Communications

Bluetooth mini printers for Apple iOS devices

17th September 2013
Nat Bowers

Able Systems introduce a new range of mobile mini-printers which provide a new level of freedom and flexibility for a wide range of applications. The new products provide the convenience of a Bluetooth wireless connection to mobile Apple devices such as iPods, iPhones or iPads, through a specially developed and easy to use App.

For several years, there has been a rapidly growing demand for compact printers in a wide range of industries, ranging from industrial and medical through to retail and transport. Today, that demand is growing more quickly than ever, as applications become increasingly mobile and users need to produce hard copy quickly and easily in the field. These new mini thermal printers from Able are designed to meet that demand by providing Bluetooth connectivity with hand-held devices based on the Apple mobile platform. Using a simple but powerful App, designed by Able, a wide variety of outputs, such as receipts, labels, images and barcodes, can be produced from the hand-held device at the touch of a button.

Initially consisting of four products, two of which are battery-portable, the new range will be of interest to users in environments ranging from hospitality and retail through to market stalls, van sales and mobile payments. The Ap1300-BTi, for example, offers many advanced features, including an exceptionally easy paper-load system. A variety of interface options means easy integration, and a variety of communication types including RS232 and Bluetooth. Linerless label capability allows for the creation of labels on an ad-hoc basis.

The Ap1310-BTi is a larger variant of the Ap1300-BTi series, offering a larger paper roll size while retaining all the innovative features of the Ap1300-BTi. The choice of communications protocols includes Serial RS232 and Bluetooth. The Ap1310-DC-BTi version is ideal for in-vehicle applications, connecting directly to the wiring loom, while the Ap1310-DP-BTi is designed for fixed-site applications.

All products are designed to work with the App, specifically designed to give users easy access to a wide range of features commonly required in a mobile sales environment. In addition to fast receipt and barcode printing, the App provides many other facilities, including live printer status feedback, printing of text typed from the iOS device, powerful text formatting, the ability to launch and print email attachments and instant photo taking/printing.  Barcode encodings supported are: UPC-A, UPC-E, EAN-13, EAN-8, Code 93, Int2 of 5, Code128B and Code 93. The size of the barcode is customisable and can be printed with readable data below and above if required.

For software developers who wish to incorporate a Bluetooth printing capability into their App or business solution, an SDK is also available.

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