Comparing Flutter QR Code Scanning Libraries: Which One to Choose?

June 24, 2024, . open book7 minutes read






Comparing Flutter QR Code Scanning Libraries

QR codes have become ubiquitous in various applications, from making payments to sharing information quickly and efficiently. As a Flutter developer, integrating QR code scanning capabilities into your app can greatly enhance user experience. However, with several libraries available, choosing the right one can be daunting. This blog post aims to compare the most popular Flutter QR code scanning libraries—qr_code_scanner, barcode_scan2, and mobile_scanner—to help you decide which one to use.

Introduction

Before diving into the comparison, it’s essential to understand what QR codes are and why they are significant. QR (Quick Response) codes are two-dimensional barcodes that store information such as URLs, text, or other data. They can be scanned using a camera-equipped device, making them an efficient way to transfer information.

In Flutter, QR code scanning can be implemented using various libraries. Each library has its unique features, advantages, and limitations. This comprehensive guide will compare qr_code_scanner, barcode_scan2, and mobile_scanner based on various criteria, including ease of use, performance, features, and community support.

1. qr_code_scanner

Overview:

qr_code_scanner is one of the most popular libraries for QR code scanning in Flutter. It is well-maintained and offers a robust set of features for scanning QR codes and barcodes.

Installation:

To use qr_code_scanner, add it to your pubspec.yaml file:

dependencies:
  qr_code_scanner: ^0.3.5

Basic Usage:

Here’s a simple example of how to use qr_code_scanner:

import 'package:flutter/material.dart';
import 'package:qr_code_scanner/qr_code_scanner.dart';

void main() => runApp(MyApp());

class MyApp extends StatelessWidget {
  @override
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    return MaterialApp(
      home: QRViewExample(),
    );
  }
}

class QRViewExample extends StatefulWidget {
  @override
  _QRViewExampleState createState() => _QRViewExampleState();
}

class _QRViewExampleState extends State<QRViewExample> {
  final GlobalKey qrKey = GlobalKey(debugLabel: 'QR');
  QRViewController? controller;

  @override
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    return Scaffold(
      body: Column(
        children: <Widget>[
          Expanded(
            flex: 5,
            child: QRView(
              key: qrKey,
              onQRViewCreated: _onQRViewCreated,
            ),
          ),
          Expanded(
            flex: 1,
            child: Center(
              child: Text('Scan a code'),
            ),
          )
        ],
      ),
    );
  }

  void _onQRViewCreated(QRViewController controller) {
    this.controller = controller;
    controller.scannedDataStream.listen((scanData) {
      print(scanData);
    });
  }

  @override
  void dispose() {
    controller?.dispose();
    super.dispose();
  }
}

Features of qr_code_scanner

  1. Supports QR codes and various barcode formats.
  2. Customizable scanning area.
  3. Torch (flashlight) control.
  4. Camera switching (front/rear).

Pros of qr_code_scanner

  • Easy to set up and use.
  • Good performance with fast scanning.
  • Active community and regular updates.

Cons of qr_code_scanner

  • Limited customization options compared to some other libraries.
  • May require additional permissions handling for camera access.

2. barcode_scan2

Overview:

barcode_scan2 is another widely used library for scanning QR codes and barcodes in Flutter. It is a fork of the original barcode_scan library and is actively maintained.

Installation:

To use barcode_scan2, add it to your pubspec.yaml file:

dependencies:
  barcode_scan2: ^4.1.4

Basic Usage:

Here’s an example of how to use barcode_scan2:

import 'package:flutter/material.dart';
import 'package:barcode_scan2/barcode_scan2.dart';

void main() => runApp(MyApp());

class MyApp extends StatelessWidget {
  @override
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    return MaterialApp(
      home: BarcodeScanExample(),
    );
  }
}

class BarcodeScanExample extends StatefulWidget {
  @override
  _BarcodeScanExampleState createState() => _BarcodeScanExampleState();
}

class _BarcodeScanExampleState extends State<BarcodeScanExample> {
  String result = "Scan a QR code";

  Future _scanQR() async {
    var result = await BarcodeScanner.scan();
    setState(() {
      this.result = result.rawContent;
    });
  }

  @override
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    return Scaffold(
      appBar: AppBar(
        title: Text('Barcode Scan Example'),
      ),
      body: Center(
        child: Column(
          mainAxisAlignment: MainAxisAlignment.center,
          children: <Widget>[
            Text(result),
            SizedBox(height: 20),
            ElevatedButton(
              onPressed: _scanQR,
              child: Text('Scan QR Code'),
            ),
          ],
        ),
      ),
    );
  }
}

Features of barcode_scan2

  • Supports both QR codes and barcodes.
  • Simple API for quick integration.
  • Provides raw data and formatted result.

Pros of barcode_scan2

  • Straightforward and easy to use.
  • Good for simple applications that require basic scanning functionality.

Cons of barcode_scan2

  • Limited features compared to qr_code_scanner.
  • May not perform as well in low-light conditions.
  • Less customization for the scanning interface.

