As Mobile-Printing Pioneer, Mopria Alliance Aims for 1 Billion Mopria-Printed Pages this Year

Since the inception of the mobile smartphone and tablet, one of the first questions many users had was, “OK now, but how do I print?” While various printer makers have come up with different solutions, back in 2013, the Mopria Alliance was founded in order to make mobile printing as easy and fast as possible – and to all extents and purposes has admirably succeeded, with an astounding 1.3 million pages now being printed daily using the Mopria mobile-print service. To get a closer look at what Mopria has done and what it’s planning for the future, Wirth Consulting recently spoke with Brent Richtsmeier, chairman of the Mopria Alliance Steering Committee, who updated us on the Mopria Alliance’s progress since its inception.

Back in 2013, the Mopria Alliance was founded by Canon, HP Inc., Samsung Electronics, and Xerox as a non-profit membership organization dedicated to making wireless printing from smartphones, tablets, and other devices fast and easy. Since the development and adoption of Mopria mobile printing, Mopria has been installed some 750 million times by users on their Amazon, Huawei, Samsung, and ZTE mobile devices, and there are now over 100 million Mopria-certified printers from 24 printer companies, with 2,400 Mopria-certified models in existence. Mopria Alliance member now represent 98 percent of the worldwide printer business, and Morpia-certified printers are sold by nearly every printer vendor, from Canon, to HP Inc., Epson, Lexmark, Ricoh, Xerox, etc. Some 90 percent of all new printers are Mopria certified for mobile printing.

Mopria is now providing mobile printing for over 500 million customers. “By 2019, we want to become the defacto standard for mobile printing,” says Mopria’s Richtsmeier.

At its core, Mopria is a set of standards that enable printing from mobiles devices to printers made by different manufacturers and brands. With the Mopria Print Service, users can print from Android applications that include a dedicated print button, or by using the Share-to-Print feature when using the Mopria Print Service version 2.3. After downloading and installing the free Mopria Print Service app from Google Play to their Android (4.4 or later) device, the user select Print from their menu (or Share-to-Print) to print a photo, document, Web page, or email message, and a list of available Mopria printers is shown. After selecting a printer, the user can select color, duplex, pages, etc. for their print job, and then taps the Print button to print. Personally, we at Wirth Consulting have found it extraordinarily easy to use.

Millennials and the Power of Paper

One of the main drivers of mobile printing are Millennials, who grew up with mobile devices, and by 2025, will make up 75 percent of the workforce. According to Mopria data, 80 percent of Millennials say they can’t do their jobs without mobile technology, and according to market-research firm IDC, approximately 25 percent of printed pages will now be generated by mobile devices in 2018.

“You’ll see continued investment in Mopria and other mobile devices,” notes Mopria’s Richtsmeier, who also notes that print will continue to be with us for some time, even though its use may have somewhat shifted.  However, “Print continues to be convenient to use. It’s always on and never runs out of batteries….Paper used to be an archive document, now it tends to be a transactional document.”

Mopria Accomplishments and Goals

This year, one of the Mopria Alliance’s goals is 1 billion Mopria service downloads, and printing of 1 billion pages via the Mopria printing technology. Helping reach that goal was Mopria’s announcement last August that the Mopria Printing Service was made the default printing service for the new Android 8.0 Oreo operating system, so that users no longer need to download a mobile-printing service, and discovery of Wi-Fi connected printers is automatic, allowing easy mobile printing to more than 100 million Mopria-certified printers from any Android 8.0 Oreo device. What that means is that anyone with a smartphone running Android 8.0 or higher can print to Mopria printers without having to download third-party software. Mopria also provides end-to-end encryption for document security.

Part of the continuing expansion of Mopria will involve adding more operating systems to the Android and Linux operating systems currently supported. “My prediction is everyone’s going to be using Mopria, except for Apple.” Microsoft is a Mopria member, and is said to be very interested in the technology, and has “been actively participating in it,” according to Richtsmeier.

Why Mopria?

One question many of us have had is: why Mopria? Many vendors already have their own solutions for mobile printing. The answer is that Mopria – which is funded by member fees and volunteer contributions – can provide vendors with more customers who wish to print from their mobile devices. Additionally, Mopria collects key printing data and provides it monthly to its members – showing them how and where users are printing (data is kept confidential of course; Canon, for instance, doesn’t get HP printing data).

Expansion into Mobile Scan, Mobile Cloud Printing, and the Enterprise

Mopria will be launching a Mopria Scan Service this quarter for pulling scanned documents captured with MFPs and scanners to mobile devices. Mobile scanning will work the same as Mopria printing via wireless or WiFi Direct. Mopria will also be seeking to continue its certification of all printing solutions, drive adoption in mobile apps, work on solutions for enterprises, and is also working on a Mopria cloud printing solution. The cloud-printing solution will address many enterprises’ resistance to mobile devices connecting to their networks, and benefits will include remote printing (printing, for instance, from an office in New York to an office in Tokyo), user authentication, and cost accounting, with the solution connecting to the customer’s cloud, such as cloud solutions provided by vendors such as PrinterOn.

Mopria is also seeking to expand into the enterprise. For instance, last November, YSoft announced that its YSoft SafeQ is the first Mopria-certified enterprise print server. Y Soft developed a mobile integration gateway between the Mopria Print Service and the YSoft SafeQ 6 print server. The integration gateway enables wireless printer discovery for any Android mobile device user, including individual consumers, or users within an enterprise. For the first time, Y Soft made its technology – including pull printing, reporting, and secure printing – available to all individual Android mobile device users by supporting the Mopria Print Service with the YSoft SafeQ print server.

Stay tuned for more innovation from Mopria.

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