This post originally appeared on Enterprise Matters  

Embedding core technology from the Mopria Print Service in the current Android OS is the latest step in standardizing printing from mobile devices.

In the beginning, no one cared about print.

In the beginning of the mobile era, that is. Any thoughts mobile leaders had about printing were afterthoughts at best. None of the early operating systems and few apps enabled print.

Recognizing print had value in mobile environments—and that significant desktop volume would migrate there—four print industry leaders (Canon, HP, Samsung and Xerox) banded together to form the Mopria Alliance. Their goal: to advance wireless printing from smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices by creating a standard that enables printing to be universally compatible and consistently easy for users.

Almost five years into the initiative, the Alliance has made great progress. It’s most recent achievement: embedding Mopria core printing technology in the newest version of the Google Android OS, Oreo 8.0, which was released in September 2017. With more than an 80 percent share of the worldwide smartphone market1, Android’s embrace of Mopria is clearly a significant milestone in the standard’s widespread adoption.

And there’s more to come. The Mopria Alliance team promises that achievements of equal or greater significance are on the horizon.

Filling the Need for Mobile Print

InfoTrends reports that 95 percent of consumers and 67 percent of business users want the capability to print from their mobile devices2. To address these needs, the Mopria Alliance aligned early on around IPP (Internet Printing Protocol) as the basis for its new mobile printing standard. Then they began implementing it through product development, testing and certification, and marketing it to build acceptance.

Today the Alliance has 21 member companies representing 99 percent of all printer models on the market. Roughly 2,500 printer models are now Mopria certified—including more than 50 Xerox printers and MFPs—accounting for more than 100 million Mopria-certified printers in the field. On the mobile side, Mopria capabilities are installed on nearly 800 million mobile devices from Amazon, Huawei, Samsung, and ZTE.

Mopria marketing initiatives also have made good progress. The marketing team’s efforts to encourage app developers to include a print button reached critical mass last year with success at most of their top 75 targets, and thousands of apps now support printing. (Some of the top apps are listed on the Mopria Spotlight App Wall.) Now the marketing team’s focus is on driving usage, in part by monitoring feedback and ensuring a smooth user experience.

Usage, too, has grown. The alliance reports that Mopria-enabled printers generate more than 1 million pages daily from Mopria-enabled phones and tablets for printing homework, email, medical records, coupons, event tickets, boarding passes, reservations, recipes and other documents.

Advancing the Mobile Printing Cause

Xerox has been actively involved in Mopria from the beginning, with about 10 executives engaged at any one time and representatives on the Board of Directors, the Steering Committee and all three working groups. Those three groups are focused on Mopria’s technical vision, testing and compliance, and marketing.

The Android OS was an early Mopria target. Apple and Android account for 99 percent of smartphone market share, and Apple has had its own IPP-based mobile printing facility, AirPrint®, since 2010. Android was quick to embrace the Mopria print service, which helps them compete with Apple AirPrint by working with a single organization, rather than 20 separate companies. The latest implementation on the Oreo OS helps users find a network-accessible Mopria-enabled printer and enables basic printing without the need for a printing app.

Having achieved this milestone, Mopria isn’t slowing down. The Alliance’s next big initiatives involve mobile scanning, enterprise applications and bringing additional operating systems into the fold. Industry watchers may well be surprised when they learn where these initiatives will take us next.

 

[1] IDC: IDC’s Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 2017Q4
[2] InfoTrends: “Mobile Devices and the Impact on Print”, John Shane, January 2015

 

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