Canon, HP, Samsung Electronics and Xerox have announced the launch of the Mopria Alliance, a brand new non-profit membership organization that was created to promote and increase the accessibility of wireless printing from smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. The need for printing functionality to be possible from a wide range of devices has led to an increase in the number of available printing APIs. At the time of this writing, there are 45 printing APIs listed in the ProgrammableWeb API directory.
Mobile device usage has been increasing rapidly in recent years and is changing the way consumers access online applications and services. Last week, the Pew Internet and American Life Project released a report on cell internet use in 2013. According to the Pew Research Center, 63% of adult cell owners use their phones to go online and 34% of them stated that their cell phone is the primary way they go online. The report only covers adult cell phone users and does not include adults that go online using laptops and tablets. The use of desktop computers has been waning for some time now and with so many wireless devices available, desktop functions such as printing and storage have been gradually moving to the cloud.
The primary goal of the Mopria Alliance is to create an industry standard that makes printing functions universally compatible from any mobile device to any printer and to also ensure that printing is easy for consumers. The Mopria Alliance will be focusing on several mobile printing areas including:
- Influencing the development and adoption of standards for mobile printing.
- Breaking down barriers between brands by eliminating the need for users to download multiple print drivers.
- Providing an open environment and tools for software developers to incorporate print into mobile applications.
- Educate consumers and business customers about the ability to easily print from mobile devices.
In addition, the Mopria Alliance will be providing tools and other solutions to help enable interoperability of mobile and print devices such as hosting plugfest events, introducing a certification program, and providing standardized SDKs and APIs.
Several leading software developers including Adobe, Papyrus, HP Live Photo and Diptic are currently developing applications that will include Mopria Alliance standards. Karl Dueland, Vice President of Solutions Delivery Unit at Xerox, states for the press release that:
"The Mopria Alliance is all about simplicity. If a person is at home, in the office or traveling on the road, they want a simple, secure mobile printing experience. The Alliance embodies the freedom to print from anywhere from any device. It’s that simple."
Developers and businesses interested in becoming a member of the Mopria Alliance can find sign up information on the official website.