As we do more and more of our work and life actions on-the-go, a problem has surfaced: how do we link our lives on the road back to our home bases? There is a large amount of work done from handheld devices now, and sometimes people find themselves needing to create hard copies when there is not a printer in sight. What is the solution for this problem? Thankfully, with the onset of cloud computing a solution has appeared: cloud and mobile printing.
A basic mode of mobile printing previously existed: users who are on a wireless network are able to print from anywhere in their office network to a printer that has also been hooked up to the network. Employees may be on the second floor of their building attending a meeting, but by hitting print, they can send documents to be printed to a print station located in the first floor copy room. This application of mobile printing, using radio wave-enabled Bluetooth or 802.11 technologies, is great and useful, but what happens when someone is completely away from the office?
The advent of smartphones and the increasing adoption of tablet computers have created a need for even more remote mobile solutions, and the response has been great. In order to adapt to the unique needs of smartphones, tablets, and PDAs, all of which typically have much more limited memory compared to laptops, apps have been developed that enable users to engage in mobile printing. These apps process and format software in a special way for on-the-go users with printer-specific drivers bundled in. Other mobile printing programs and apps send documents from the mobile device to a fax machine. The document is processed like a document faxed via email.
The result of these print-outs can look different from those printed on a stationary desktop or laptop system; this is due to the limited memory and formatting capabilities of handheld devices. For people who really need printer services right where they are, there are actual mobile, handheld printer devices available. There are different types the mobile printers available, some of which process images better than text.
For even more in-depth information on mobile printing solutions, howstuffworks.com gives users a great overview in this article.