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Apple Aiming to Eliminate Printer Drivers

By - Source: ConceivablyTech | B 37 comments

Apple has filed two patents that could hint to the company's intent to get rid of printer drivers.

Apple has three ways of enabling printing without drivers, with a focus on compact mobile devices. The first is a simple, Google-like cloud-print solution. A second model targets a universal printer access via a discovery protocol and expanded network printing protocol (as well as support for postscript printer description files). The third model relies on traditional printer drivers. The entire concept is described as walkup printing, a term that is already marketed by Xerox.

The cloud model is questionable as Google is providing such capability via Chrome and Chrome OS, but the use of Bonjour as discovery protocol as well as IPP as network printing protocol (npp) are interesting approaches

In another patent, mentions a new document-format-preferred key, “which enables the printer to specify a ‘preferred’ document format out of all of the document formats that are supported by the printer” as well as a new “URF-supported key.” This URF key can be used to provide printer configuration data, such as supported bit depths, maximum copies, supported duplex printing, specific finishings such as stapling, and media types. The patent notes that the key can be added to Bonjour and to the transport protocol “as a new printer description attribute for the IPP protocol.”

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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    neblix , August 16, 2011 6:02 PM
    lol

    Tom'sApple has three ways of enabling printing without drivers...

    ...

    The third model relies on traditional printer drivers

  • 20 Hide
    captaincharisma , August 16, 2011 5:39 PM
    nah bring back dot matrix printers :) 
  • 15 Hide
    zak_mckraken , August 16, 2011 5:02 PM
    I'd take it a step further and eliminate printers altogether.
Other Comments
  • 15 Hide
    zak_mckraken , August 16, 2011 5:02 PM
    I'd take it a step further and eliminate printers altogether.
  • 2 Hide
    ScrewySqrl , August 16, 2011 5:30 PM
    we seem to be close to that.
  • 3 Hide
    The Greater Good , August 16, 2011 5:36 PM
    zak_mckrakenI'd take it a step further and eliminate printers altogether.


    That will happen. Not in the next 5 years... but maybe 20... if we're still here.
  • 20 Hide
    captaincharisma , August 16, 2011 5:39 PM
    nah bring back dot matrix printers :) 
  • 8 Hide
    pbrigido , August 16, 2011 5:42 PM
    I think it would be great if drivers were embeded in a flash based storage chip on a device itself. Having a NIC (or any other add-in card) with built in drivers that were installed automatically would be a neat feature. It would save space on your OS disk and reduce the need to go and find an obscure driver from the manufacturers website. Instead of Windows searching online for drivers, it just pulls them from the device itself.



  • -2 Hide
    jdamon113 , August 16, 2011 5:45 PM
    in 20 years there will be no printer.
  • 24 Hide
    neblix , August 16, 2011 6:02 PM
    lol

    Tom'sApple has three ways of enabling printing without drivers...

    ...

    The third model relies on traditional printer drivers

  • 3 Hide
    c0oim4n , August 16, 2011 6:04 PM
    I hope they do, because I swear that at lease 65% os Mac OS X is just printer drivers
  • 7 Hide
    sunflier , August 16, 2011 6:25 PM
    I'd be happier with inkless printers.
  • 12 Hide
    Miharu , August 16, 2011 6:26 PM
    They finally just want to install a standard webservice on the printer and copyright it under Apple... FML. Sorry I just so much tired of Apple's world.
  • 2 Hide
    mrmike_49 , August 16, 2011 6:41 PM
    The Greater GoodThat will happen. Not in the next 5 years... but maybe 20... if we're still here.



    Nope, never happen
  • 11 Hide
    Apple Troll Master , August 16, 2011 6:51 PM
    I like the third model....Printer drivers.....
  • 9 Hide
    Anonymous , August 16, 2011 6:52 PM
    Printers were going to be gone in 20 years since 1970.
  • 3 Hide
    lamorpa , August 16, 2011 6:54 PM
    So they tie it up with patents to anyone can print from any device to any printer, as long as they have an Apple device and an Apple interface/software and/or printer. Yay?
  • -3 Hide
    Miharu , August 16, 2011 7:08 PM
    Apple. Redo different (for Apple life time job)(Actually Apple gain power redoing thing...).
    Stole great idea and label them under our logo!
    Create zombies followers, brainless since no body care from where thoses ideas come from. Anyway Apple always do it better. Rebrand 20 years old technologies under a brand new idea, be flashy. Apple create every awesome technologies! Apple make $$$ from that. No common standard, anyway other companies will have pay to follow Apple standard! Because Apple is so SMART!
    Stole great idea from App store, change policy when other become too big. Create the same thing and claim "You can't publish this App anymore, Apple's App is better anyway!". Sued every companies that is in competition with us. Make patients from generic idea like a tablet must be "rectangle". ( http://www.scribd.com/doc/61944044/Community-Design-000181607-0001 ) Yeah, it's rectangle! (forget about widescreen... it's monitor anyway... tablet PC??? :p  and every iPhone or iThing look like this) The worst antitrust EVER!
  • 4 Hide
    plasmastorm , August 16, 2011 7:14 PM
    Quote:
    So they tie it up with patents to anyone can print from any device to any printer, as long as they have an Apple device and an Apple interface/software and/or printer. Yay?


    Not quite, they tie it up with patents then go sue anyone who prints without them getting paid for it. Per copy!
    Then they go and sue anyone making a printer, saying something like "it can print to an apple, so they have to pay us for use of our apple only printer system (driver)".

    Give it time, you know they will.
  • 2 Hide
    pbrigido , August 16, 2011 7:14 PM
    TheCapuletIt'd be great, but it's unrealistic because of OS intercompatability. Upgrade to windows 8, dual boot Debian, use it to do swap out part diags on a broken machine using XP? You'll need new drivers for a device in every situation. But, putting drivers on a flash medium on the hardware itself would compel hardware manufacturers to get lazy with their driver development. So everything would eventually fall back on an open source community. In a perfect world...



    That's probably true. But with the capacity of flash storage, there would be plenty of space for multiple OS drivers.

    The worst case scenario is that you would have a computer boot up, and all drivers would be taken care of. Then the user would have the option to choose to update their computer to the latest drivers or not.

    Wishful thinking again, and in a perfect world. :) 
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , August 16, 2011 7:56 PM
    I think it would be great if drivers were embeded in a flash based storage chip on a device itself. Having a NIC (or any other add-in card) with built in drivers that were installed automatically would be a neat feature. It would save space on your OS disk and reduce the need to go and find an obscure driver from the manufacturers website. Instead of Windows searching online for drivers, it just pulls them from the device itself.

    This is called a print server. Most Companies use them.

    I agree that drivers on the printer, rather than just built in fonts and support for postscript, are a great idea for smaller printers although this would raise the prices of small printers that are sold at or below cost by OEMs who make money on print cartridges.
  • -3 Hide
    psycho sykes , August 16, 2011 8:06 PM
    Can't they just put in some sort of a flash drive that contains the driver of the printer installed?
    I've always wondered about that...
    On a side note: has anyone heard about the new crystal storage by some British inventors? I can't find any information but some low-level article on a non-tech website... I'd really appreciate it.
  • -3 Hide
    mobrocket , August 16, 2011 8:11 PM
    got to love linux
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