Apps are taking smartphones by storm, so why not invade every other consumer electronic device. Back in June HP released its PhotoSmart Premium with TouchSmart Web and now developers can write apps for the world's first web-connected printer.
Without having to use your computer, the printer was designed to print out reformatted Web content—maps, coupons, etc.—right from the Wi-Fi enabled printer using the 4-inch touchscreen (which we have seen to work like a charm). And now the company is releasing its App Studio and a SDK letting any web content developer create applications for the printer.
Getting the apps on your printer seems simple enough: you hit the Get More button on the user interface and select from different categories of applications which will then be downloaded over Wi-Fi. You can also browse the apps on the App Studio website. HP will start to roll out more and more applications over the next couple of months (especially as developers start working with the SDK), but some of the first applications will include ones by Disney (for printing out colouring pages for kids), CBS News (for printing text versions of 60 Minutes), Flickr (for printing photos directly from the printer), and Tabbloid (for creating and printing customised RSS feeds).
HP also announced partnerships with USA TODAY, Google (maps and calendar applications), Coupons.com, Fandango, DreamWorks Animation, Nickelodeon, Web Sudoku, Weathernews, Snapfish.com and HP Creative Studio.
All the applications are free, but the PhotoSmart Premium with TouchSmart Web (an app to shorten that product name would be nice) itself costs $US399. And hey, maybe HP won't make its app store approval process so hellish. [HP App Studio]