AiO Remote by Hewlett Packard

24 03 2014

Printing documents seems to be old-fashioned in the modern era of digital communication. But occasionally printouts of documents are necessary. I for example use it for if I have to look on two or more documents to compare the contents which is pretty uncomfortable on an iPad because of the One-Window-Technique.

AirPrint

Apple is known for simple and user-friendly solutions.
In cooperation with Hewlett Packard the company developed the AirPrint technology.

AirPrint is a feature which is implemented in Apple products starting with OS X Lion and iOS 4.2 in November 2010, for printing using a wireless LAN, either directly to any AirPrint compatible printers (such as HP’s entire ePrint range, Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, Gestetner, Hewlett-Packard, Infotec , Lanier, Lenovo, Lexmark, Ricoh, Samsung, Savin, Xerox and more) or to non-compatible printers through a MS Windows, Apple Mac OS X, or GNU/Linux PC. AirPrint does not require printer-specific drivers.

The current list of AirPrint compatible printers (at the time more than 1000) can be found on

Apple Support HT 4356

Manufacturers supporting AirPrint with their printer products are

Brother, Canon, Dell, EPSON, Fuji Xerox, Gestetner,
Hewlett Packard with 95 Printers
Infotec, Kyocera, Lanier, Lenovo, Lexmark, NRG, NTT, Oki Data, Olivetti, RICOH, Samsung, Savin, Sharp, TA Triumph-Adler/UTAX, Toshiba, Xerox, Zink

A number of software solutions allow for non AirPrint printers to be used with iOS devices. For such printers, AirPrint support can be achieved by configuring such support on an intermediary system already having such printers configured for local printing, shared on the same network. Since AirPrint is driverless, such a configuration compensates for the lack of native AirPrint support by using the drivers on the intermediary system instead.

Note
The simplest solution for all platforms is to create a new Bonjour Service that tricks iOS clients into believing they’re talking to an AirPrint device.
Presto by Collobos Software Inc. is an example for such a desktop application which allows printing from iOS devices to every printer connected to the same network.

Bonjour is Apple’s implementation of Zero-configuration networking (Zeroconf), a group of technologies that includes service discovery, address assignment, and hostname resolution. Bonjour locates devices such as printers, other computers, and the services that those devices offer on a local network using multicast Domain Name System (mDNS) service records. Bonjour comes built-in with Apple’s OS X and iOS operating systems. Bonjour can also be installed onto computers running Microsoft Windows.

AirPrint in details …

My home configuration consists of an Apple Airport Extreme Router and an HP Photosmart 6510 which is AirPrint capable. That means the printer has just to be connected to the power supply. In a further step the connection to the WiFi network is established via the iPhone-like control panel by entering the networks password.

After connecting the printer to the WiFi network it appears in the print menu of every printing-capable app. No installation of drivers, no cables, no additional software which usually comes from an installation CD and is nothing more than ad of the manufacturer.

AiO Remote app by HP …

There are two ways to connect an iOS device to a HP printer:

  • 1 HP wireless direct allows you to connect your iPad directly to your printer wirelessly, without a wireless router. The printer must be equipped with HP wireless direct, and HP wireless direct must be turned on to connect to any iOS device.
  • 2 When connecting to the printer over a WiFi network, you are connecting to the printer using a wireless router. The printer might be wirelessly to the router or with an Ethernet cable. A connection is established after entering the WiFi password.
  • The features …

