How Mobile Printing Works

Software & Services

Mobile printing software performs several tasks at once. It processes and formats documents, and it also contains device drivers to control specific printers. Here are some examples:

  • PrintBoy from Bachmann Software & Services - PrintBoy processes documents from PDAs and smart phones and routes them to available printers. Different versions support different handheld devices, including Palm and Windows Mobile handhelds as well as Nokia series 60 and Symbian smart phones.
  • PrintPocket CE from Field Software Products - This program is for Windows Mobile and allows people to print documents in Pocket Word, Pocket Excel, Pocket RTF and plain text formats. It does not support Windows Mobile 5.
  • ClearVue and Jetcet Print from Westtek. ClearVue opens documents on smart phones and Pocket PCs. Jetcet Print combines with ClearVue to allow printing to certain printers.

In addition, documents printed from handheld devices don't always look like they do when printed from desktop or laptop computers. This is because handhelds don't have enough processing power to handle print output very well. The printing software often has to simplify or modify the document for printing. Also, since handhelds have less memory than laptops it can take longer for them to process print jobs.

Some mobile printing programs work a little differently. PrintAnywhere, which works with BlackBerry and Treo devices, sends documents to fax machines rather than printers. The process works just like faxing over e-mail. The user selects an e-mail message that has a document attached and then enters a fax number. The PrintAnywhere service translates the document into a format a fax machine can read. It sends the document to the fax number the user entered. Unlike software packages that have a fixed price, using PrintAnywhere involves a monthly fee as well as a fee for each printed page.