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Printers have evolved considerably since I first sold them many years ago as a young salesman. They’ve changed from clunky, loud and slow beasts to the more refined, design driven products that suit a living room as much as a home office.
At their core, printers serve a very simple purpose: print out something that’s currently on your screen. And based on the still growing demand for ink cartridges here at Bing Lee, there’s a whole lot of printing going on at home and in the home office.
What HAS changed significantly is what type of screen we’re using. With so much of our lives spent gazing onto the screen of our smart phones and other mobile or portable devices, it’s a far cry from the printer connected by USB (does anyone remember the days of the parallel port?) to our immovable desktop. And who wants to go through the hassle of transferring pics to another computer, then printing them out to the cable connected computer?
We all want processes and tasks to be easier, and importantly, to fit into our lifestyle. Companies that can accommodate those needs will reap the rewards. Printer manufacturers have studied this and come up with ways to make the printing process easier, and relevant to the smartphone generation.
For some time, both Epson and Canon have had apps downloadable from Apple’s App Store that allow you to print directly from your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. This makes a lot of sense, because for anyone that has any of those, there’s a good chance that they’ll be browsing the web, looking at photos on Facebook, even checking emails with attachments.
At this stage the apps only allow printing from your photo album, but if you want to print a map, email or webpage, you only need to save an image of your screen by pressing the power and home button on your iDevice and it will save an image of the screenshot, which you can then print.
There are also plenty of photo editing apps on the iTunes store that you can use to modify your image which you can then save and print from your photo album.
Here are two new highlight videos that I produced for Bing Lee from both Canon and Epson that include the wireless printing feature.
The Epson Workforce 633 is more of an office printer with fax machine, double-sided printing and auto document feeder:
The Canon PIXMA MG6150 is a photo printing multifunction with 6 ink tanks which includes a grey ink for impressive black and white photo output: