Mobile Print – It Isn’t as Bad as You Think!
4 min read
Are you here because you want to do mobile printing? Maybe you want to be able to print from your Macbook, your cell phone and your tablet computer. Each one of these should have cloud access when you are on wifi and when you are on a network. We are talking about mobile printing, if you are using your cell phone or tablet. It would be standard printing from your PC.
We have helped companies with their mobile print for years, and this tends to be a topic we cover when a client has a bunch of staff who work remotely and occasionally come into the office (like realtors at a real estate office – or sales reps who are in the field all day.)
We will cover some ways to do mobile print, and what you can do to make this as easy as possible!
Wireless or Cloud Printing?
The first thing to determine is, do you simply want the ability to print while you are using your cell phone or your tablet? If that is all you need to happen, you will be doing mobile printing through a wireless connection. The phones generally support this natively, and there is nothing too special about this setup (unless you are also trying to control color or keep track of the number of prints made.)
With this method, you are simply using the print driver of the cell phone or tablet to print. It connects to your network, discovers the printers, and then you print! In order for this type of mobile printing to work, you have to have the router name and password. If you can’t get on the network, you can’t print on the network.
This works well for business applications where the person wanting to print should legitimately be on the network. But what happens with a university or high school that would like students to be able to print and pay for it, but staff use the printer for free? If you run a computer lab, this could be the situation you face.
About Cloud Printing
If you want the person to be able to print, but not be on your network, then you will probably use a mobile app for mobile device printing. There are a few we have seen. The Printeron app is one of them; Pharos is another. Pharos print requires app-level authentication to print to a supported printer.
The software we use the most is called Papercut. Papercut is a rules-based printing assistant, but each environment is different. Some customers want to control spending, others want to account for it. Manufacturers also have their own free solutions, like Xerox’s – Print by Xerox – as an option to use.
On top of the ability to print while not technically on the network, some of these apps can provide billing options so you can recoup lost costs.
Normally, with these printing applications, the user can upload to the mobile app, or they can email the copier directly. This can take advantage of the issues people have when they are not used to dealing with applications.
This can be a great alternative to a standard print station. In fact, the nicest thing is you can send a batch of jobs to the copier or printer and even enable Find Me / Follow Me services. Meaning you can send 20 print jobs, and then go to one site, release some of the jobs, go to another and release more, etc. This works well for the busy C-level executive who goes from one company location or floor of their company to another location or floor consistently. The idea is to get your prints where and when you need them.
How Does Cloud-Based Mobile Printing Work?
With cloud-based apps, you register your printer or copier on the app (it is connected within your network to the internet), and then you connect your phone to the app, which is how they shake hands. Your phone can use the mobile network to get to the same service your printer is connected to through the office internet connection.
When you send a job, the server stores the job, and you go to the device and normally do a PIN release of the job. The job is sent through the app or by forwarding an email to their server which connects based on your email address to the printers you have available.
Normally, it is a pretty easy set up. Once you have the printer connecting to the service in the cloud, then connecting is easy with the mobile device, because you can do that any way you can get on the internet. You don’t have to be logged into the office network.
The benefit of using the app-based mobile print is you do not need to give any network access in order for someone to print. You won’t have to move files to a USB stick to print. You just send the print job to the cloud, put in a PIN and the job is released.
Mobile Print Simplified with Novatech!
If you have an application where you need to be able to print via mobile, you could be a university, a hotel with computer stations or a business center, or a business that has guests who need to print, we can find you the perfect mobile print solution. We help clients with print solutions and manage IT and network security across the United States!