The Airsource Blog

Optiscan user feedback

One of the features of Optiscan about which we thought quite carefully prior to the initial release was how to stay connected to our users. We included several entry points through which our users can send us feedback when they have trouble with the application.

Here is some analysis of the user reports we've had, some of which contributed to the new features we've been working on for our first post-1.0 release, which should be out shortly.

  • Several users have reported a crash when selecting a contact created by Google sync. Contacts synced from gmail using Google's Exchange server appear to have email addresses with no label (such as "other", "work", "home", etc.). If you select such a contact, Optiscan 1.0.2 will crash. We have a fix for this issue but it will be a few more days before it's available on the App Store. Work-around: add a label to your contact's email address, or simply sync via a different method for the moment.
  • What can we do with a QR code generated on the iPhone? During our pre-release testing, one of our beta testers asked this question. They wanted to (e.g.) email it to someone, or save it to their photo album. We didn't add this feature for the initial release because we didn't really believe it – we thought it would be obvious that sharing a QR code is something you do in person, with someone else with scanning the code you have displayed on your screen. We were, of course, completely wrong. Several reviews and feedback emails made this very clear to us. Chastened, we've added a feature to save a generated QR code to the photo album to the next release. At this point we're not planning to support direct export by email due to limitations in the iPhone SDK (you will still have to go via the Photos app). If Apple opens up more functionality to us, we will issue an update allowing you to email straight from the app. Work-around: in the mean time, you can just take a screenshot and email that.
  • Failed scans. Although we've found and fixed a few small image processing bugs identified as a result of user reports, Optiscan's QR code scanning is actually pretty good. Most of the reports we get turn out to be people scanning visual codes that are not QR codes, or scanning QR codes that have been printed quite small, so that the iPhone camera struggles to cope. As for the former problem, we're considering adding support for other 2D barcode formats, but the challenge when doing so is to avoid slowing down the scan process too much; this may take a bit longer to sort out. As for the latter, we have yet to add software deblurring, so in the meantime must refer users who really need this functionality to Griffin Clarifi, which adds an extra lens to help the iPhone camera focus at short range.
  • Bad QR code generators. For instance, one user has sent us a picture of a QR code with the version bits inserted in reverse order (we're introducing a work-around, ignoring the version bits where they're clearly invalid). In another case, a certain website claims to generate QR codes encoding vcards but instead generates something that is a slightly broken and hence unparseable VCard (at least at present). There's not a lot we can do about these, except try to extract email addresses and phone numbers that might be of use.

So in summary, if something doesn't work, tell us and we'll fix it. If Optiscan doesn't do what you want it to, tell us, and we'll fix that too.