    • 1 Take a photo and automatically transform it into a PDF.
    • 2 Scan pages placed on the device by using the control buttons on the printer’s display or controls displayed in the app. Save scanned documents in the app specific folder on your iOS device or in the cloud (Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, Evernote, Photostream, or many other cloud storages like iDriveSync via WebDAV).
    • 3 Copy documents using the control buttons on the printer’s display or the controls shown in the app.
    • 4 Show printer details like settings, comnections, supply levels, and print reports like network configuration, wireless test report, or print quality report.
    • 5 Automatic upload of new documents to iCloud and syncing documents across all your iOS devices.
    • 6 As already mentioned AiO Remote can be connected to different cloud storages. So it’s also possible to download documents from there. They can be printed, saved locally, sent by mail, or transferred to other cloud storages.
      Unfortunately Apple’s iWork file formats are not supported.
    • 7 Optional usage of the HP ePrint Service which allows to send print jobs to an E-Mail address registered on the HP ePrint website. If the registration process is finished your printer gets an E-Mail address from HP. Print jobs can be sent to this address and the printout is done if the printer is turned on. So you can print documents from anywhere by sending an E-Mail to your printers E-Mail address. All these print jobs can be managed using the HP ePrint app or the HP ePrint website.
      The HP ePrint service can also be used to print documents on nearby HP ePrint centers e.g. hotels. Nearby centers are shown within the app if Apple’s location services are turned on.

    Document management …

    I summarized some features of the configuration by taking screenshots.

    1 AiO Remote home screen if the printer is turned on

    20131219-093914.jpg

    2 Multipage scanning with a special feature, rearranging pages with Drag+Drop

    20131219-094056.jpg

    3 Saving the scanned document to a cloud storage or mailing it

    20131219-094156.jpg

    Non-AirPrint capable printers …

    When people are evaluating mobile printing solutions, one of the options is to buy a new printer. If you already use a non-AirPrint capable printer it cannot receive print jobs from your iOS device. Presto (former name FingerPrint) by Collobos Software Inc. addresses this problem. The application finds your classical printers automatically and makes them available to your iOS devices if both, printer and iPhone or iPad, are in the same WiFi network.

    How to …
    Consider a network with an attached printer and an iOS-Device in the same network. Install Presto on a Mac or a PC connected to this network. For your iOS-Device no further action is needed that means no special app has to be installed.
    Presto finds all network attached printers automatically and they can be selected on the iOS-Device with the SELECT PRINTER dialog within every app which supports printing.

    See this video for a short description of Presto by Collobos.

    Summary …

    AiO Remote is a continuously updated app from a reliable developer with outstanding features. UI and UX are perfect and the iCloud integration lets you take photos of documents with your iPhone which already arrived when you come home and use your iPad for further actions.

    Related links …

    HP Mobile Printing

    HP ePrint Center

    Thanks for stopping by.





Air Mail by HP

2 07 2013

HP ePrint Service already was introduced in my article ‘Air Mail by Apple’.
Here are further informations about this service along with some details about the app HP Printer Control.

Here is a brief overview of the topics discussed in my series ‘Air Mail by…’ with details about HP ePrint Service.

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In retrospect …

HP about it’s ePrint service …
Print anywhere, anytime, with any device
HP ePrint technology lets you print at your convenience—from across town, or across the room—using any email-capable device. Simply send your photos or documents to a web-connected printer and pick up the pages later. The process is as easy as sending an email—no software setup required.

Using HP ePrint Service …
If you are not connected to another WiFi network you even can send a print job to your printer connected to your home or office network by using the HP ePrint Service.

Sign in to HP ePrintCenter, register your printer by entering the unique printer code (supplied by HP for every printer; shown in the Web-Service-Menu of the printer’s control panel). You can then create an E-Mail address for your printer. It looks like name@hpeprint.com.
If you send a document to this address HP ePrint Service will send a print job to your printer at home or in the office which is assigned to this E-Mail address.

The app HP Printer Control …

Some weeks ago HP updated it’s app HP Printer Control.
Now it combines printer management, file management, and scan functionalities. So it’s like Documents + Scanner Pro (by Readdle) in one app.

Help System …

An excellent help system is not standard at the time. Many apps in Apple’s App Store even don’t offer an integrated help system or link to a web-based help system. This is not what users expect.

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Scanning documents …

HP Printer Control scans documents via the scan functionality of an HP All-In-One printer and the integrated camera of your iPad or iPhone.
The device documents are scanned with often is an iPhone whereas further file management is done on an iPad. The optional syncing functionality automatically transfers documents scanned by an iPhone with the iPad.
No manual file transfer is necessary.

