Dell has released an Android app that lets users print to network-connected Dell printers, giving the manufacturer a rival to similar cloud-based services from the likes of HP.
The company announced the Dell Mobile Print app on Thursday, explaining that it can print directly from other productivity, email, browser, photo and PDF apps. The app runs from any iteration of the mobile OS from Android 2.1 upwards.
"Dell recognises that the Android operating system is fast becoming an important end-user computing platform. We're pleased to offer customers a quick and easy way of printing photos, documents, web content and more direct from Android mobile devices to supported Dell branded network printers on a Wi-Fi or Ethernet network," product manager Paul Nicholson wrote in a blog post.
Mobile Print is Dell's answer to HP's ePrint app, which is available for Android, iPhone and BlackBerry and offers much the same functionality.
Cloud printing has taken off in the last couple of years, as it lets mobile workers print while on the move. While there are a few vendor-specific services such as those offered by Dell and HP, several manufacturers — including HP but not Dell — also let their printers plug into the Google Cloud Print (GCP) service.
However, GCP is only for printing from the Chrome desktop browser, having been built as a necessary component of the cloud-based Chrome OS.
There is a separate industry alliance that does focus on mobile cloud printing. Set up last year by print app provider Cortado, the Cloud Printing Alliance includes members such as Dell and Brother, but not HP. Several start-ups, such as Ezeep, are also targeting the needs of those who use smartphones and tablets for business.