Monday, July 8, 2013

Mobile Printing Helps Businesses Be More Efficient and Productive

When businesses switch to using mobile devices, they save time and money. Whichever your choice, whether mobile printing, printing for Ipad, printing with the android, tablet printing, mobile devices combined with mobile printers will be a smart investment for the future of your business.

Examples of Business use of Mobile Printing

Here are three examples of business that successfully switched to mobile printing:

  • MobileHWY devises mobile solutions for field workers doing building inspections. They use smartphones with App Pro and Bluetooth Printek printers to print out receipts, invoices and violation notices. Because Printek allow different font and graphics capabilities, MobileHWY field workers can use them to create violation notices that can be seen at a distance. Moreover, the Bluetooth connectivity with smartphones has avoided problems they have had with previous printers which had tangled, broken or worn-out cables.
  • GeoAg Solutions, a division of UAP, provides data collection, analysis and solutions to businesses in Florida, especially in the citrus industry. Printek mobile printers have allowed growers to use HarvestPay in the fields to better track productivity as well as to log in worker hours and compute wages.
  • GenCor, an artificial insemination cooperative directed by cattle breeders in Ontario, uses mobile printers to keep track of cows, insemination services and customers. They especially appreciate the ability to upload and manage content which can be printed at the end of each receipt, such as specials, product promotions or reminders to customers.

Apple or Android?

Are you interested in Mobile Printing for:

  • Android device
  • Apple device
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How to use Mobil Printer for business

You use your iPad or Android Tablet at home and you depend upon your smartphone or iPhone for business and personal calls, so you wonder whether you can convert your business over to using iPads, iPhones or Android devices. You can, if you choose the right mobile printer. This Hub explains how you can switch over and gives examples of how this has helped other companies. This review is not a sales plug for any particular device or company, and I do not have any connection to Printekmobile. However, my research indicates that this company offers an excellent product which might help many businesses.

How do Mobile Printers Help?

  • Process efficiency.
  • Customer Service.
  • Profitability.

Moreover, mobile devices are an affordable investment which can be scaled to the needs of a business and grow as the business increases in size. Frequently, the use of mobile devices can also help a business avoid hiring additional office personnel by allowing field technicians to handle office matters on the field. For example, Excell Refrigeration of South Carolina avoided hiring new office personnel by using mobile devices and Printek printers which allowed their technicians to handle their own service receipts on the field.

Here is another choice which shows how this works: Citizen mobile printing

How Can Mobile Printers Be Used?

What could be easier than using a tablet or smart phone for recording orders, keeping track of inventory or dealing with customers? The small size, shape, touch screens, and powerful applications of these devices seem perfect for keeping track of everything from bakery goods to pipe fittings. However,many businesses need to provide customers and themselves a printed copy of various items like:

  • Receipts.
  • Invoices.
  • Service tickets.
  • Estimates.
  • Violation or Compliance Notices.
  • Time cards.
  • Labels.

Unfortunately, mobile printing, printing for iPad, printing with the android, tablet printing are not easy to do. Most importantly, devices using iOS and Android systems are not designed to easily facilitate the printing needs of businesses on the field. This leads to a business problem:how can you do mobile printing on the go?

The Simple Solution: App Pro Makes Mobile Printing Possible
App Pro is a specific mobile printer line developed by PrintekMobile which has been developed to solve this problem of mobile printing. App Pro is able to work with a variety of different devices to provide:

  • Printing using an iPad
  • Mobile printing for iPhone.
  • Printing with a wide variety of Android smartphones.
  • Android tablet printing.

Whether you need your plumbers to print receipts for their jobs, your appliance repairmen to print out service ticket estimates, or your direct store delivery person to print out an inventory of wines, App Pro makes printing on the field not only possible but also easy and convenient.

How does App Pro Work?
For your mobile device to use App Pro, you will need to create a link from the device to the printer through one of the following:

  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • IrDA
  • Cable

The link you use will depend on your host platform. Then through that link you will send your printjob to the printer. You can print out both screen captures and graphics printing. Moreover, using the optional card reader accessory, you can also:

  • Capture and print signatures.
  • Add logos and promotional messages to print output.
  • Use the exclusive PrintekMobile Universal Port accessories.
  • Exploit the other features of mobile products.

