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Mopria Alliance Discusses Their 2016 Plans
March 31, 2016
Mobile printing in many ways is still in its early years, and most vendors as well as consumers are looking at ways to capitalize on the technology. To aid in this process, an alliance was formed in 2013 between some of the largest OEMs in print: Canon, HP, Samsung, and Xerox. We have stayed in close contact with them and watched with great interest as they have advanced towards their goal of creating a universal standard and experience for users with regards to mobile printing. Last May, we received a 2015 update that showed the amazing progress the organization had made towards their goal. On Friday March 25, we. re-connected with Mopria to see what had changed since May and what we could expect from the Mopria Alliance in 2016. Once again, we had the privilege of speaking with Brent Richtsmeier of Samsung who serves as the Chairperson of the Mopria Alliance Steering Committee and Greg Kuziej, the Chairman of the Board at the Mopria Alliance. When not working on Mopria, Brent is the VP of Development, Advanced Printing Solutions Lab at Samsung Research America and Greg is Senior Director R&D, Mobile Connectivity and Solutions in the Print Platforms and Future Technology Groups at HP.
Mobile Printing Challenges for 2016
For 2016, the Mopria Alliance has listed as the key challenges to mobile printing:
According to the Mopria Alliance, mobile printing is, in essence, a classic Internet of Things (IoT) situation with many providers. Because of this broad spectrum, the providers should and need to work together to find a common standard and technologies. To make this situation work best for everyone, the Mopria Alliance knows it is essential to not only select, but drive the adoption of standards now and in the future.
Printing and Android OS
To once again recap from last year, there is a four stage process to getting mobile printing working with Android. First and foremost, the various software applications need to decide to make the content they provide completely printable as well as integrate some type of print button or other functionality into the app. After this, it is up to the OS to provide the baseline user experience and serve as the intermediary between the app and the print service. The next step is where the Mopria Print Service comes in and takes the file and makes necessary changes to render a printable file. Lastly, the printer is now able to receive the file and prints it out for the end user..
Further, the Mopria Print Service has worked diligently to determine the best standards for local connectivity which includes mDNS, Wi-Fi Direct, and NFC. The organization in 2016 is continuing their work to determine standards for both mobile scanning and cloud printing, both of which should be rolled out later this year.
While many OEM vendors have already developed their own apps for printing from smartphones and tablets, the Mopria Alliance seeks to provide with their Print Service a basic, brand agnostic solution to make it easy for everyone with a mobile device to print. Further innovations can then be handled by brand specific solutions. The big new thing thus far in 2016 is the introduction of Mopria Libraries to Mopria Alliance Members to add to their proprietary print service or applications. This should benefit not only those who are already members, but could help to attract and recruit new members to the group. Another key ongoing mission of the Mopria Alliance is working with app developers on using Android APIs with their apps.
Is Printing From Mobile Secure?
In 2016, the Mopria Alliance is continuing to work on the development of standards to allow enterprise-level mobile printing through Mopria. Among the features that are expected to be released later this year are pin printing, remote authentication, secure encrypted print jobs, data collection, and even stapling as a finishing option. Also ongoing is their investigation in ways to integrate MDM features, especially in an era where BYOD environments are increasing.
Mopria Progress in 2016
The organization has continued to grow from when we last spoke in May last year to now. Currently the group has 24 member organizations that represent over 98% of the global printer business as well as a variety of software companies, engineering and consulting firms, semiconductor companies, and typeface designers. Through the Mopria Alliance self-certification process, the members have worked to publish their certifications for mobile devices and mobile print accessories as well as ensuring that more than 1,100 printers from 17 brands. Together these account for more than 88 million print devices which equals more than 4X growth in shipments from last year to now. Additionally, the Google Play installs have surged since October 2015 with more than seven times growth at over 200,000. Direct downloads reached 1,117 in February 2016.
Mopria has three objectives in 2016:
1. Core Print: Enable Mopria for frictionless preloading, with high quality and an excellent customer experience 2. Drive marketing momentum with Mopria brand recognition and value to mobile manufacturers and app/content providers 3. Expand Mopria?s reach and value beyond Core Print ? to Enterprise, Scan, Cloud Print
Further, according to Mopria Alliance we can expect moving forward that their solution will work with more operating systems and the number of certified printers will also rise as more new printers are brought to market. We will also continue to see Mopria Print Service come pre-installed on more mobile devices and Mopria technology included as part of vendor-provided print services or applications. The company will work to ensure that more apps are enabled with built-in printing capabilities and more updates to the Mopria Print Service for Android are distributed through Google Play.