDK. You can also see the other code types RedLaser can scan in our documentation.

Second, we have added a debugging line to our sample application which provides information about the installed license file. You can read more about the testing process here.

Generally, the sample application has also been further updated to highlight some of the more advanced functionality available with the RedLaser SDK. This includes:

  • Built-in multi-scan mode
  • Multiple scan screen overlay options
  • Screen overlay rotation (particularly useful for large code types, like Code 39, which are used for VINs)
  • Utilizes both the front and rear facing cameras

Please utilize code from our sample application as a starting point for integrating the RedLaser SDK into your application, and push our software to its limits!

There have also been a number of behind-the-scenes changes. In particular, we have developed a new scanning algorithm which significantly improves performance on older devices.

Older devices have lower resolution cameras (frequently without auto-focus), and this translates into blurry barcodes. The RedLaser SDK now intelligently adjusts its gamma expectations based on ambient light, which lets it quickly pick out the details of blurry codes even in dark conditions.
Finally, we have introduced support for a capture-preview call. Under any circumstances you specify, the scanning SDK will capture a screen-shot of the preview screen right as it successfully completes a scan. You can send these previews back to your servers — functionality which may help coupon applications make sure real coupons (not just print-outs or photocopies) are being scanned.

 

In summary, our new iOS SDK introduces:

  • Changes to our licensing system to remove the need for UDID calls
  • Improved scanning in low-light conditions
  • Improved EAN scanning on iPad 2 and iPod Touch devices
  • BarcodeResult now conforms to NSCoding.
  • A new sample application, which includes license testing
  • Support for Codabar
  • Capture of barcode-scanning preview images

If you have a production account, you may download our new SDK immediately from our developer portal.