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iPad to Label Printer / Bar Code Scanning

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    iPad to Label Printer / Bar Code Scanning

    Looking to integrate label printing and bar code scanning into a mobile app that runs off of an V12 mobile cloud app. I am currently doing this with a web browser and a PC. Just wondering if there is anyone out there that can share some experiences in doing this?


    Michael Carroll

    Re: iPad to Label Printer / Bar Code Scanning

    I think this is a "depends on what you're really doing and what you really want to do" sort of thing. Here's a list of things to look at...

    For printing...

    Apple AirPrint - requires an AirPrint enabled printer
    Apple Apps which let you print to a non-AirPrint networked printer (with varying degrees of success). Lots out there... some free for a period of time for testing.

    xPrintServer from Lantronix -

    For bar code scanning you'll need to get into the Alpha/PhoneGap Build integration and produce a PhoneGap Build app. Have a look at the docs on this via the PhoneGap button on the Web Control Panel and do a search here for barcode scanning.


      Re: iPad to Label Printer / Bar Code Scanning

      Michael --

      This is about scanning:

      I'm just finishing a mobile app that uses scanning quite a lot. It's been a "journey" alright, but now I finally have scanning working on Android and iOS devices. Getting the Apple Dev licenses configured was the toughest part, actually. Alpha's documentation on that process is not exactly clear or written a careful step-by-step manner that would be easy for Apple development novices to follow. (there are three parts that need to work in concert to make this happen: PhoneGap, Apple, and your Mac.)

      As for programming the thing, there is an excellent sample app and a PDF description (linked directly from within the phonegap property sheet) that comes with A12. The only thing that threw me in a loop for a while was the asynchronous execution -- while the scanner was waiting for the user and crunching through the barcode, the rest of my JavaScript code kept happily executing. I took care of that by chaining my JS calls, where one function returns a call to another function.

      Note also, that not all barcode symbologies are supported by this plugin: Android has more barcodes than iOS, and there's not a darn thing I or you can do about it (although I did shoot an email to the "owner" of that plugin to see if Adobe would abide and make both iOS and Android the same.)

      Once everything is plumbed properly, the scanner itself is fast and accurate on both platforms. Pretty impressive, really...


        Re: iPad to Label Printer / Bar Code Scanning

        Originally posted by nlights View Post
        Michael --
        Getting the Apple Dev licenses configured was the toughest part, actually. Alpha's documentation on that process is not exactly clear or written a careful step-by-step manner that would be easy for Apple development novices to follow. (there are three parts that need to work in concert to make this happen: PhoneGap, Apple, and your Mac.)
        Hi Pertti,

        Can you expand on what you learn't about the Apple Dev license process.
        The process seems to have been glossed over a bit.
        One question I have: Do you HAVE to have a Mac to publish a Alpha Anywhere/PhoneGap App to IOS devices?

        Thanks in Advance



          Re: iPad to Label Printer / Bar Code Scanning

          Hi Bruce --

          Yes, you either have to have a Mac or sign up to a "Cloud Mac" service that basically provides remote control to your own Mac instance on a server somewhere. Not cheap, might be better to bite the bullet and buy a Mac, because you have to have the Mac around as long as you build PhoneGap apps for iOS. You also need a pretty recent version of OSX.

          The process is cumbersome, and it costs you $99/year + taxes for a developer license. Which is such a rip-off, if you ask me: after all, these developers will make apps that have to be downloaded from the app store, and at that point Apple takes another 30% of your sales.

          Anyway, the process has many steps. Here's an overview:

          1. Create a certificate on Apple Dev site
          2. Download the certificate to your Mac from the Apple Dev website
          3. Copy the certificate to your Mac's documents folder (easier access than downloads folder), and double-click to install it into the "keychain"
          4. Create a provisioning profile on Apple Dev website
          5. Download the profile to your Mac's documents folder
          6. Go to your phonegap app site, apps area. If you haven't already uploaded your Alpha Anywhere program to phonegap (and specified iOS build,) do it now
          7. iOS build button will be red after the attempted (and failed) build. Click it.
          8. You'll get a browse dialog. Use it to upload your certificate and your profile form your Mac's documents folder
          9. Done! (if everything went OK)

          Once you have installed your Apple dev certificate and profile to the phonegap site, you are good to go. Don't forget: Your app at phonegap site will work only on approved Apple devices (max 100) for testing purposes. You have to add each authorized device separately to your profile, which requires getting the device's UUID, which requires plugging the device into your Mac and retrieving the UUID from the iTunes -interface (grrrrrr.) You can also download a free UUID display app to each device and get it that way. But either way, the whole process a hassle and a major PITA, and it is not well documented, to boot. But hey, why make the life of your captive audience easy? Why, indeed? Although, I thought Apple's mantra is/was something like "it just works." Not so much here.

          Luckily Android doesn't impose any such silliness on the poor developer. No fees, no certificates, no limits, no hardware/software requirements, ...

          I'm telling you...