Apple Aiming to Eliminate 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.”

  • zak_mckraken
    I'd take it a step further and eliminate printers altogether.
  • ScrewySqrl
    we seem to be close to that.
  • The Greater Good
    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.
  • captaincharisma
    nah bring back dot matrix printers :)
  • pbrigido
    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.

  • jdamon113
    in 20 years there will be no printer.
  • neblix

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


    The third model relies on traditional printer drivers
  • c0oim4n
    I hope they do, because I swear that at lease 65% os Mac OS X is just printer drivers
  • sunflier
    I'd be happier with inkless printers.
  • Miharu
    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.