Mopria Alliance Formed to Standardize Mobile Printing

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    The makers of tablets and smartphones haven’t exactly made it easy for users to print from their mobile devices. After all, most users keep files digital and in the cloud to make it easier to access them from any device, but there are times when printing a concert or airline ticket is necessary. As of today, printing from a mobile device requires special applications or drivers that are often difficult to find.

    A new nonprofit, Mopria Alliance, was announced today by Canon, Samsung, HP and Xerox with the express goal of creating a way for users of mobile computing devices to print documents without hassle.

    While Adobe has already voiced support for the effort, Apple and Microsoft are both absent as of yet. According to Karl Dueland, vice president of solutions delivery for Xerox, the first instances of Mopria technology will manifest themselves in Google Android devices, but he says the alliance remains hopeful that other vendors will soon join.

    Dueland says use cases for mobile printing include everything from the printing of coupons to construction sites where workers need to move from one part of a job site to another to work on different projects.

    The alliance hopes to develop mobile printing standards that will allow mobile device manufacturers to create devices that are free to print from any printer—currently many devices only work with certain printers or drivers developed for that device or OS. The Mopria Alliance is also developing an open application programming interface designed to make it easier for developers to incorporate support for the mobile printing technology developed by the alliance.

    Even though it would be nice for us to live paperlessly, the world isn’t quite ready for that just yet. Some cases still require printed documents. So until the day comes that every document and file is accepted in electronic form, mobile users will still welcome the ability to print simply and easily from their devices no matter which app or printer they are using.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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