Business tech guide to cloud printing
12 January 2015
3 min read
Can you connect to the same network as your printer?
“If the answer’s yes, you can use a service such as AirPrint,” says Roberts, “Most recent HP devices support this protocol and the IOS (internetwork operating system) will send the device to the printer.”
To do this on an Android V4.4 or later, “you can use the HP Print Service from the Google Play store which will offer apps a ‘print’ option and will communicate directly with the device.”
Windows 8.x tablets already have preinstalled drivers to talk directly to HP printers. On these, a phone doesn’t have to be on the same network to print – it can print directly to the printer.
This means you don’t have to lay an additional guest network just to allow visitor printing. Clients or customers can print without any security risk and need for additional network configuration, as the peer-to-peer print network and the corporate network don’t touch.
Using your printer as a hotspot
HP printers have a capability called “wireless direct” which is essentially a hotspot. To use it, you connect the device Wi-Fi to the printer’s hotspot and you can print directly through a peer-to-peer link using AirPrint.
On Android V4.4 or later, use the HP Print Service from the Google Play store which will offer apps a print option and will communicate directly with the device.
Again, Windows 8.x tablets already have preinstalled drivers.
Google Cloud Print
Chromebook can print to HP ePrint-compatible printers via Google Cloud Print.
In fact, all OSs (open-source software) have an HP ePrint app. Roberts says: “From here you open the app, pick the file you need to print and then use a facility in the app to find local HP public printers (often in hotels, courier offices, airport loungers, coffee shops). Then tap print and you can collect your work at the nearby public print location.”
If you’re not using an ePrint app, then you can use email as the transport. Here you can attach a document or image file to an email and send it to an HP ePrint-connected or Google Cloud print connector.
The Cloud service discards the email body, takes off the attachment, renders it and then sends it to the printer.
Naturally, security is vital, so to stop printers being spammed with random images and documents (or worse!) users need a whitelist of email addresses, which can send to the service and also keep the printer email address secret.
HP will generate the format firstname.lastname@example.org, which should only be given to people who are permitted to send files to it.
The future of Cloud printing
HP has just launched a new service in North America called HP JetAdvantage Pull Print, which will be rolled out in other parts of the world early next year. Initially only available for Windows, users set up an account and can send documents over an encrypted connection which then sits in the HP Cloud.
You can then go to any HP printer with the installed app and enter your credentials. The printer shows which documents are waiting and then you can select them to print (or delete without printing). The printer then “pulls” the document down from the HP Cloud and prints it. According to Roberts, the advantage is that “it eliminates waste, as only vital documents are pulled.
Additionally, you will be able to work remotely (at home, on the train), print whatever documents you need to the Cloud, but then pull them at your workplace or anywhere with the HP Pull Print app installed.”
Roberts adds, “The JetAdvantage Pull Print is a major launch for HP. It is a free service to anyone with a compatible printer and is true Cloud printing, not just using the internet as a delivery service from the mobile device to the printer.
"It is capable of far more than we offer in its initial form and users can expect many more developments from it in the future.”