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File management …

HP Printer Control offers local as well as cloud-based file management.
Well-known cloud providers are supported, others can be accessed via WebDAV (e.g. iDriveSync). You just have to enter alias, username, password, and the server url to access your cloud account.

20130424-193440.jpg

Sharing files …

HP Printer Control allows sharing via iTunes, http, iCloud, and Facebook.

Share files e.g. from a Microsoft Windows PC with your iOS device by following these steps:

  • Make sure the mobile device is set up for file sharing.

    This is done by opening HP Printer Control on the mobile device and tapping on Settings.
    Tap Sharing.
    Turn on File Sharing.
    Note the URL beneath the Port setting (for example, http://192.168.0.1:8081/).
    To secure the Wi-Fi connection to your device, turn on Password Required and enter a user name and password.

  • Right-click the Start screen, and then select All apps at the bottom of the screen.
  • On the Apps screen, right-click Computer in the Windows System section, select Map network drive from the pop-up bar at the bottom of the screen, and then follow the onscreen instructions.
  • Type the URL found in step #5 of Set up a mobile device for file sharing.
    Note: You must type the complete URL.
  • Clear the Reconnect at login checkbox, if selected and click Finish.
    If you set up a password when you configured Wi-Fi on your mobile device, type your user name and password and click OK.

The new network drive is now available so you can copy files to and from your mobile device.

To reconnect to your device, right-click the Start screen, select All apps at the bottom of the screen, right-click Computer in the Windows System section, and then double-click the network location you created.
To transfer files and folders, use your computer to drag them from the computer to the mobile device or from the mobile device to the computer. You can find them in the Files/Documents folder on the mobile device.

You can also use HP Printer Control to upload images from your mobile device to your Facebook account. You can either enter your Facebook identification data every time you share images to Facebook, or you can set up HP Printer Control to automatically use the last Facebook account you used to log in.

20130424-202544.jpg

Supported file formats …

HP ePrint makes it easy to send and print standard PDF, Microsoft Word and PowerPoint files, text files (.txt), and JPEG, TIFF, BMP, PNG and GIF image files—no printing software is required.

Unfortunately file formats of Apple’s iWork suite are not supported.
You will get this message when looking into the print job history on https://h30495.www3.hp.com/

Thank you for using HP ePrint!
Unfortunately, the “Printed With Error” message means that one or more of your attachments failed to print. There are a number of reasons why this may have happened. The causes and some workarounds are described below.

Additionally you will get an E-Mail containing a problem description and the file name of the document which could not be printed.

This is a perfect communication between user and application.
Sad to say that this is definitely not the standard behavior of apps for iOS devices.

Addenda …

When people are evaluating mobile printing solutions, one of the options is to buy a new printer.

If you already use a printer (even if it’s not AirPrint capable) it cannot receive print jobs from your iOS device.

FingerPrint by http://collobos.com/ addresses this problem.
It’s basically a simple solution running an all platforms which creates a new Bonjour service that tricks iOS clients into believing they’re talking to an AirPrint device.

The application finds your printers automatically and makes them available to your iOS devices.

Find more details in my blog

Printing from iOS devices

Summary …

It’s not really surprising that the winner is HP ePrint because this technology was developed by Apple and HP. It’s the easiest way to print documents or images from Apple’s iOS devices.
Furthermore HP offers a service with which it’s also possible to print from outside a WiFi network by using the E-Mail address of the printer.

The main disadvantage of Google Cloud Print is that there is only one iOS app supporting this technology.

Thanks for visiting http://iNotes4You.com.
I hope you will be back soon.
Positive (to feed the blogger) and negative comments (to improve the quality) are highly appreciated.





Air Mail by Google

29 06 2013

Google Cloud Print is an online service that connects your printers to the web. Using Google Cloud Print, you can make your home and work printers available to you and anyone you choose, from the applications you use every day. It works on your phone, tablet, Chrome device, PC, and any other web-connected device you want to print from.

Here is a brief overview of the topics discussed in my series ‘Air Mail by…’ with details about Google’s Cloud Print.

