Mobile technology is revolutionizing the way people store their most essential personal items. Many people today keep the majority of their photographs on mobile devices, stored either in their photo library or collected on apps like Instagram. Necessary documents can go with you anywhere, anytime, thanks to cloud data storage, which makes quickly accessing relevant documents from anywhere quick and easy. Nowadays, if you can access WiFi or a strong 4G signal, you can be instantly transported to your office from anywhere in the world.
It’s no surprise that the convenience of mobile technology is changing the way people print as well. Having the world at your fingertips comes with perks, but sometimes you want to have a physical copy of something, whether it be an extra special snapshot, a resume, or a document you want safely tucked in your records.
In keeping with the times, new printers come preinstalled with software designed to make printing a breeze from a range of different tablets and smartphones. Many newer models don’t even require additional apps or software to work; you can just print directly using Apple’s AirPrint or Google Print technology. How you get started may vary between manufacturers, however, and knowing where to start means less troubleshooting down the line.
HP printers come with proprietary software designed to connect any mobile device to your printer effortlessly. The setup process is straight forward as well, as is outlined in this convenient setup walkthrough tutorial:
- Select your device from the available options: Apple, Android, Windows, Google Chrome, Amazon.
- Connect your device to the same wireless network as your printer. If that option isn’t available, HP printer models feature HP Wireless Direct printing options, which connect your device directly to the printer using WiFi without contacting the router or network.
AirPrint — Using AirPrint to connect your Apple devices to AirPrint-ready HP printers is effortless. Thanks to the preinstalled software, you don’t need to download or set anything up. Once your device and printer are connected on the same network, you:
- Open the page or content that you want to print on your device and tap the “Share” button.
- Select the “Print” icon.
Android — Connect your Android device with your HP printer in four easy steps:
- Set up your device for wireless printing by going to the Google Play Store and installing the HP Print Service plugin. Once installed, make sure it’s toggled on and enabled for printing.
- Open up your photo or browser and select the “Print” option in the dropdown menu in the top right hand corner. HP offers a convenient visual guide here.
- Select your printer from the list of networked printers
Chrome Print — Google On The GO printing connects your Chromebook or any other device with a Chrome OS browser to your HP printer from anywhere. Once you’ve registered your printer to Google Cloud Print, the next step is easy:
- Open the Cloud Print app
- Select the content you wish to print in your Chrome browser or compatible app. When the print dialog opens up, it will often automatically be set to save your page/document as a PDF. Select the “Change” prompt below this option to select your printer.
- Choose your Google Cloud printer. Keep in mind, you may have previously connected printers and/or local network options listed, so be sure that you select your printer here.
- Tap “Print” and collect up your pages at your leisure.
If you have any additional questions, check out the HP page here.
Windows — When using windows mobile devices, the process is the same as AirPrint except you select “Devices” in step one, then choose your networked printer. Super simple! More info available on the HP website here.
Setting up your Canon printer for wireless printing from any device is super easy as well. Many Canon printers come preinstalled with AirPrint and Google Drive Print, too. The Canon app offers users a range of additional perks, from the ability to print photos right after they’re taken to multiple-photo printing and more. You can also configure detailed print settings such as color mode, number of pages, and 2-sided printing in the app. Installing the app is pretty straight forward:
- Connect your device with the network
- Go to the iTunes or Google Play app store and select the Canon app. Download and install it onto your device.
- Open the document or image you want to send to your printer and select print. This option will open up a print preview, which gives you a range of configuration options to customize your print.
- On the print preview section of Canon Mobile Printing, select “Printer.” This option will give you a list of networked printers to choose from. If your printer isn’t listed, you can also manually search for it. More detailed info and troubleshooting are available on Canon’s website here.
- Tap print.
The Canon mobile printing app is highly versatile and allows you to customize your print options with ease. I recommend looking over Canon’s description of each feature available, as well as the detailed information on use, to get the most of this app. For Canon printers preinstalled with AirPrint or Google Drive Print, the process is nearly identical to the one described above for HP.
Epson’s software solutions for wirelessly connecting mobile devices to their printers are called Epson Connect. Each is designed for specific tasks, easy to use, easy to install, and offers you instant access to printing on most newer Epson models.
Connect with Epson to upload apps designed for your mobile device, or select an app designed by Epson to make a particular business task easier, such as email, creative printing for images, remote printing, scanning, or general “printing” which covers elements from all of the above.
Here is a full list of available software, as well as how you can get started. Click on each option to get a rundown on what the app does, as well as easy installation guides, features, and specifications.
Brother offers several options for direct-to-mobile printing, depending on which device you choose to connect. Depending on which mobile device you choose to connect to your printer, several apps and software connections are available for free (a full list for each mobile device brand is available on the brother website here). Most new Brother printers feature pre-installed AirPrint and Google Drive Print software, which accesses the printer via shared network access.
Brother iPrint&Scan is a free app that works with Apple devices such as iPhone and iPad, as well as Windows Phones, and the Brother iPrint&Label add on connects Android phones and Kindle products for free. Each helps manage documents for printing and makes a range of document types and apps available for printing quickly and easily.
Check out the Best Mobile Printers article next!