What happens when I scan something?
If you're writing an order, then scanning a product will add it to the cart. How much is added is determined by the "multiple" of that particular product. If you scan something that was already on the order, then the quantity will be increased by one multiple.
If you're not writing an order and just browsing your catalog, then scanning a product will show the full-screen view of that product. Think of the scanning as the quickest way to look up the product in your database.
Scanning with the camera
If you are using an iPhone or iPod touch, we support scanning barcodes using the built-in camera on your device. We don't support this on the iPad 2, even though it does have a camera, because even though it has a much higher price tag than an iPhone or iPod Touch, the iPad 2 has a pretty horrible camera that cannot resolve pictures well enough to scan barcodes effectively. Boo hoo.
If you are on an iPhone or iPod Touch, you will be asked whether you want to scan via the camera or via bluetooth the first time you try it. If you choose the wrong thing, you can log out and back in and you will be able to choose your scanning method again.
Scanning with a bluetooth scanner
On any iOS device, you have the option of using a bluetooth scanner. Most bluetooth scanners present themselves to your device as an external keyboard, and when they scan a barcode it's the same as if someone just typed the barcode in really, really quickly.
In order to scan via bluetooth, you need to:
- Buy a bluetooth scanner. We recommend the Socket Mobile CHS-7E (more on that later).
- Pair the bluetooth scanner with your iOS device. The instructions for doing this will be included with the scanner itself, however, they will usually involve going into Settings on your iPad or iPhone's home screen, going to General > Bluetooth and finding your scanner in the list of devices to pair with.
- Go into a products view in Handshake, hit the barcode button, and start scanning!
Which bluetooth scanner should I buy?
As mentioned above, we really like the Socket Mobile CHS-series scanners. If you haven't already bought a scanner, here's why you should get one from Socket:
- When iOS detects a bluetooth keyboard (which is what bluetooth scanners masquerade as), it prevents the on-screen keyboard from being shown. In practical terms this means that you would have to un-pair your scanner from your device if you were scanning and wanted to type something into an order (e.g. notes, or a customer address), which would be a huge hassle. The Socket CHS scanners have a "double-tap" feature that allows you to temporarily show the on-screen keyboard while the scanner is still paired, giving you the best of both worlds.
- They are relatively cheap (can usually be found online for less than $300USD).
- We do all our testing and development on a Socket Mobile device and recommend the Socket Mobile CHS-7Ci model, so if you get one of those you can pretty much guarantee that everything is going to work 100%. Any scanner that acts as a bluetooth keyboard should work though.