Printing directly from Smartphones and Tablets is the new norm

Your PC isn’t Gonna Be Happy to Hear This

The printer holds a unique spot amongst machines — slowly on the decline, but seemingly immortal. The world is increasingly digital, yet there are still times when you need to print something. As mobile technology has progressed, you no longer need a full-fledged workstation to get the job done.

If you’re looking to eliminate the tiresome PC middleman between your mobile workstation and printer, we’ve got you covered. Here’s the breakdown.

Printing from an Android Smartphone or Tablet

Users of Android devices can take advantage of Google’s Cloud Print services.

In newer handsets purchased within the last year and a half, Cloud Print comes pre-installed on your device’s software. You can simply launch Settings, scroll down to the bottom or look for it in the search bar.

If the Google Cloud Print app is not available on your device you can download it from the Play Store for free

Printing from smartphone

Cloud Print automatically scans your Wi-Fi network for compatible printers and installs the necessary plugins in the background.

Further the process of printing from an Android device varies based on the app you’re using.

For instance, Google Doc apps require you to select “Share & Export,” followed by “Print.”

Other apps list ‘Print’ on the main menu. The best way to go is to start looking for a Print option in the menu. If it isn’t there, it most certainly would be under the ‘Share’ menu. When the process has started, a notification will appear in your Notification Shade as a shortcut to check the status of open jobs.

Note that the above method works only for Wi-Fi enabled printers. Don’t have one? Don’t fret.

If you’re an Android user without a Wi-Fi-enabled printer, don’t count yourself out right off the bat.

Instead, you may follow the instructions on Google’s Cloud Print support site. The process isn’t all that complicated, but it does require you to have Google’s Chrome browser installed and the printer connected to a computer that’s always on.

Many popular printer companies also offer a companion app for their devices, letting you directly access more functions. The ideal thing to do in this case is just open up the Play Store type in your specific brand of printer.

Printing from an iOS Smartphone or Tablet

Printing from an iOS phone

Printing from iOS — iPhone, iPad, or even iPod touch—is possible with AirPrint. The service demands your device be linked to the same network as an AirPrint-compatible printer.

With both devices are connected to the same network, you can print items from within various apps on your iOS device by tapping on the action button depicting a rectangle with an arrow pointing upwards, where available. Once selected, next appears a Share Screen with two rows of icons. The print icon can be found on the bottom row. Tap on it, select your printer and set the number of copies to be printed. Voila.

There is no dedicated printing interface inside iOS; instead, you start the process within any apk and give a print command. After the command is given, a Print Summary window will appear; selecting it will provide more information regarding any open print jobs.

Note that the above method works only for AirPrint-compatible printers. Don’t have one? All isn’t lost.

If you have a Wi-Fi-enabled printer that doesn’t support AirPrint, it’s likely that the manufacturer has its own app in Apple’s App Store that makes wireless printing possible. HP, Epson, Canon and so on included. Search the Store for your brand’s name and a corresponding app should be easily found.

Don’t have a Wi-Fi enabled printer at all? There’s third-party apps for your needs.

HandyPrint for Mac and Presto for Windows offer workarounds to force your iOS devices to find your printer via AirPrint.

Just don’t tell your PC about it.