Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Thank You Brother! Printing and Scanning that Just Works

When it comes to all-in-one printers and scanners I have very low expectations. I fully expect I'll need to download hundreds of megs of drivers, and jump through endless hoops to get the device fully up and running. Sure, over the years, matters have improved (case in point: to setup a printer in Windows that was on the network, the most important step was to *not* select the network print option, but instead plug in the IP address as port. Sensible, right?), but I still find that if I don't scan a document for a months, when I go to attempt this, it Just Won't Work.

Recently, I saw a note about printing from Android and I got curious as to whether or not this would be possible from my Galaxy S3 to our Brother JFC-J835DW printer & scanner. I almost didn't even bother trying, as I assumed (a) the hardware I hadn't wasn't compatible with the S3 and/or (b) there'd be numerous soul crushing hurdles I'd need overcome. Still, a quick search of Google Play turned up the Brother iPrint&Scan app, so perhaps this wouldn't be so tricky.

I opened up the app, navigated to the document I wanted to print, and realized I now needed to select the device itself. OK, I thought, here I go. I tapped away and was brought to this screen:

Wait, is that my printer on the list? But I didn't do *anything*. Surely this wasn't going to be that easy. I selected the printer and hit the big 'ol Print button on my document. A few moments later, the printer started working away.

I was positively floored. I had just setup printing on my Android and I didn't need to even touch the printer. I didn't need to dig around for a password, or a key, or mess with a router or do anything else. Wow, color me impressed.

Then a couple days later I needed to scan in a document. I stood at the scanner and tried to select which computer I wanted it to scan to. No dice. It had a single laptop on its list (instead of the 4 or 5 we have on the network), and it refused to connect to it.

I busted open my new Brother App. I put the document in the feeder and hit the big 'ol scan button. A few moments later, the document was on my cell phone.

Now I was really impressed. It was orders of magnitude easier to use my cell phone to accomplish a task that I'd normally wrestle with my laptop for. And all with effectively zero configuration of my phone.

Score one for Brother, Android and finally having tech that Just Works.

1 comment:

  1. This seems so useful. I gotta check if they have an iPhone version.