I've always wondered why I need a 500+ MB printer driver installed on my computer every time I set up a new printer. Why can't computers simply send the file that needs to be printed to a printer and have the printer do all the necessary processing?
Admittedly, I know nothing about printers. I am assuming that the printer driver is unique to each printer which converts some standard format file into specific instructions sent to the printer. Rather than forcing each computer to download this specific driver, does it not make more sense for this driver to reside solely on the printer itself and have the printer take in a standard file format?
Even in Apple's new patent application, they still talk about having the printer driver either in the cloud or on the device itself. Understandably, if the printer driver is in the cloud, the local PC would need to download it in order to use it. However, in the second case when the driver is stored on the device itself, why would the computer need to transfer the printer driver to the local PC and only then send the print job? Why can't it just send the file to print and have the printer take that file and use the printer driver (which is already installed on the printer itself) to print the document without any processing needed to be done on the PC?
Is it because printers don't have any processing capability? I find this one hard to believe because today's printers seem to be getting more and more sophisticated with things such as mini displays on them and they have the wifi built in and the ability to insert a memory card and print directly from it without a computer.