Mopria, Google Cloud Print and Possible Alternatives: Android Printing for enterprises

The second part of our mobile printing series focuses on network printing with iOS devices. This article deals with printing with Android devices in a business context. The Android mobile operating system is hugely popular across the globe, both on private smartphones and tablets as well as in the corporate context. For many users however, working productively with mobile devices also means being able to print files easily – and ideally from all apps and to any printer close by. That’s why high-performance mobile printing solutions or cloud printing solutions for Android are required. But do solutions like Mopria and Google Cloud Print (Update November 2019: Google Cloud Print discontinued) offer everything employees require for convenient Android printing? And can these printing solutions be easily integrated into corporate IT environments?

Are Mopria and Google Cloud Print suitable for Android printing in the enterprise?

How suitable are Mopria and Google Cloud Print for Android printing in businesses? (Photo by Maliha Mannan on Unsplash)

Android Printing with Mopria

The Mobile Printing Alliance known as Mopria was founded in September 2013 by the printer manufacturers Canon, HP, Samsung and Xerox. The Mopria alliance now consists of 23 printer manufacturers. Their declared aim is to enable simple, standardized, manufacturer-independent mobile printing. A “universal printer driver” was developed for this purpose, which converts the data which is to be printed into a file type suitable for the respective printer.

With Mopria’s print service, Android users can only connect to Mopria-certified printer via Wi-Fi, and also only with Mopria-capable mobile devices. And this brings us right to the shortcomings of the Mopria approach – even if more than 3000 printer models can be reached via an automatic printer search in 2018, all those existing corporate printers without Mopria certificates cannot be used for mobile printing. Another limitation for mobile productivity is that the mobile print function can only be used via Wi-Fi. On the one hand this means that the mobile device and the printer must be located in the same Wi-Fi network and on the other hand, that other non-Wi-Fi network printers in the company are not available for Android printing. A further disadvantage for mobile corporate printing is that the solution lacks a management console – essential for managing users, printers, user rights, certificates and security settings.

Depending on the specific requirements and the existing printer fleet, it may therefore be worthwhile for companies to take a detailed look at Mopria alternatives.

Android Printing with Google Cloud Print

 Update 11/2019: Google Cloud Print to be discontinued by the end of 2020

Google Cloud Print should not be confused with Android Print, which is a web-based cloud service quite independent of Android that manages the delivery of print jobs from applications to printers. With Google Cloud Print, users can access cloud-ready printers from any Android device. The data is sent to the printer via the internet (cloud printing), so printing can also be started remotely (although there is a security risk here that can be mitigated by secure printing solutions such as Pull Printing).

But is the Google Cloud Print solution, which is highly consumer-oriented, really suitable for corporate use? Only to a limited extent – users can share a printer by sharing it with colleagues or friends, but it becomes problematic when a large number of users and many different mobile devices have to be managed. This is where third-party solutions come in, which can complement Google Cloud Print with a professional print management approach.

ezeep – A Viable Alternative to Mopria and Google Cloud Print

With ThinPrint’s enterprise cloud printing solution ezeep, Android devices can be easily integrated into existing print infrastructures. Users can use any mobile device to print to any existing corporate network or local printer, fully independently of the printer manufacturer. This makes ezeep fully suitable for enterprise-wide use. The cloud print solution’s unique features make ezeep an interesting alternative to Mopria and Google Cloud Print, which will be discontinued by the end of 2020. For private users, ThinPrint Cloud Printer, which will soon be merged together with ezeep, is a free alternative to Mopria/Google Cloud Print.

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Tahani Khaled