Society is more mobile than it’s ever been, and this increasing trend often equates to working on the go. Our mobile devices are becoming a major part of our approach to getting work done, so it was inevitable that eventually we would be able to print directly from them.

No matter what you need to print – documents, movie tickets, family photos and maps, for example – it can now be done easily from your Android or iOS device. Most devices come with built-in options that are easy to use, and if they don’t, there are plenty of third party options to choose from that will trick your device into thinking it does!

Printing from your iOS device using AirPrint

apple-airprint

As long as you share the same Wi-Fi network, you can use AirPrint to print from your iOS device to any compatible printer (you can find a list of compatible printers on Apple’s support site (https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT201311). Generally, if there are no connectivity issues, the process is as simple as pressing the ‘Action’ then ‘Print’ buttons on your mobile device, choose the printer and the amount of copies, then ‘Print’. Everything being equal, the printing should take care of itself. If it doesn’t work, and connectivity isn’t the issue, you may need to configure the printer settings to enable AirPrint.

Should the app you wish to print from not have a ‘print’ option, there are other solutions. Instead, export the content you wish to print to a third party app by pressing the Share button, then the ‘Open In…’ option.

Printing from your iOS device using a third party app

If you’re printer is not AirPrint compatible, don’t panic, you don’t need to rush out and buy a new printer. If your current printer is Wi-Fi enabled, chances are the manufacturer has an app for you to download from the Apple App Store, and use to print from your iOS device. For example:

  • HP – ePrint app
  • Epson – iPrint app
  • Canon – Mobile Print app

These apps will wirelessly connect with your printers that are using the same Wi-Fi network. Depending on the printer you have and the app you use, you can open built-in web browsers to download and print web pages, print from your photo library, and print documents from cloud based storage solutions such as Dropbox and Google Drive.

Printing from printers that are not Wi-Fi enabled

Even if your printer is not able to connect to your local Wi-Fi network, you can still print from your mobile device as long as your printer is connected to your computer.

For Mac users, HandyPrint is an application you can download to your computer from the App Store. Simply configure and launch the app on your computer, and any printer on your computer’s network will appear on your mobile device if they are connected to the same network. As you can see, this solution works if your printer is connected to your Wi-Fi network or not.

For Windows users, Presto could be the solution for you. Similar to HandyPrint, Presto enables you to print from your mobile device to a printer on your computer’s network. It also supports iOS printing using AirPrint, and Chrome OS/Android printing from Google Cloud Print.

Printing from your Android device using Google’s Cloud Print service

google cloud print

If you have a relatively new Android device, purchased in the last year or so, Cloud Print should already be installed. Go to your settings app and scroll to the bottom. If there’s a ‘Printing’ option you’re good to go, if not, head to the Play Store to download the app for free.

Intuitively, Cloud Print will scan your Wi-Fi network for linked compatible printers, and automatically install the required plug-in. For example, if you are printing to a HP Printer, it will automatically install the HP Printer plug-in for you. Unfortunately, the printing process changes from app to app, so you’ll have to figure out how to print for yourself, but invariably it’s a simple process.

Even if your printer is not Wi-Fi enabled, you can still print from your Android device via Cloud Print. Head to Google’s Cloud Print support site and follow the instructions. It’s not a difficult process, but you will need to have Google Chrome installed on your computer, and the computer the printer is connected to must always be on.

These are just a few of the printing options available to you from your mobile device. There are others to consider if any of these don’t help, such as setting up you iOS device to Google’s Cloud Print, or stand alone printer apps such as Printer Pro and Print N Share. Whichever way you go, you will be connected to more devices than ever before, and able to perform more tasks than ever before. No longer will you need to print from a computer connected via Wi-Fi or cable. Now you can do it from the comfort of your couch or office chair with your mobile device.

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