3. mobile_scanner

Overview:

mobile_scanner is a modern and efficient QR code and barcode scanning library for Flutter. It focuses on performance and ease of use.

Installation:

To use mobile_scanner, add it to your pubspec.yaml file:

dependencies:
  mobile_scanner: ^0.3.9

Basic Usage:

Here’s an example of how to use mobile_scanner:

import 'package:flutter/material.dart';
import 'package:mobile_scanner/mobile_scanner.dart';

void main() => runApp(MyApp());

class MyApp extends StatelessWidget {
  @override
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    return MaterialApp(
      home: MobileScannerExample(),
    );
  }
}

class MobileScannerExample extends StatefulWidget {
  @override
  _MobileScannerExampleState createState() => _MobileScannerExampleState();
}

class _MobileScannerExampleState extends State<MobileScannerExample> {
  String result = "Scan a QR code";

  @override
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    return Scaffold(
      body: MobileScanner(
        onDetect: (barcode, args) {
          if (barcode.rawValue == null) {
            print('Failed to scan Barcode');
          } else {
            final String code = barcode.rawValue!;
            setState(() {
              result = code;
            });
          }
        },
      ),
    );
  }
}

Features of mobile_scanner

  • Supports multiple barcode formats.
  • Fast and efficient scanning.
  • Customizable UI.

Pros of mobile_scanner

  • High performance and quick scanning.
  • Modern and actively maintained.
  • Good customization options.

Cons of mobile_scanner

  • Less mature than qr_code_scanner.
  • Smaller community and fewer resources are available.

Comparison OF Comparing Flutter QR Code Scanning Libraries

Ease of Use:

  • qr_code_scanner: Easy to set up with a straightforward API.
  • barcode_scan2: Simplest API but less customization.
  • mobile_scanner: Simple API with good performance and customization.

Performance:

  • qr_code_scanner: Reliable performance, quick scanning.
  • barcode_scan2: Adequate for basic use, but can struggle in low light.
  • mobile_scanner: High performance, efficient scanning.

Features:

  • qr_code_scanner: Rich feature set including customizable scanning area, torch control, and camera switching.
  • barcode_scan2: Basic features, suitable for simple applications.
  • mobile_scanner: Modern features with good customization and performance.

Community and Support:

  • qr_code_scanner: Large community, good documentation, and regular updates.
  • barcode_scan2: Decent community support, but less active.
  • mobile_scanner: Growing community, actively maintained.

Use Cases:

  • qr_code_scanner: Suitable for applications needing robust scanning capabilities with various features.
  • barcode_scan2: Best for simple applications with basic scanning needs.
  • mobile_scanner: Ideal for modern applications requiring high performance and efficient scanning.
Feature/Criteriaqr_code_scannerbarcode_scan2mobile_scanner
Ease of UseEasy to set up, straightforward APISimplest API, very easy to useSimple API with good performance
PerformanceReliable, quick scanningAdequate, may struggle in low lightHigh performance, efficient scanning
Supported FormatsQR codes, various barcodesQR codes, barcodesMultiple barcode formats
CustomizationCustomizable scanning area, torch control, camera switchingLimited customizationGood customization options
Torch (Flashlight) ControlYesNoYes
Camera SwitchingYesNoYes
Community SupportLarge, active, good documentationDecent, less activeGrowing, actively maintained
Library MaturityMature, well-maintainedMature, but less activeModern, actively maintained
Installationqr_code_scanner: ^0.3.5barcode_scan2: ^4.1.4mobile_scanner: ^0.3.9
Typical Use CasesApplications needing robust features and customizationSimple applications requiring basic scanningGrowing actively maintained
ProsFeature-rich, easy setup, fast scanningVery easy to use, straightforwardHigh performance, good customization
ConsLimited customization optionsLimited features, may struggle in low lightSmaller community, fewer resources available

Summary

  • qr_code_scanner is ideal if you need a robust, feature-rich library with good community support. It offers a reliable performance with quick scanning and supports various barcode formats.
  • barcode_scan2 is suitable for simple applications that require basic QR code scanning. It has the simplest API and is very easy to use but offers limited features and customization.
  • mobile_scanner is best for modern applications that prioritize high-performance and efficient scanning. It offers good customization options but has a smaller community compared to the other two.

Choosing the right QR code scanning library for your Flutter project depends on your specific needs and the complexity of your application. Here’s a quick summary to help you decide:

  • If you need a robust, feature-rich library with good community support, go for qr_code_scanner.
  • For simple applications that require basic QR code scanning, barcode_scan2 is a good choice due to its straightforward API.
  • If performance and modern features are your priority, mobile_scanner is an excellent option.

Each library has its strengths and weaknesses, so consider your project requirements and choose the one that best fits your needs. Happy coding!


This comprehensive guide should help you make an informed decision when choosing a Flutter QR code scanning library. By understanding the features, pros, and cons of each option, you can select the best tool for your project and enhance your app’s functionality with seamless QR code scanning capabilities.


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