Modern technologies allow you to print any information without a computer, from a simple text document to a full-fledged color image. The main thing is that, along with a smartphone, your printer also supports a similar function. Let’s take a closer look at how to print from your phone to a printer, and what useful applications you can use for this.
What information can be printed from a smartphone or tablet
Only fantasy can limit a modern smartphone with an up-to-date printer. There are various ways to connect your gadget to a printing device. If you have the ability to connect via Wi-Fi (on both devices), then you don’t even need a power cord, it will be enough installed application. In this case, it will be possible to print the file even remotely.
Through the cloud, you can transfer the same list of media information as over the wire:
- Text Document;
- digital photo;
- archive (format .zip, .rar, etc., containing materials for printing).
All current operating systems today (Android, IOS, W10) support the possibility of wired and wireless data transfer to printing devices, including the so-called sharing and synchronization via the cloud.
There are several ways to connect your smartphone or tablet to a printer. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
Print via USB
The first thing that comes to mind when you want to print a particular file is to use a standard wire. The most common connector today is micro USB. The second most popular is the increasingly famous (installed on most flagship models) connector Type C. There is no fundamental difference between these connectors, except that the latter wins in terms of data transfer speed and charging time, but this does not greatly affect the fact of printing data.
By the way, in this way you can send files from both your phone and tablet.
The USB connector is also a charging connector, so it is unlikely to be confused with something else (for example, with a headphone jack). Most often, it is located at the bottom of the phone, smartphone or tablet. You will need a cord to connect your gadget to the printer. If you have a PC at hand, then the task will be greatly simplified (it will serve as a kind of host). If there is no PC, then you can do without it, because most printers and MFPs have long been equipped with a USB input (or several) for actively connecting external devices.
Smartphones based on Android OS capable of hosting office equipment starting with version 4.0 (ICS) and higher. There is information that devices on version 2.3.6 also have this feature, but it is not confirmed, so much depends on the device itself. iPhone (iPad) has this capability from the earliest versions of the operating system, so there should not be any problems with the software stuffing. The connection process itself is very simple.
- The corresponding cord is connected to the smartphone and to the printer (MFP).
- If the connection is made, the corresponding marker will appear on the screen or a signal will sound.
- Next, you need to resort either to the pre-installed explorer for working with printers, or download the appropriate program, which can greatly simplify the printing process (see below).
If the printer detects a device connected to it and accepts files in the queue for printing, then after pressing the “start” button, printing of information will begin. If this does not happen, you need to check the wire (whether it is tightly connected to the socket), restart the application from your phone or tablet.
If the printer does not have an appropriate connector for connecting a phone, this problem can be easily solved by purchasing the appropriate adapter to work with wearable devices.
The advantage of connecting the phone via USB is the convenience and simplicity, the absence of incompatibility at the software level, as well as the versatility of this method. The disadvantage is the fact that not all printers are equipped with the appropriate sockets, you may need the help of an adapter.
Printing with Wi-Fi
Connecting via wireless networks is much easier. The main condition is that the printer must support this communication technology. Send from phone or tablet sync request with a printer. After a short compatibility check, both devices will sync and be ready to work together.
You don’t need to repeat the search process: once you “make friends” with the printer, your phone (or tablet) will remember its address, and next time it will connect to it without any problems.
Here is a short list of steps you need to follow to sync your devices via wi-fi:
- enable wi-fi on your smartphone;
- turn on wi-fi on the printer (MFP);
- wait until the process of searching for devices available for connection is completed;
- from a smartphone, request a connection to the printer by clicking on its name in the list of devices available for connection;
- wait for a check for the possibility of synchronization;
- if the synchronization is successful, open File Explorer or the appropriate printing application on your phone.
The advantage of this connection method is its versatility — no additional devices are required. The downside is the greater chance hardware incompatibilities, because systems may simply not recognize each other, which is much less common when connected with a wire. However, modern software manufacturers work hard in terms of device versatility, so the problem of incompatibility is more likely to affect devices that have been in operation for more than a year and have not been updated for a long time.
Printing with cloud services
Printing equipment sometimes has support for wireless networking or cloud storage. This means that from any device, even if you are tens of kilometers away from the printer, you need to enter the cloud to which it is connected and send the file for printing. An important condition is that the printer must be active and connected to the Internet.
Google’s official cloud printing utility. It will not only help you send a file for printing, but also give you information about the status of the printer — you can find out what documents are in the queue, change the order or cancel the job. To do this, you must be logged in. google account, to which the printer or MFP was previously connected.
The good news is that the utility allows you to work with multiple accounts that can be connected to different peripherals.
