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Very poor performance with Survey123 barcode scanner in comparison to other apps

Question asked by sam.ugsc on Dec 9, 2019
Latest reply on Jul 1, 2020 by Philip.Wilson-esristaff

I am working on a Survey123 form where one of the essential requirements is the ability to scan QR codes that are attached to various assets in the field. I am hoping that there is a way to improve the QR code scanning capabilities of Survey123 as the performance is very poor compared to every other scanning app that I have tested (detailed results below).


The QR codes that we need to scan are printed on metal plates that are somewhat reflective. I am having an incredibly difficult time scanning these bar codes within the Survey123 app built-in barcode scanner. I am finding that these tags are almost impossible to scan within the app with almost any amount of reflection. This is a huge problem for field use where light sources are variable.


Other barcode scanning applications do not have this problem. I have created a comparison video with a constant light source showing the scan speeds between the first 8 apps that appear on the IOS app store when you search "Barcode Scanner". Here is a detailed breakdown of the results. 



0:01 to 1:08 - attempting to scan the QR code within the Surbey123 app for over a full minute. The scan does not register the QR code.


1:12 - to 1:20 - Scanning with 'QR Reader' app. This scan took 8 seconds and was by far the slowest other scanning app (other than Survey123


1:25 to 1:27 - Scanning with 'SkanKey' app - this took under 2 seconds to correctly scan the tag


1:30 to 1:31 - Scanning with 'Bakodo' scanner app - correctly scanned in under 1 second


1:39 - 'QR Code' scanner app scans the app in under a second and brings up the correct result as the app opens (near instant scan speed) before it even initialized the camera viewfinder view.


1:48 to 1:54 - 'QR Scanner' app scans the code in 6 seconds


2:02 to 2:04 - Free version of 'QRScan Pro' app scans the tag in under 2 seconds


2:13 to 2:18 - 'Scanner' app scans the code twice, in a fraction of a second each time


2:22 to 2:28 - 'Qrafter' app scans the code in about a second.


2:35 to 3:33 - I open Survey123 again to attempt to scan the code. This time I move the light source around until I get Survey123 to get a correct scan of the tag. This takes nearly a full minute and only achieves a correct scan when there is nearly no reflection on the tag.


Why is this capability so poor in Survey123 compared to seemingly every other application?


Specs: this app was created in Surey123 connect. This specific test was done on an A1954 6th gen model iPad, iPad OS 13.1.3 with Survey123 version 3.6.157.


This problem is not limited to IOS - I have tested the Survey123 QR code scanning with Android (Galaxy S8) and Windows 10 (Surface Go tablet), and on other IOS devices with very similar poor results.