It's been a while, but I had the chance to speak with Cortado's Henning Volkmer about a common problem folks using smartphones, tablets and the like often have on a daily basis: printing what they've created here in the physical world. Mobile devices often have no nice way to print documents, images, photos, spreadsheets or anything else. The devices simply don't come with the interfaces to allow the direct connection of a printer.
Several companies, including Apple, Cortado, Google, HP and a few others have decided that sending print images to a cloud service and from there to a printer neatly solves this problem.
Apple's AirPrint is limited to devices that run Apple's iOS and can only be used when the mobile device and the network printer are on the same network. Only certain types of files and content from certain types of applications can print. If the individual is accessing a virtual application, it may not be able to access Apple's AirPrint capabilities at all.
Google links this cloud printing capability to systems using the Chrome web browser and to Android-based devices. No iOS devices need apply. Furthermore, there are limitations on the type of applications and what types of content can be printed. People accessing a virtual desktop may find that those applicaitons are unable to reach the printer. What Google is offering, however is useful if those product limitations don't bother individuals trying to print.
HP offers its ePrint that makes it possible for many different types of mobile devices to print, but only to HP printers. As with Google's offering, the type of applications and the types of content are limited. Applications running in a virtual desktop that are being accessed by the mobile user are likely not able to use HP's service.
Cortado believes that it has a better answer. Its ThinPrint Cloud Printer app is available free of charge on nearly every type of mobile and desktop system. It can print any document type to any connected printer. Cortado says that its app turns "any printer into a cloud printer, which allows for complete independence from devices, apps, and platforms used." Since the print image is a neutral format that the ThinPrint Cloud Printer app understands, Cortado claims that it solves issues with print speed, quality and formatting.
If mobile printing is a challenge, it would be worth checking out what Cortado is doing.