Once an organization decides to enable mobile printing, it will need to consider the different types of solutions in the market. A wide range of offerings exists, including free apps for basic mobile printing as well as software solutions with many productivity and security features. This post will help organizations determine where they fall on the mobile printing spectrum. In other words, how advanced of a solution do they require?
Basic vs. Advanced mobile printing solutions
Basic mobile printing solutions exist for individuals printing at home. These solutions tend to be apps or native print features (e.g., Apple AirPrint) that allow them to easily print to their home printer. In some cases, the solutions are adequate for workplaces. Home-based business, microbusinesses, and businesses with minimal print requirements may find they are suitable for their needs.
Basic mobile print solutions are typically designed for consumers.
Those looking for solutions with greater functionality, however, are advised to consider advanced mobile print offerings. These tend to be software, apps, and/or hardware that enable secure, error-free printing to a wide range of print devices using a wide range of print settings.
Advanced mobile print solutions are often more appropriate for businesses.
Figure: Key characteristics of consumer vs. enterprise mobile print solutions
Drilling down further into consumer mobile print solutions
Consumer mobile print solutions tend to fall into three categories: native printing capability, print service plug-in, and mobile app. Native printing capability is built into the mobile operating system, and includes such methods as Apple AirPrint and Android native printing. Print service plug-ins are fairly similar, as they integrate with operating systems to give key apps print capability. These include the Mopria plug-in, Google Cloud Print Service, and print services from printer vendors (e.g., Canon, Xerox). Mobile apps are dedicated apps that tend to be optimized for a specific vendor’s printers (e.g., Samsung Mobile Print, Dell Document Hub App).
Drilling down further into enterprise mobile print solutions
Enterprise mobile print solutions can be hosted on site, or in the cloud, and tend to give businesses many configuration options. For example, they can be integrated with pull printing capabilities to maximize document security.
They can also support the tracking of print usage metrics; in many cases, they support a wide range of mobile device types, printer models, and file formats. Other potential features include automatic print device discovery, advanced language support for the printer user interface, and the ability to set restrictions on print jobs.
The below table shows common categories of enterprise mobile printing solutions, including summaries and examples.
Contact our printing specialist to determine which mobile print solution is appropriate for your organization.