20130424-211828.jpg

The service is available through the Google Chrome browser, Google’s mobile apps such as Gmail and Docs, and other supported iOS, Android, Windows and Mac apps. It is also the default printing method on Chromebooks.

When starting a print job e.g. from an iPad data are transmitted from the iPad to a Google server and then to a selected printer over a secure internet connection.

What kind of printers can I print to using Google Cloud Print?

Google Cloud Print can print to Cloud Ready Printers, which connect directly to the web and don’t require a PC to setup. Google Cloud Print can also connect to existing classical printers that are plugged into a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer with Internet access, using the Google Cloud Print Connector in Google Chrome.

How do I connect my printer to Google Cloud Print?

In order to print using the Google Cloud Print service, first connect your printer to the service. Google Cloud Print can print to either a Cloud Ready printer that can connect directly to the Internet or a classical printer that is plugged into a Windows or Mac computer with Internet access.

To connect a Cloud Ready printer to Google Cloud Print, follow the instructions for connecting Cloud Ready printers.
To connect your classic printer, you will need to install Google Chrome on a Mac, Windows, or Linux computer that is connected to your printer. Once installed, enable the Google Cloud Print connector in Google Chrome.

Details of connecting classical printers …

To connect your classic printer, enable the Google Cloud Print connector on any computer that is already connected to your printer and able to print. You’ll need Google Chrome to be installed on the computer.

Once Google Chrome is installed, follow the steps below to enable the Google Cloud Print connector in Google Chrome.

  • Log in to your user account.
  • Open Google Chrome.
  • Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  • Select Settings.
  • Click the Show advanced settings link.
  • Scroll down to the “Google Cloud Print” section.
  • Click Sign in to Google Cloud Print.
    In the window that appears, sign in with your Google Account to enable the Google Cloud Print connector.
  • Select the printers you want to connect, and then click Add printer.
    You’ll see a confirmation that Google Cloud Print has been enabled.
    Click Manage your printers to learn more.

    The printer is now associated with your Google Account and connected to Google Cloud Print. You can print to this printer using Google Cloud Print whenever you’re signed in with the same Google Account.

20130422-204116.jpg

Limited GCP features on iOS devices …

Unfortunately most of the apps for iOS devices do not support GCP at the time except Google Chrome and Gmail for iOS.
An app that supports GCP is PrintCentral by EuroSmartz but I cannot recommend this app as it has bugs since years and the UI looks a bit playful and is definitely not state-of-the-art.

Examples …

Printing a website

20130422-204207.jpg

Printing an E-Mail

20130422-204255.jpg

Printing is also available from within the app Gmail for iOS devices.

Sharing a printer …

You can let your friends use any printer you connected to Google Cloud Print, as long as they also have Google Accounts. Follow these steps to manage your printer’s sharing permissions:

  • Visit the Google Cloud Print management page.
  • Click the Printers on the left side.
  • Select the printer that you want to share.
  • Click the Share button.
    When you share printers, you’ll share printer names so choose a descriptive name when setting up your printer for the first time.
  • In the dialog that appears, enter the email address for the person or Google Group you want to share with.
    Click Share.
    Your friend will receive an email notification. To disable sharing, follow the steps above to open the Sharing dialog for the printer and edit the user list.

The security …

Cloud printing always submits documents via an internet connection to the service provider, in this case Google. So security questions have to be assessed.

What you should know is

  • Transmission is encrypted
  • Information about the jobs you send for printing, the documents themselves, and server logs created from each request ate shared with Google
  • Documents themselves are kept strictly confidential on Google servers but only for so long as the print job is not yet completed

Some technical details …

Notifications of waiting jobs are distributed to printers using a persistent XMPP connection. The printer initiates this connection with the Google Talk XMPP servers.

To maintain a persistent XMPP connection Google’s libjingle library can be used. A persistent connection to talk.google.com and subscription to Google Cloud Print notifications is established by sending a subscription stanza to the Google Push Notifications service.

