Options for Mobile Printing

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As smart phones is over-shadowing the PDA market, the PDA and its related supplies are phasing-out by the manufacturers. As software developers, we are exploring alternative solutions and very easily the conclusion is to develop on smart phones platform.

Economically available as it is mass-produced, popular smart phones such as iPhone, Android and similar touch-based phones are best candidate for the replacement (and enhancement) of PDA. To complete the transition to the smart phone platform, a good printing solution is required. We have identified a few options that works.

  1. AirPrint – Apple introduced the AirPrint to enable its devices to print wireless to any AirPrint-enabled printers. Currently most AirPrint printers are from HP and Brother printers with updated Brother Drivers, only desktop based, which means they are not portable. This is only viable if the company would go for iPhones / iPads as their mobile devices and install the printers on their vehicles (connected to the vehicle\’s DC power).
  2. Consumer Mobile Printers – HP, Canon, and Mimaki Printers are some of the best options if you need to print on A4 papers. It may not suit the field service use as such printers are fragile and subject to wear and tear.
  3. Industrial Printing – There are brands such as Citizen and Zebra offering specialized printing for barcodes, labels and receipts. Most mobile printers in this category prints from 2 inch to 4 inch thermal papers only. As of date, we found that Zebra even have its own mobile apps in most platforms such as iOS, Android, Blackberry and more, which can reduce the cost of software development.

Although the cost of managed print services may be higher compared to using consumer-level printers, it is very suitable for mobile workforce. Lower cost in the long-run. Industrial printers may also be used for business and academic purposes and even for election voting services.

Better still, you may want to explore the option of not printing at all. Send by fax through InstantInfo Systems crm features may be a printer-less option to reduce cost and logistics.

Are you developing or finding a mobile solution now?

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