Solution providers who plan to bring mobile printing with Lexmark printers to their customers should be prepared to budget for additional user training and support. That’s because Lexmark Mobile Printing for Android or for iOS, while capable, eschews some of the conventions of other mobile printing apps, and has often had the CRN Test Center scratching their heads for how to do things. Both apps worked fine once we got used to the Lexmark method.
On the one hand, applications are forgoing automatic printer discovery in favor of manually entering printer IP addresses or scanning a printer’s QR code. way because “finding a printer on a corporate network can be difficult” and QR code scanning is provided “to simplify the process”. From where we’re sitting, it’s easier to select from a list of logically named printers than it is to go to the printer and find and scan its QR code, or find and type in the IP address. We won’t even go into the issues that might arise if DHCP is used.
Between the Android and iOS versions, the better of the two apps is for Android, but not because it’s easier to use. At first glance, the app doesn’t seem to do much beyond adding printers and outputting through the built-in browser. A browser icon launches the browser with an empty URL field with no history or bookmarks. We grabbed a few web pages, all of which were printable (shown when the browser’s printer icon turns from gray to black). A few Android apps can print by sharing content with Lexmark Mobile Printing, but this is not documented anywhere in the app itself. The only mention we found was in the app store description. There is no direct access to the local file system.
The iOS version features an interface more similar to other mobile printing apps, with buttons for printing local files and images and for printing from the web. Since iOS itself prohibits direct access to the file system, pressing the “Local” button prompts to select photo albums, clipboard, or camera, which directly captures the images and presents a preview for printing. it supports PDF, JPG, BMP, PNG and TIFF file formats. Other buttons display current and past print jobs, display help, and add more printers. The web button launches an integrated browser with an empty URL field. Before a page is loaded, the application displays a list of recent pages. When a page is printable, a printer icon turns from gray to black to indicate that it is ready to print. Tapping the printer icon is supposed to convert the page to PDF and preview before printing, but continued to crash instead.
We tested Lexmark’s mobile printing apps with a Lexmark CX510 color laser MFP, a quality printer worthy of a quality mobile printing app. Unfortunately, Lexmark’s apps don’t do its printers justice. A review of the CX510 will be part of Printer Week 2015, February 2-6.
PUBLISHED IN FEB. 4, 2015