Let’s face it, when we get a new computer and we want to hook it up to our printers, it’s usually quite a hassle to look for the drivers, download it, install it. All of that just because we were hoping to print one or two documents. After all, wouldn’t it be much more convenient to plug in our printer and print our documents direct without the trouble of getting a driver?
Well Apple has a couple of patents that suggest cutting out the need for printer drivers, one of which involves a “driverless printing technique” where the necessary information required would be extracted from the printer itself.
The second technique will sound familiar to Google users, as it involves cloud printing. The patent suggests that the printer data will be sent to the cloud, which would then generate the print data. Basically what that entails is that you send your document to the cloud, which will then convert it into the necessary data/format for your printer to print.
Apple also has a patent filed away for a format that would allow for driverless printing. It lets the printer specify a certain document format out of all the formats available that will be supported by the printer. So if your printer prefers DOC files, you will be able to print those without the need for a driver, but if you went with a more obscure document format, it may require a driver.
I don’t know about you but this sounds very convenient and it does seem very “Apple” to simplify the entire process for their users. As with all patents, it’s hard to tell if and when Apple plans to start putting it into production, or if they just plan to keep it for licensing/royalty purposes.