Canon and HP Mobile Printing Solutions Deliver Value to Clients at Little to No Added Cost

12/07/2012

As more and more of your clients’ employees look to print from their smartphones and tablets, the mobile printing solution from a printer/MFP OEM may very well prove a key differentiator in the battle for customers. But as BLI testing throughout 2012 has shown, these apps are not created equal and their features and abilities vary from one to the next. Prime examples are the latest Canon and HP apps tested by BLI.

Canon Direct Print & Scan for Mobile (DPSM)is an app for Apple iOS and Blackberry devices that enables printing from and scanning to those devices when used with compatible Canon imageRUNNER and imageRUNNER ADVANCE MFPs. While the solution includes a free downloadable app (like most others we’ve tested), it differs in that it also requires an embedded MEAP application ($100 list) for each MFP the user wishes to print to or scan from, involving additional cost and a more involved setup. Once configured, however, the solution is very easy to use and offers a unique and very easy means of linking the mobile device and the MFP. Though it lacks some features found in similar apps, the solution nonetheless provides a convenient and stable means of printing and scanning using an Apple iOS device or Blackberry smartphone. Read the full Solutions Report to see how Canon DPSM fared in our lab testing.

HP has several mobile printing solutions in its arsenal. BLI recently tested two: the HP ePrint App and the HP Printer Control Mobile App. The former is an iOS app intended to deliver basic printing functionality from mobile devices to ePrint-enabled HP printers. While HP ePrint is compatible only with Apple devices and lacks the more complete feature set found in other apps—for example, it doesn’t enable users to scan to their mobile devices from HP MFPs—it does provide in-app access for printing web pages and email accounts directly, two features not always available in mobile print apps. In addition, it is the most stable such app we’ve tested and in fact the only one not to experience even a single crash. Read the Solutions Report to see if this free app suits your customers’ needs.

HP Printer Control is positioned by HP as a sister app to HP ePrint. This more full-featured iOS app allows users to control and manage the printing and scanning functions of compatible HP printers and MFPs. BLI found that HP Printer Control provides a very good amount of functionality for a free app, and is an excellent value for mobile workers who employ an iOS device (iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch) and one or more HP ePrint-enabled printers or MFPs as part of their workflow. As with similar apps from other OEMs, it provides an easy means of printing and scanning between compatible devices. What sets it apart is the Printer Info screen—a feature we haven’t seen in other similar apps—that lets users check printer ink/toner levels and device status details, ensuring that valuable time isn’t wasted attempting to print to a device that is experiencing an error condition. Details on HP Printer Control can be found in our Solutions Report.

Jamie Bsales
Director, Office Workflow Solutions Analysis
Jamie Bsales is an award-winning technology journalist who has been covering the high-tech industry for more than 20 years, nine of those at Buyers Lab. In his role as Director, Office Workflow Solutions Analysis, Jamie is responsible for BLI’s coverage of document imaging software and related services.