Whenever the printer comes online or receives notification of a waiting job, it uses the Fetch API to grab any available jobs in the queue. The /fetch call takes the printer id (required) as a parameter and returns the list of available jobs in the Queued state. Each job has an id, a title, a status, and two URLs: one for the job ticket (in either XPS or PPD format, determined by the format in which the printer originally registered its capabilities) and one for the job file itself. The file is available in PDF, PWG-raster (March 2011 draft), or in the original format of the document. The document type served is specified via the accept header of the request made to the second URL of the print job: the URL of the job file itself. Not specifying this header will result in a PDF printout.

Summary …

Google Cloud Print is an extremely useful feature but Apple again said ‘NO’ to implementing this feature and only supports it’s own AirPrint feature. AirPrint is designed for using printing functionalities only for devices connected to the same WiFi network. So if you are out of the commonly used network you cannot print documents.
With the above mentioned exceptions no app designed for iOS is GCP capable.

So it’s recommended to use the HP ePrint Service if there is a need to print documents from outside the network to which the printer is connected (see Part (1) of my articles about Air Mail …).

Related links …

Google Cloud Print

Google Cloud Print Support





Air Mail by Apple

27 06 2013

Printing documents seems to be old-fashioned in the modern era of digital communication. But there are some cases where an occasional print out of documents is necessary. I use it for example when I have to look on two or more documents to compare the contents which is pretty uncomfortable on an iPad because of the just-one-window-display.

My articles ‘Air Mail by …’ explain the different possibilities to print from an iPad or an iPhone as there are Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, HP ePrint.

If both, a printer connected to a computer and an iOS device, are in the same WiFi network a classic printer can be used for printing from an iOS device. This case was discussed in my post Printing from iOS-Devices

Here is a brief overview of the topics discussed in my series ‘Air Mail by…’ with details about Apple’s AirPrint.

20130419-125542.jpg

Apple AirPrint …

Apple is known for highly simple and user-friendly solutions.
So let’s start this series of articles with the AirPrint technology developed by Apple and HP.

AirPrint is a feature which is implemented in Apple products starting with OS X Lion and iOS 4.2 in November 2010, for printing using a wireless LAN, either directly to any AirPrint compatible printers (such as HP’s entire ePrint range, Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, Gestetner, Hewlett-Packard, Infotec , Lanier, Lenovo, Lexmark, Ricoh, Samsung, Savin, Xerox and more) or to non-compatible printers through a MS Windows, Apple Mac OS X, or GNU/Linux PC. AirPrint does not require printer-specific drivers.

The current list of AirPrint compatible printers (at the time more than 500) can be found on

Apple Support HT 4356

A number of software solutions allow for non AirPrint printers to be used with iOS devices. For such printers, AirPrint support can be achieved by configuring such support on an intermediary system already having such printers configured for local printing, shared on the same network. Since AirPrint is driverless, such a configuration compensates for the lack of native AirPrint support by using the drivers on the intermediary system instead.

The simplest solution for all platforms is to create a new Bonjour service that tricks iOS clients into believing they’re talking to an AirPrint device.

Fingerprint by Collobos Software Inc. is an example for such a desktop application which allows printing from iOS devices to every printer connected to the same network.

AirPrint in details …

My home configuration consists of an Apple Airport Extreme Router and an HP Photosmart 6510 which is AirPrint capable. That means the printer has just to be connected to the power supply. In a further step the connection to the WiFi network is established via the iPhone-like control panel by entering the networks password.

After connecting the printer to the WiFi network the printer appears in the print menu of every printing-capable app.

20130419-124820.jpg

Suggested additional software …

HP offers an app called HP Printer Control which allows to fully control the printer and it’s features like scan, copy, capture, file management and some utilities. The file management feature additionally supports access to well-known cloud providers like Box, Dropbox, GoogleDrive, or cloud providers supporting WebDAV connections.

The latest version of this app has a perfect UI and is near to apps for file management like Documents by Readdle.

