Apple iPad Wireless Printing Catches Up with Ricoh, HP Services
Apple catches up to companies such as HP, Xerox, Epson and Ricoh by offering mobile printing for the iPad and iPod.The announcement by Apple that the company is releasing the beta version of its AirPrint wireless printing for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, a key component of Apple's iOS 4.2 software update, illustrates the extent to which the ability to print wirelessly is being taken by hardware and software developers alike. Although Apple's products don't find their way into the offices of SMBs (small to medium-size businesses) nearly as often as brands such as HP, Dell and countless others, the capability to print wirelessly, and particularly from your mobile device, is becoming of greater importance for OEMs and users alike. Apple announced Hewlett-Packard printers would be the first to support AirPrint, with compatible devices to include HP Photosmart, Officejet Pro and LaserJet Pro series ePrint-enabled printers. However, HP offers its own line of printers offering Bluetooth wireless technology, and many more HP printers can be upgraded to support Bluetooth with the purchase of the HP bt500 Bluetooth Adapter. HP notes on its mobile printing Website that while many phones no longer require any further steps, some phones require users to pair their devices prior to printing for the first time.
In May, Ricoh introduced an application for Research in Motion's BlackBerry smartphones, which allows users to employ mobile printing. The Ricoh HotSpot Printing application allows the forwarding of documents via e-mail or upload from a URL to a HotSpot printing device. There are no drivers to download. Users just need a Web-enabled laptop or smartphone to print to a Ricoh HotSpot printer. Users also have a print option inside their BlackBerry e-mail client allowing the ability to search for and print to publicly available Ricoh HotSpot-enabled printers powered by PrinterOn.