Printing is done in two ways.
- In the utility, click on the printer icon and specify the path to the file that you want to print. The choice can be made through a third-party application — a browser, file manager or gallery.
- In an application suitable for the type of file, open it and click on the «send» button, then it remains to specify «virtual printer».
Depending on the device, you can make various settings for printing, such as specifying the page orientation, paper type, printing in color or monochrome, and so on.
The principle of the application is similar to the «Virtual Printer». By analogy, it requires Google account linkingand if there are several peripheral devices, then you need to set the one that will be used by default.
The advantage of the application is the expanded number of content sources. The user will be able to print not only what is stored in the memory of his phone, but even SMS, data from the contact book, files from Google clouds, OneDrive, Dropbox, photos from Facebook and much more. After installation, the application is automatically integrated into the «send» section, so it’s easy to print any file.
This utility is one of the most popular in PlayMarket. The developers were able to implement a lot of useful features, including printing not only through the cloud, but through direct connection via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB. You can print almost everything in this utility — from the list of calls to calendar events or letters from e-mail.
The application has driver base and constantly updates them, which allows you to work with a variety of devices. In case of problems, there is no difficulty in finding the driver yourself and installing it forcibly. This is true when connecting to old printers.
A useful option is internet printer. In this case, on the official website of the developer, you need to download the utility and register in it, then add a printer and give the application access to it. Thanks to the utility, users will be able to configure print settings through a PC and be able to preview the document, which is very convenient.
PrintHand most closely resembles PrinterShare in functionality. The possibilities are similar here, but there are differences in the interface, many people think that the Hand visually more pleasing and understandable. She also knows how to print pages from the browser, documents, SMS, phone book and more. She has her own browser, file manager and gallery. This makes it much easier to find the file from within the app. In addition to Gmail, the program supports other streaming services and more. There is work here with OneDrive, Dropbox, Facebook, Evernote, SugarSync and others. Another useful option is assistance in setting up a new printer.
Through GooglePlay, you can download official software for equipment from popular manufacturers, such as Samsung, Epson, Canon and others, to PrintHand.
Digital printing apps for iPhone
The operating system from Apple has always been famous for its stability, debugging of all components, including work with many third-party devices. Anything that can be connected to an iPhone or iPad with a cord will work with it without interference. Now this slogan can be reformulated as follows: everything that is presented in the digital store in the “digital printing” section is guaranteed to make friends with your gadget with almost any information output device.
- Apple airPrint. Perhaps the most famous printing application. By installing this program, you can print from your iPhone not only text information, but also photos, and you can do this in several convenient ways. A clear disadvantage is the need to purchase special equipment, which in our reality does not look like the most productive solution. However, users have no complaints about the operation of the application itself.
- hand print. Almost completely duplicates the application mentioned above. There is a possibility of a test mode during the first two weeks, you will have to pay for further use. The obvious disadvantage is that for correct operation, you will still need a PC on which this application is installed.
- printer pro. This program looks much simpler than the previous two. It allows you to print files directly from your own explorer, just specify «open in» and specify the necessary program, for example, the well-known Dropbox. A user-friendly interface and intuitive menus are what make Printer Pro so attractive.
- Epson iPrint. This program is developed by manufacturers of printing equipment. After installing it, the application itself will find all the devices that it can connect to and offer to synchronize with them via a wireless protocol. The abundance of settings and features make working with this program affordable and productive. If you are looking for functionality and manufacturability, then this is what you need.
- HP ePrint Enterprise. Another proprietary application from manufacturers of related equipment. Synchronization from the device occurs via the Internet. It is possible to work with cloud services, as well as queuing for printing via e-mail. The perfectly scalable menu on a smartphone makes the application extremely convenient in everyday use. It is worth trying it once, as you will have a clear feeling that you have been using it for quite a long time — the menu is organized simply, clearly and ergonomically.
Do not forget that users can use a mobile printer to print from their phone. Its peculiarity lies in the fact that it is very compact device with its own battery. You can take it with you on a trip and even carry it in a backpack. Synchronization with a smartphone or tablet is carried out via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. All this happens automatically, so there are no particular difficulties in printing the file. A mobile printer is definitely useful, but it is important to figure out whether it is really needed, since its price is not the most loyal.
Our time requires quick, sometimes momentary decisions, every minute is precious, so it is very important not only to have a smartphone and the ability to remotely print information from it (photo or document). It is important that, if necessary, the application synchronizes with cloud services or sends information directly to the printer without taking extra time from the user. About how and with what help to do this, we examined in this article.