Quest Toward Mobile Print Simplification Continues

Christine Dunne
May 28, 2015

Recently, an acquaintance had a near-meltdown when she couldn’t figure out how to print from her Windows tablet to her Dell printer. On Facebook, she implored friends to help her figure out what she was doing wrong—indicating she needed printouts for work, pronto.

She isn’t alone. Take a look at the user review section of any mobile print app, and you will encounter plenty of comments around printing issues (e.g., app doesn’t work, formatting is incorrect, printer isn’t supported). Indeed, recent InfoTrends research indicated that the top perceived barriers to mobile printing center around technical and compatibility issues.

Assuming you needed to print something from your smartphone or tablet for personal reasons, which would be the largest barriers to doing so?

Source: Mobile Devices and the Impact on Print: Looking for the Opportunities in the U.S., China, Mexico and Brazil

This survey question dealt with printing for personal reasons, but similar results emerged from a work-specific question. While it’s clear there’s work to do in ensuring printing from mobile devices is as easy as possible, it’s also evident that the industry is making progress in simplifying the mobile print experience.

Some of these achievements are discussed in InfoTrends’ recently published analysis piece 2015 Mobile Printing Update: Simplification Key Theme in Industry & Research. As highlighted in the document, recent developments have fallen into five categories:

  • Enhanced mobile print support in printers
  • New business-oriented solutions
  • Developments tied to the Mopria Alliance
  • New apps and plug-ins tied to mobile printing
  • Shifting mobile print communications

On the whole, we believe these developments have contributed to making mobile printing easier for the end user. The Mopria Alliance’s new Mopria Print Service plug-in, for instance, gives Android users an intuitive way to print to a wide range of printer and MFP models from a wide range of manufacturers.

In addition, a new version of the plug-in released in January added a variety of new features, including support for Wi-Fi Direct connection, duplex printing, and new media sizes (e.g., A3, A5, U.S. Legal, 11” x 17”, 5” x 7”, and 8” x 10”).

Nevertheless, the Mopria Alliance’s goal of encouraging handset manufacturers to preload the plug-in onto smartphones and tablets has not yet been achieved; as such, users must manually install the print service themselves. This requirement is not ideal, especially if awareness of the plug-in is low.

Another challenge is that supported apps are currently limited to Google apps like Gallery, Chrome, Gmail, Photos, Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides as well as the third-party apps listed on the Mopria Alliance’s website (e.g., Adobe Reader, Good News First, myMail, Nine-Exchange Outlook Mail, OfficeSuite 8, Polaris Office, WPS Office, and Yahoo Mail).

If the Mopria Alliance can continue its momentum and make headway in these areas—as well as other areas cited by the organization, it does seem like the barriers to mobile printing can be lessened.

For more information on recent mobile printing developments as well as InfoTrends’ latest research on the topic, please contact Scott Phinney at scott.phinney@infotrends.com. InfoTrends will also be conducting a primary research study on mobile print opportunities in Europe this summer.

 

This survey question dealt with printing for personal reasons, but similar results emerged from a work-specific question. While it’s clear there’s work to do in ensuring printing from mobile devices is as easy as possible, it’s also evident that the industry is making progress in simplifying the mobile print experience.

 

Some of these achievements are discussed in InfoTrends’ recently published analysis piece 2015 Mobile Printing [CD1] Update: Simplification Key Theme in Industry & Research. As highlighted in the document, recent developments have fallen into five categories:

· Enhanced mobile print support in printers

· New business-oriented solutions

· Developments tied to the Mopria Alliance

· New apps and plug-ins tied to mobile printing

· Shifting mobile print communications

On the whole, we believe these developments have contributed to making mobile printing easier for the end user. The Mopria Alliance’s new Mopria Print Service plug-in, for instance, gives Android users an intuitive way to print to print to a wide range of printer and MFP models from a wide range of manufacturers.

In addition, a new version of the plug-in released in January added a variety of new features, including support for Wi-Fi Direct connection, duplex printing, and new media sizes (e.g., A3, A5, U.S. Legal, 11” x 17”, 5” x 7”, and 8” x 10”).

Nevertheless, the Mopria Alliance’s goal of encouraging handset manufacturers to preload the plugin onto smartphones and tablets has not yet been achieved; as such, users must manually install the print service themselves. This requirement is not ideal, especially if awareness of the plugin is low.

Another challenge is that supported apps are currently limited to Google apps like Gallery, Chrome, Gmail, Photos, Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides as well as the third-party apps listed on the Mopria Alliance’s website (e.g., Adobe Reader, Good News First, myMail, Nine-Exchange Outlook Mail, OfficeSuite 8, Polaris Office, WPS Office, and Yahoo Mail).

If the Mopria Alliance can continue its momentum and make headway in these areas—as well as other areas cited by the organization, it does seem like the barriers to mobile printing can be lessened.

For more information on recent mobile printing developments as well as InfoTrends’ latest research on the topic, please contact Scott Phinney at scott.phinney@infotrends.com. InfoTrends will also be conducting a primary research study on mobile print opportunities in Europe this summer[CD2] .


 

[CD1]Not yet in store, can ask Donna to put it up

 

[CD2]Is there a prospectus we can link to?

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