Printek provides unlimited technical support to make sure your business achieves the goal of implementing the print function into all desired applications. To make sure you are able to set up the link for printing on App Pro, Printek provides:

  • Proven Software Developers Kits (SDK's) for all computing platforms, including Apple iOS and Google Android.
  • Demo programs showing how to create a communication link.
  • Associated source code to illustrate how to link with the PrintekMobile printer.

Understandably, Printek requires integrators to complete a mutual non-disclosure agreement in order to use their SDK's, but with that agreement comes complete technical support so that you can be guaranteed that their product will work for your print applications.

How App Pro Works for Apple Devices
Apple's iPads, iPods and iPhones are very popular consumer products and the Apple designs are hard to match for style, convenience and user-friendliness. In addition, Apple has catered to the consumer's need for a secure device which is not vulnerable to being hacked. Unfortunately, that has caused it to be more difficult for Apple mobile devices to be connected with printers.

Apple Mobile Devices are Designed for Consumers, not Businesses
Presently, Apple's concentration on the consumer market has caused them to focus on only allowing native Bluetooth communication devices, like headsets and keyboards, to work with their iPad, iPod, and iPhone. While it is rumored that future versions of Apple iOS might support a broader variety of Bluetooth protocols and services, for the present, Apple users are generally not able to use Bluetooth printers.

Different Screen Sizes of Apple Mobile Devices
On an iPhone or iPod, many business applications seemed "squeezed" on to the screen. However, the relatively recent introduction of iPad tablets has created new interest in using Apple mobile devices for business because:

  • iPad's screen has a particularly brilliant and readable display.
  • Size of the tablet makes the iPad a good host for business applications.
  • Use of iPad along with the iPhone many people already have is an attractive combination.
  • Many people use Apple products in their personal lives and like the continuity of using them in business too.
  • App development for Apple products is exponentially growing.


Why Apple Mobile Devices can't use Bluetooth Printers
Apple mobile products don't "expose" or make available for use any of the serial Bluetooth protocols necessary for communicating with a Bluetooth printer. While this allows Apple products to be more secure from wireless hacking that might occur with less secure Bluetooth connections, it also means that Apple mobile devices can't use Bluetooth printing devices.

Apple Mobile Devices Can Print with WiFi Printers
Unlike Bluetooth, WiFi and its protocols and security measures are not variable. Apple can't pick and choose the protocols they want to be compatible with and maintain the 802.11 compliance they need to use WiFi. Therefore, Apple mobile devices are WiFi compatible and can use WiFi mobile printers.

Printek's Solution to Printing with Apple Mobile Devices
Apple mobile devices all run a version of iOS, Apple's proprietary operation system. Therefore, in order to link Apple devices to a printer via WiFi, your company will need:

  • Application code developed in the Objective C language.
  • A registered Apple Developer to create the application code.
  • Printek's comprehensive SDK which helps in all aspects of creating your host application.

Using Printek's SDK, you will be able to fill in the blanks to create a WiFi communication link between your Apple Mobile devices and App Pro printers. Using that link you can:

  • Send a printjob to the printer from your Apple iPad, iPod or iPhone.
  • Print a simple text job.
  • Print a screen capture.
  • Do graphics printing.

What About iOS SKD Between Different Screen Sizes ?

One challenge in the Apple mobile device repertoire is the different screen sizes of the iPad, iPhone and iPod. These different screen sizes can be a challenge for the programmer to make one version look good on all devices. Printek helps with this by:

  • Showing where the Apple iOS SDK gives tools to address this.
  • Explaining in the PrintekMobile iOS SDK how to handle this in the source code.
  • Giving the programmer support and advice from experience in helping other customers resolve their problems in this area.

What about 3G Challenges?
Another challenge that PrintekMobile has helped customers solve is the complications of running a local WiFi printing activity while your iPad or iPhone is also connected with a Wide Area Network through 3G. Fortunately, PrintekMobile's experience with this situation in helping other businesses allows them to help you around this challenge . They will be able to steer you in the right direction and advise you on how to configure your devices correctly to avoid having 3G connections interfering with your WiFi printing.

