The Latest on the Android Print API for Enabling Print In Your Mobile App

Posted 7/9/2016 8:12:12 AM by STUART PARKERSON, Publisher Emeritus

The Latest on the Android Print API for Enabling Print In Your Mobile App
We recently announced that we are working with the Mopria Alliance to conduct research into app publishers’ adoption and integration of print capabilities within Android apps. Included as part of the research is a short survey on developer interest and actual integration of print into apps (you can take the survey at the end of this article without leaving this page or go directly to the survey here.)

The ability to enable print from an Android app became much easier with the introduction of the Android 4.4 Print API, which includes a complete framework that allows mobile app users to print any document using a printer connected over Wi-Fi. In Android 4.4 (API level 19) and higher developers can enable printing in their applications, including printing images, HTML pages and creating custom documents for printing.

The other half of the mobile printing puzzle has been provided by the Mopria Alliance through the creation of a unified mobile print standard that printer manufacturers can adhere to which offers a simplified option for mobile app publishers to utilize for print integration.

Virtually the entire print technology industry is backing the Mopria standard to ensure app users will be able to easily print from their Android app. Mopria members include Adobe, Avision, Brother, Canon, Dell, Fuji Xerox, HP, Konica Minolta, Kyocera, Lexmark, Pantum, Primax, Qualcomm, Ricoh, Samsung, Seiko Epson, Sharp, Techo Image Systems, Toshiba, Xerox and Y Soft Corporation.

With the combination of the Android Print API and the Mopria standard, you now have a simple way to add value to any app by enabling print. In addition to the obvious enterprise app benefits the ability to print offers, a number of publishers are finding ways to enhance their apps with print capabilities. You can check out some of these apps at the Alliance’s Spotlight Wall.

During Google I/O 2016, Google and the Mopria Alliance held a technical session on the latest functionality offered for the Android Print API with the advent of the Android N final SDK release. During the session the panel discussed the usability of the API in conjunction with the Mopria Standard. As was pointed out, developers now have access to a very sophisticated API that offers a high level of customization through callbacks or a much simpler integration opportunity with the use of helper classes. You can view the full video below.

As mentioned earlier, App Developer Magazine is working with the Alliance to conduct a survey to learn more about the adoption of print within the Android community. The survey is available here. You don’t have to leave the article to answer the questions. At the end of the survey the Alliance is hosting a drawing to win a $100 Amazon gift card.

If you have problems taking the survey on this page, you can take it here.

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About the author: STUART PARKERSON, Publisher Emeritus

Stuart Parkerson has an extensive background in niche technology publishing.

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