When Apple released the first beta of iOS 7 at WWDC 2013, I scoured through the API

changes looking for anything out of the ordinary. That’s when I noticed the unex-
pected addition of new APIs pertaining to barcodes.

At that time, barcodes were little more than visual noise to me, a necessity of mod-
ern commerce but of no value to me as a consumer or app developer. Why would

Apple devote precious resources to implementing functionality for that?
Several third-party libraries for barcode scanning were available at that time. Some
were commercial offerings too expensive for casual use. Others were open source
projects requiring a great deal of work to understand or implement in your own apps.

By adding support for barcodes within the iOS SDK, Apple made the technology acces-
sible to all developers equally. Apple was sending a message: barcodes are important to us.

This paradigm shift inspired me to learn all I could about barcode technologies. I

began to research the barcode types supported by iOS and their capabilities and limi-
tations, and all the new related iOS APIs.