let's, for a second, forget about what the rest of the world is doing.
Why does your application require that the device talk directly to the printer? Would it not be faster to have the information submitted to a server somewhere in the company and then have that server handle the print out.
In fact, I would call this method the preferred method even if your device was able to talk directly to a printer. Why not unload the processing and spooling to another faster and dedicated machine. Remember, mobile devices are not laptops. They aren't meant to replace all the functionality of a full blown machine.
Let's say your warehouse working is doing his inventory. Once he's done counting all of the Sprockets, he can select Print on his device. This will show him a list on known printers around the warehouse. He selects the one closest to his boss' desk and hits print. The application then takes the data to be printed and the printer he selected and submits that to a local server by means of a web service and the device is now finished it's job. The server then generates the print out and directs it to whatever printer was selected.
I can see numerous advantages with this design.
- doesn't require specific printers with mobile drivers
- mobile device doesn't need special drivers installed on it
- mobile device isn't wasting time connecting to a printer and attempting to spool and print a job (which requires a fair amount of memory and work if I'm not mistaken)
- printers can be updated at any time without any change to the device
- if the printer breaks, the job is spooled on a powerful server and can resume printing as soon as the printer is online. No worries about the device hanging onto the print job and that connection until the printer is fixed
Anyway, that's just my opinon. You can continue to spin your wheels looking for a direct printing solution, but I would much rather take this solution and enjoy the improved reliability and easy of deployment.
"I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious" - Albert Einstein