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Features of HP Printer Control …

20130419-132134.jpg

  • Document control from virtually anywhere
  • Seamlessly move between paper and cloud-based files with intelligent mobile scanning and easy control of your HPe-AII-in-One from your iPhone or iPad.
  • Create high-quality documents from the camera-enabled intelligent mobile scanning feature or send scans directly to your mobile device from your HP e-AII-in-One. Then print or share your device or Cloud-based files online or by E-Mail.
  • Intelligent mobile scanner technology automatically processes images taken by your [Phone or iPad’s camera to create high-quality documents.
  • Documents can be saved as PDF or JPEG to share, store or print from your device.
  • Access cloud document storage services such as iCloud, Box, Dropbox, Evernote and Google Drive or social media site including Facebook.
  • Use your mobile device’s large screen to control scan, copy and print functions of your HP e-AII-inOne.
  • Print photos, PDF, web pages, email attachments, Microsoft Office documents and more from virtually anywhere.
  • Compatibility
    Print, copy and scan with Apple iPad, iPhone and iPad.
    Mobile scanning feature supported by iPhone 4, 4S, 5, the new iPad and iPod 5G (iOS 5.0 or later) or later with 5 megapixels or more camera with autofocus.

How to print with HP Printer Control …

  • Download a document from the cloud and print.
    Even if you are in another WiFi network or just 3G connected you can send the print job to your own printer by using your printer E-Mail address.
  • Use ‘Open in’ e.g. from within Apple’s spreadsheet app Numbers and select Printer Control from the apps menu to print.

Using HP Print service …

If you are not connected to another WiFi network you even can send a print job to your printer connected to your home or office network by using the HP ePrint Service.

Sign in to HP ePrintCenter, register your printer by entering the unique printer code (supplied by HP for every printer; shown in the Web-Service-Menu of the printer’s control panel). You can then create an E-Mail address for your printer. It looks like name@hpeprint.com.

20130419-132245.jpg

If you send a document to this address HP ePrint Service will send a print job to your printer at home or in the office which is assigned to this E-Mail address.
You can protect this service by entering E-Mail addresses from which it is allowed to send print jobs. Furthermore Google Cloud Print works together with HP ePrint Service. For example you can print Google docs without waiting for Google’s service to create a printable document.

Related links …

AirPrint Basics

HP ePrint Service

HP ePrint Data Sheet

Thanks for dropping by.
Comments, positive or negative, are appreciated.





Printing from iOS-Devices

25 01 2013

When people are evaluating mobile printing solutions, one of the options is to buy a new printer.

If you already use a printer (even if it’s not AirPrint capable) it cannot receive print jobs from your iOS device. FingerPrint by Collobos addresses this problem.

The application finds your printers automatically and makes them available to your iOS devices.

How to …
Consider a network with an attached printer and an iOS-Device in the same network. Install FingerPrint on a Mac or PC connected to this network.
For your iOS-Device no further action is needed that means no special app has to be installed.
FingerPrint finds all network attached printers automatically and they can be selected on the iOS-Device the SELECT PRINTER dialog of every app which supports printing.

This image shows the situation after selecting ‘Open On My PC’ in the printer dialog of the iOS app (e.g. printing from Apple’s presentation app Keynote).

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Open On My PC …
Whenever an app features the PRINT button you can choose any of your printers attached to the same network.
‘Open On My PC’ will open a document stored on your iOS-Device with the appropriate app on your Mac or Windows PC.

Virtual Printer …
Normally we think of printing as sending a document to paper. With Virtual Printers FingerPrint can send documents to locations e.g. Dropbox.
To do this a new virtual printer has to be defined just by setting the property ‘Folder’ to the location of a synced Dropbox folder on your desktop computer. The virtual printer is then available in all iOS apps by tapping on PRINT and selecting this virtual printer. The document then is saved to the specified folder and synced with the cloud storage via Dropbox client application. This is very useful for apps which do not support your special cloud provider.

iWork …
iWork cannot directly save to Dropbox because Apple only supports WebDAV access which at the time is not available for Dropbox.
As an alternative use iDriveSync (7GB free) which supports WebDAV and even a client for Macs and PCs is available.








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