How to use a portable thermal printer with Android
How to integrate Nios4 with portable thermal printers
In this article, we will see in detail how to manage and set up a portable thermal printer to be used directly with the Android applications by Nios4.
What you need
Let’s first have a look at what you need as hardware:
an Android smartphone with Bluetooth 4 or higher (in this case, a Samsung Note 10)
a Bluetooth-enabled battery thermal printer. Ours was bought directly on Amazon and we chose it because of its explicit compatibility with Android and its low price
As for the software, in addition to one of our apps, you need another program that will be used to send the generated PDF from the program to the printer.
As well as all the programs, on all operating systems, there is not any direct contact between the software and the printer, but you always pass through a driver to convert the print generated by the program into a printable format for the device.
Whereas in Windows this driver is always installed with the printer, in Android the case is different.
Nios4 does not print directly but generates a PDF. This PDF is then opened by another program, which at last sends the document to the printer.
Of these programs, there are different types: the number of options and the cost change. We are using the free version of RAWBT Printer.
To install this program, go to the Google Play store and search for “Bluetooth printer”.
After installing it and connecting the Bluetooth printer, you are now ready to use the app.
The only thing that you have to do is create a print (using the Windows editor) of the correct width, which is going to be printed on your portable thermal printer.
In this example, we downloaded an 80 mm wide print from the add-on for our database.
You are now ready to create your delivery document and print it:
As you see from the Menu, you can proceed with printing, in addition to saving in PDF format.
Selecting the last entry, the program sends the printing in PDF format to the phone system (in our case, that of Samsung), which manages the devices.
If set correctly (here it varies from phone to phone), the preview appears and, among the configured printers, you can choose the Bluetooth one.
At this point, you are ready to print.
Windows print editor is usually set to generate prints on individual sheets.
In this case, do not forget to enable the Continuous Form property among the printing parameters! In this way, the program will not manage the page break and the print will be “continuous”.