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Gravid+ Printer selection & settings

One of the necessary features of Gravid+ app is to print the generated blood sugar level measurements reports.

In order to print directly from mobile devices, the printer has to be equipped with some Wi-Fi based protocols, such as AirPrint.

These are some of the popular Wi-Fi printing protocols or solutions:

  • AirPrint: Apple’s solution to the mess of printer drivers and Bluetooth pairing. Printers that support AirPrint will be advertised as AirPrint compatible. Most printer manufacturers make printers that are AirPrint-compatible while also supporting other wireless printing standards. AirPrint is very convenient, but the big downside is that it only supports Apple devices. Luckily, AirPrint-compatible printers will generally also support other types of wireless-printing standards, so you can also print to them from non-Apple devices.
  • Google Cloud Print: this is Google’s answer to the wireless printing mess. When you use a Google Cloud Print-enabled printer, it connects to your wireless network like another Wi-Fi-enabled printer. You then associate your printer with a Google account, which it communicates with over the Internet. You can then print to your printer via Google Cloud Print from any device just by logging in with your Google account. Google Cloud Print offers integration with Android and Chrome, as well as apps for Apple’s iOS and integration with the standard Windows printing system. When you print to a Google Cloud Print printer, your document is sent over the Internet to Google, who sends it to your printer. Unlike Apple’s AirPrint, Google Cloud Print is available for many different operating systems.
  • ePrint, iPrint, and Other Manufacturer-Specific Solutions: not to be outdone by Apple and Google, printer manufacturers have created their own wireless printing standards. This includes HP ePrint, Epson iPrint and others. The idea behind these standards is that you can simply download the associated app from your mobile device’s app store. The app can then wirelessly print to one of the manufacturer’s printers over the network. These can be useful solutions, especially if you have a Wi-Fi-enabled printer that doesn’t support other standards like Apple AirPrint or Google Cloud Print. However, they’re just not as integrated with the underlying system and may not be able to print every type of document you’d want to print.

Printer selection

The selected printer model for Gravid+ project is the HP P1102w. The main characteristic of this model is the support of ePrint, AirPrint and Android print solutions.

Model Apple AirPrint HP ePrint HP ePrint mobile app HP All-in-One Printer Remote mobile app Print solution for Android and Kindle devices
HP LaserJet Pro P1102w Printer Yes Yes Yes Yes

How to print

The HP P1102w offers three different ways of printing, direct printing through the connection to the same Wi-Fi network, printing through an ad hoc network and printing through email.

  • Gravid+ Wi-Fi network: this is the easiest printing method for all users. Whenever the user wants to print, he/she connects to Gravid+ Wi-Fi network, searches for an available printer and prints. However, there are some details in order to be able to connect the printer to the same network:
  1. The Wi-Fi network has to be private, which it means that it cannot be open for everyone.
  2. The encryption protocol has to be one of the followings: WEP, WAP or WAP2.
  3. WAP and WPA2 enterprise versions are not supported.
  • ad hoc Wi-Fi network: the printer creates its own Wi-Fi network. Whenever the user wants to print, he/she has to connect to the wireless network created by the printer. This could be a solution if the Wi-Fi network of the hospital is open or it uses an enterprise authentication method.
  • email-based printing: to use this method, previously the HP printer has to be registered at HP Web Services. After the device is correctly set up, any user will be able to send and email to the email address provided by HP and the printer will print all the attachments of the email. Accordingly, the service could be secured by allowing just some specific email senders.

The following table summarizes the benefits and disadvantages of each solution.

Solution User interaction level Accessibility level Security level Internet connection Requirements Delay
Gravid+ Wi-Fi network Intermediate. User needs to search for available printers. Medium. Accessible for all users connected to Gravid+ Wi-Fi network. However, no WPA/WPA2 enterprise user authentication can be used. Low. Anyone connected to Gravid+ Wi-Fi network will be able to print anything, not just the reports. No, not necessary. A Wi-Fi network without WPA/WPA2 enterprise authentication. 3 minutes first page. 10 seconds the next ones.
ad hoc Wi-Fi network Difficult. User has to connect to the printers Wi-Fi network and search for available printers. Medium. The user needs to know which is the password for the ad hoc Wi-Fi network in order to be able to connect. However, after getting the connection, any kind of content can be printed. Medium. The user needs to know which is the password of the ad hoc Wi-Fi network in order to be able to connect. However, after getting the connection, the user will be able to print any kind of document. No, not necessary. Provide end users with the steps and password to connect to the ad hoc network created by the printer. 3 minutes first page. 10 seconds the next ones.
email-based printing Easy. User just have to be connected to Wi-Fi or Internet and push the print button. Medium. The printer will be easily accesible from the app without any user interaction, however, the printer will have to be connected to Internet. High. The email address could be or must be embedded into Gravid+ app, which will hide the printer to other mobile apps. Additionally, only specific email senders will be able to print documents, which will be embedded into the as well. However, the users will be able to print from anywhere, having Internet access. In order to prevent this, the app should be aware of where is the user. Yes, necessary. The printer has to be always connected to Internet in order to be able to receive emails with their attachments. Provide the app with the capability of sending emails to specific email addresses. 4 minutes in average for each page.

Test results

After several tries, these are the obtained results.

OS Printing solution Existing Wi-Fi network Ad hoc Wi-Fi
Android HP ePrint YES YES
Default PDF viewer Polaris 5 YES NO
iOS HP ePrint NO NO
AirPrint YES YES