We're building an embedded app leveraging the App Bridge API. Scanning barcodes with the Socket Mobile bluetooth barcode scanner is a key requirement for us. The documentation and press release for App Bridge gave us the impression that this capability would be available. However, in testing we are unable to successfully capture scan data from bluetooth barcode scanners. If we dispatch a Scanner.OPEN_CAMERA action, the Scanner.CAPTURE action subscription is fired. This leads us to believe that we are using the App Bridge API correctly and that bluetooth capture is not a feature of the App Bridge API.
Can Shopify please confirm that bluetooth barcode scanning capture is not a feature of the App Bridge API?
If this is true, is this feature by chance on the product roadmap for App Bridge in the near future?
We can deliver our app without this api feature, but it will require the user to unpair, factory reset, and repair the scanner to change it from MFi-SPP mode to HID mode which is supported by Safari. This is obviously a sub-optimal user experience and one that we would like to avoid. We also explored building the app as a native IOS app which would grant us access to the MFI-SPP paired barcode scanner but learned that native IOS apps are against Shopify's App Store policy, which means we wouldn't be able to list the app in the Shopify App Store. This would not be advantageous to our marketing efforts.
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Unfortunately, bluetooth barcode scanning is not a feature of App Bridge, nor is it currently planned. The Scanner API uses the device's front or rear camera that is used, which is capable of scanning QR and UPC codes.
Can you share a link to where its stated that iOS apps are against Shopify's App Store policy? Just to state the obvious, iOS apps are only available to install via Apple's App Store.
Hope this helps
Thanks David. That's bad news. But I appreciate the direct answer.
I found the policy language in the General Requirements for all apps. Specifically in the Prohibited app configurations section. The language is somewhat vague so I called you guys to get clarification and was told that it did indeed mean that IOS apps were prohibited from being listed in the Shopify App Store.
Apps that are pieces of standalone software that need to be downloaded to a computer - The Shopify App Store's distribution method is through the use of web applications. There currently isn't an infrastructure to distribute these types of apps safely and securely to our merchants.
If this isn't the case, that's great. But it would suck to build a native app and then have the request to list it in the Shopify App Store rejected.
We are going to update the language on the App Store policy to make this clearer, but what you are proposing is in fact allowable. Obviously the iOS app cant be listed on the Shopify App Store since iOS apps can only be installed via the Apple App Store, but you can list a companion Shopify app which would instruct the merchant to install the iOS app on their device.
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