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I'm trying to connect a thermal printer to my iPhone but its not showing up in the list of Bluetooth devices. However, it is showing on my PC and Android smartphone. Has the advertising only got certain compatibility? The Bluetooth thermal printer is a DPP-350 from Datecs. I am using an iPhone 5s and have also tried an iPhone 7 but neither of these phones can see the Bluetooth device being advertised.

  • The product page has conflicting information. On one hand, under the Compatibility section, it has only two icons: Windows and Android. Yet the specification claim: "OS Compatibility BlackBerry, Windows, Android, iOS". There is a downloadable user manual which does not include information about pairing with either Android or iOS devices: only BlackBerry, WindowsMobile and Palm. Good Luck! – IconDaemon Feb 6 at 13:13
  • Yeah, I would guess that since it lists BlackBerry first in the OS compatibility list there is a good chance that it was set up to work with iOS devices back when it came out but may have lost that ability a few years ago. Though the spec-sheet pdf version uploaded in 2015 lists iOS first. That site is all over the place when it comes to OS compatibility. – dwightk Feb 6 at 13:21
  • Yea, had scoured through the manuals and it gave no information on where to download the apps. Ended up looking at a youtube video tutorial of someone with an app of a third party. The video was from 2015 so it was using an older iOS version. The app didnt install properly on my phone. I contacted Datecs website but they emailed back with a generic answer about Bluetooth setup. I was trying to scan for it with a different device that was using BLE and now realise that I think the printer is using Bluetooth classic. Although the iPhone should be able to see both BLE and BL classic. – Ronan O'Driscoll Feb 6 at 14:38
  • So will probably just give up on this. Think i m out of luck. – Ronan O'Driscoll Feb 6 at 14:38
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The thermal printer is not an AirPrint device - as such you cannot use it as a generic printer throughout the iOS system. I.e. this doesn't work like your regular inkjet or laser printer for desktop usage.

Instead the printer connects via Bluetooth and presents a "virtual serial port" to that is available to application developers. This means that the specific app you want to print for must be created to specifically support the DPP-350, or at least this particular type of printer language.

This means that you need to find an app that specifically supports this printer before you can have any hope of printing with it from an iPhone.

In terms of printer language, this printer does not use AirPrint, PCL, PostScript or similar that would be typical of a normal printer. Instead it uses the old Epson ESC/P printing language, which were used for ordinary printers back in the day (i.e. in the 80s for example). Today it is only really used for smaller receipt printers and the like. They have relatively limited printing capabilities.

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