Printeron: another mobile device solution

App Pro for Google Android

While Apple's notoriety in the consumer market keeps its mobile devices in the news, there are many popular smartphones and tablet computers which run on the Android Operating System developed by Google. Advantages of Android platform are:

  • Large selection of smartphones and tablet computers.
  • Many brands use the Android platform which means more choices and competitive pricing for devices.
  • Growth of Android choices and use is rapid.
  • Projected to overtake Apple so that Android devices will be most deployed mobile operating system in the future.
  • Compatible with many different PrintekMobile printers.

How App Pro Works for the Google Android

Smartphones offer a combination of cellphone and computer in an easily portable device. Android tablets allow for a larger surface space which works better in some applications. App Pro mobile printers allow these mobile devices to be used in field situations to improve productivity and decrease costs of businesses. By using smartphones with Bluetooth Printek mobile printers, Roto Rooter has been able to not only improve customer service to get technicians to calls faster, but also to save money by:

  • Eliminating pagers.
  • Reducing time filling out paperwork by technicians.
  • Decreasing printing costs.
  • Reducing credit card transaction fees and time needed to complete credit transactions.
  • Increasing productivity of workers by 20%, meaning they were able to do at least one additional job per day

Roto Rooter's experience is not an isolated example. In a study done in 2005 by Aberdeen Group, a Boston-based independent technology and market research firm, mobile field service solutions increased worker productivity by 27%.

How Bluetooth Works with Android Mobile Devices
Initially, there was only one Android OS. That same operating system was used on both the early smartphones and tablets. However, as the Android devices evolved and improved, the operation systems of each have separated so that now there is:

  • Smartphone version of the Android OS.
  • Tablet version of the Android OS.
  • Different features and revision levels in both versions.

Although there are many different Android devices made by different manufacturers, PrintekMobile feels confident that any device which has appropriate Bluetooth connectivity will be compatible with Printek printers. While Printek continually tests the compatibility of specific new mobile devices, they feel confident in making the following generalization about compatibility:

  • In general, only smartphones running Android Smartphone OS v2.2 or later can be guaranteed to provide the proper support for Bluetooth printing connection.
  • Likewise, only tablets running Android tablet OS v3.0 or later can be guaranteed to provide the right Bluetooth printing connection support for PrintekMobile printers.

Printek's Solutions for Printing using Android Devices
Printek provides a variety of Bluetooth printers for use with Android devices. Some of these printers include advanced security features for Bluetooth connectivity to make your business printing more secure. PrintekMobile also provides all that a business needs to connect the printers to the devices:

  • A Google Android Software Developers Kits (SDK's)
  • Demo programs showing how to create a communication link between Android devices and Bluetooth Printek printers.
  • Associated source code to illustrate how to link with the PrintekMobile printer.

While the various versions of Android OS can have applications developed in a number of different computer languages, PrintekMobile's SDK is written in Java because Java is popular and commonly employed. Unlike Apple iOS, a developer does not need to be registered to useAndroid SDK. For additional help in using Printek Printers, there is the large community of Android developers who have posted:

  • An incredible amount of useful information to use in developing Android Apps.
  • Utilities.
  • Code snippets.
  • Tips for aiding in the creation of complex features.

Android's Advantage is having Many Devices
As companies consider which mobile devices to invest in for mobile printing, printing for iPad, printing with the Android, tablet printing, the advantages of the Android devices are important to note. The selection of Android smartphone and tablet computers are breathtakingly large and diverse. Moreover, there are many brands represented and the choices are growing rapidly. This diversity of choice gives Android mobile devices an advantage over Apple smart devices. Other advantages of choosing Android mobile devices are:

  • Lower printer costs for Bluetooth printers.
  • Open OS for App development.
  • Good Android SDK with the advantages of open development environment.
  • Competitively priced devices with price competition among brands.

Mobile Printing Lets You Be Ahead of the Competition

Whether you choose to use Apple iPhones and iPads or Android Tablets and Smartphones, by switching now you will help your business stay ahead of the competition. In a tight economy, it is hard to invest in technology, but by increasing efficiency and productivity, using smart devices can end up being an excellent investment in your company's future.

Mobile Printing Concerns and Comments

How are you considering using Mobile Printing in your business? Or perhaps you've already used it. Share your ideas and thoughts in the comments.


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