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Canon releases their Mobile Printing App for IOS

December 1, 2012

Canon Inc recently released their Mobile Printing App for IOS (iPhone \ iPAD). This is not to be confused with the Canon USA MEAP app called Canon Direct Print and Scan (CDPS) app which was released a few months ago.

You may have noticed that there is a plethora of Mobile printing apps being released by MFD manufactures, as they all scramble to meet the needs of a more mobile work force. The previous Canon (CDPS) App cost around $100 and you needed to load a MEAP (java) App on the Canon IR-Advanced MFD that you wanted to print to from your Apple or Blackberry device. You also needed to download the matching app from the Apple App Store. The cool thing about this app was you could set up the printer on your IOS or Blackberry device by simply scanning a QR code that the MEAP app would display. But it was a little clunky, and there were limited printing options, and no web browser built in to the app.

The new Canon Inc app – Canon Mobile Printing App for IOS is available as a free download from the Apple App Store. No MEAP app is required, in fact you don’t have to do anything to the Canon MFD for this app to work. There are a number of Printing options (such as paper size, and staple, duplex, color or B&W, and even the ability to print to a Mailbox on the Canon). A customer of mine who purchased the original CDPS MEAP app really seemed to like these features. The other thing that I like about the new Canon Mobile Printing App is it uses good old port 515, LPR Printing for an IOS Device. This in my opinion was a great move. In fact I think that Apple really missed the boat by trying to force users to use Airprint rather than including LPR or IP Printing on their IOS devices. But the market seems to be responding and providing the choices that people really want. The current limitation, is it is ONLY and IOS App, no Android, or Blackberry…yet! But if the market provides the demand, as I am sure it will at least with Android, I believe you will see a similar app in the Android Marketplace.

The best thing about the Canon Mobile Printing App for IOS is that it will find, and allow you to print to almost any Canon MFD on your network.

The worst thing about the Canon Mobile Printing App for IOS is that it will find, and allow you to print to almost any Canon MFD on your network.

Yes, it is BOTH the best & the worst thing about the app. But I appreciate Canon putting it out there and allowing companies to decide which it is for them. What makes it the best is if you are on a reasonably open network, where you trust the people who you have given access to your wireless network then they can download the free app and start printing from their IOS (iPhone or iPAD) with little to no help from your IT Dept.

What makes it the worst is if you are on a secure network where your company has decided to limit or track who prints to what Canon Device, you now have a problem. BUT since you are reading this blog, hopefully before this becomes an issue for your company, you will know what options that you have to mitigate the potential problem.

Here are your options:

1. The first line of defense is securing or isolating your Wireless Network. Don’t allow people you don’t want to print on your wireless network, at least not the wireless network that allows access to your company LAN. You can, and many companies do, have a separate wireless network for Guests, that allow them internet access but not intranet access.

2. If the above option doesn’t help you because you need to limit or track your companies employees who have access to your companies wireless access you have a couple of options.

    A. You can set an IP or MAC filter on your Canon Devices and limit who the Canon MFD will talk to. You can have it ONLY communicate with your print server,  and your CEOs iPad (It’s good to be the King!).

    B. If you are OK with your print documents passing through a secure cloud based app, then the EFI PrintMe Mobile (MEAP) app may be a good solution for you. It is email based so any smart device that can email can print. becuase you can send a print job to print@printme.com and then go to ANY Canon device that has the EFI Printme Mobile app loaded, so you get follow me type of printing too. Since this is a cloud based app, there is no server needed on your LAN. And if you load the App on Canon MFDs at multiple offices you get follow me type printing with offices that may not even be connected by WAN links, as long as each office has internet access. That could be a huge benefit for some companies.

It is also possible to lock down the Canon MFD using the new ULM (Universal Login Manager) so an end user, or even a guest user could not get to the EFI Printme Mobile app unless they could unlock the Canon Device. By configuring these two different apps on a single Canon device you can have both mobile access and security.

      C. If you want an all in one solution that will give you both security and convenience, and you don’t want your print documents sent to a cloud app (this is very important to some companies) than your best option is the Canon UniFLOW solution. UniFLOW doesn’t just give you Mobile Printing, but Secure Mobile Printing. So, if UniFLOW is the best solution why not just offer UniFLOW? Because it is NOT a one size fits all! While I believe that UniFLOW is the best Solution it may not be the best for you, or your company. I like choices, and Canon has given us a great deal of choice on how to allow, or deny, or limit who gets to print to our Canon Devices, and choices are a good thing! If this seems at all confusing to you call your Authorized Canon Dealer and ask to speak to their Pre Sales Systems Engineer. S/He will be able to talk with you and your IT people to help figure out which, if any, of these solutions are right for your company.

A final thought on Airprint printing. Airprint similar to the Canon Mobile Printing App allows users to print to anything that they can see. However Airprint is further limited in that the Printing device must support the Airprint protocol for it to show up on your IOS device. There are an exponentially larger number of printers that support LPR \ LPD than those that support Airprint. Of course the Canon Mobile Printing App for IOS only support Canon Devices (What did you expect…LOL). But if you have almost any Canon MFD,  you can print to them via the new Canon Mobile Printing App for IOS with very little effort on your part. That makes this new app pretty cool!

That’s My $0.02
Vince McHugh
vince.mchugh@necs.biz
WWW.NECS.BIZ

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