If a picture is worth a thousand words, then how much is the look on your face when you need to print and your printer is out of ink? Priceless.
If there’s a gripe I have about 21st century printers, it’s ink. Ink is expensive. Ink runs out at the wrong times. Some printers won’t tell you they’re almost out of ink until they stop printing. Ink is a problem. Is there an app for that?
How To Check Printer Ink Levels
Right up front allow me to tell you there’s no real solution for the ink conundrum. Printer manufacturers want you to buy more and more ink. That’s why printer prices are so low.
Among all the printers we have and we’ve bought through the years, Canon to HP to Epson to Brother and others, they all have one thing in common.
Ink runs out when you least expect it, when you need to print something, and you’ve just used the last ink cartridge.
What Mac users need is an app that tells you ahead of time, with pop up reminders, that your printer’s ink is getting low. I’d pay for an app that does that. As it is, you have to open up System Preferences on your Mac, click Printers and Scanners, select your printer, click Options and Supplies, click the Supply Levels tab, and keep your fingers crossed.
There Must Be A Better Way
There’s not. You’re stuck with checking the printer from time to time, or using an app like InkLevel for Mac.
This little app checks your installed printers, either USB or Bonjour, then requires a mere click to check the ink levels.
InkLevel works, more or less, the same way the ink checking function works on your Mac’s printer. So, why deal with InkLevel at all if your printer does the same thing.
Unfortunately, not all printers are created equal. Many older printers don’t have a built-in function to check ink levels. Some new printers, too.
In some cases, InkLevel can check ink levels where the printer cannot. In other cases, only the printer’s check works. If that sounds like a sporadic result, then it is. Some printers display ink levels in InkLevel some don’t.
Shared printers and IPP printers may not display levels at all. Regardless, InkLevel may work on printers that don’t have an ink level indicator, and you get a one week trial period to find out. Trying is free.
Regardless, there needs to be some kind of universal, Mac and Windows, printer annoyance alert to tell users when their printer’s ink level is down to, say, 25-percent, with another alert at 10-percent. As much ink as I’ve purchased from Canon, HP, Brother, and Epson, they owe me that functionality.