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BlackBerry Messenger No Longer Reads Website Barcodes

Screen shot 2010-11-17 at 11.18.51 PM Yesterday ShvartzBerry asked me if something had changed with BlackBerry Messenger. He pointed out to me that his BlackBerry Messenger no longer let him scan URL links like the ones on BerryReview and App World and open it in the browser. I tried the same thing on my BlackBerry Torch with the latest BBM and it also does not work. It just scans the code, beeps, and then ignores it.

At first I thought it might be a fluke but it turns out that RIM did this on purpose. They just published the following issue statement:

Overview – When scanning a 2D barcode using the Scan a PIN Barcode or Scan a Group Barcode option in BlackBerry Messenger, the scan will occur but the application will appear to do nothing and return to the contact list.

Cause – This will happen when scanning a barcode that is not a BlackBerry Messenger contact or group barcode. BlackBerry Messenger is not designed to read non-BlackBerry Messenger barcodes such as URLs, text, or other information.

ResolutionThis is a previously reported issue that has been escalated internally to our development team. A resolution time frame is currently unavailable.

Workaround – Obtain a barcode reader from an applicable third party vendor. To view a list of available applications for the BlackBerry smartphone, the BlackBerry App World storefront is available on the device or you can visit

Hopefully RIM will add back this functionality in a future version of BBM. I really cannot believe that they have not built this feature into the camera natively in OS 6. They already have the code written so why limit it to App World and BBM. That is just stupid…

18 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. This strikes me as a step backwards…

  2. Yes BBM won’t do it anymore. But you can use App world to scan the barcodes for URL’s etc. You don’t need an app 😛

    • Yeah, but who wants to go fire up AppWorld just for that? The beauty of using BBM is that it is always on.

      I use ScanLife now. I haven’t had very much luck with 1D UPC barcodes and the like but it does just fine with QR codes.

  3. RIM is opening this API set up. I’m sure you will see apps coming that integrate properly, if not native apps.

  4. Damn. I knew this was possible in my os5…
    But in os 6, it could not scan! I thought it was an bug or something…!

  5. I looks like BlackBerry App World now works for scanning QR barcodes.

  6. I’m actually quite FOR this change. I’m comfortable with BBM only recognizing PIN and Group barcodes. I would say though if RIM plans to keep it this way, when people DO use BBM to try to scan “other” barcodes, after the beep it should pop up a dialog that says “Not a BlackBerry Messenger barcode. Would you like to open App World to look for a barcode reading application?” with the default answer being No. It shouldn’t just beep and ignore, as people will think (rightly or wrongly) that there’s something wrong. If you’re gonna write an app that gives feedback like a acknowledging beep, you should at least tell the user WHY nothing happened.

  7. I wonder how many people scan barcodes. I tried it for a while but got bored with it. I think this could be on the back burner and they could work on something else.

  8. i scan barcodes especially on web sites all the time…i even have a little add on for my firefox which makes it so much easier than emailing myself the link or typing it all up. since bbm runs in the background all the time, i dont really have to open an app to scan…click n, menu, scan and yes…now if i have to open app world to do this, i will not bother!

  9. Strange, I have the latest version of BBM on my Tour 9630, and it still works for me.

  10. Scanlife is a great app for this, but I just upgraded from version 3.1.13 to 3.1.14, and now it won’t run on my OS 6 BB 9650. If you have version 3.1.13 I’d hold off to upgrade. Error:

    Error starting ScanLife: Error loading module ‘ScanLife’ VerifyError.

  11. i dont use that feature at all but i think it is defenitely to scan an image than actually typing a the address of a website

  12. This is so stupid and petty of them to break such a useful feature. This adds to the list. They removed the ability to send full resolution photos as well. You have to send a low res photo and the recipient has to request a higher res copy. how stupid is that.

    Sometimes RIM’s data minimizing ways are just too much.

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