5 iPhone AirPrint Enabled Apps
They’ve been announcing it for two decades – we’re becoming a paperless society. The predictions started with computers, increased with the internet, and recently got a new lease on life with smartphones and tablets. Here’s the problem – it’s not really happening. No doubt, screens have replaced a lot of what we used to do with pen and paper, but the reality is that we’re still a long way from paperless and it’s not likely to change to much anytime soon.
One thing that can make the unfulfilled predictions even more frustrating is the fact that it’s still a little hard to navigate between the two. Obviously, turning a piece of paper into text involves a scanner and some pretty smart software. Nobody expected that to be easy. But you would think we could have made printing a little easier on ourselves by now. Next time you’re looking at a document on your iPhone or iPad ask your self, what’s the easiest way to get it on paper?
1. AirPrint by Apple
Apple built AirPrint into iOS to allow you to print directly to AirPrint enabled printers, the same way you would from your computer. It works very well, providing accurate printing to what’s on the screen and handling everything from web pages to high resolution images.
The problem is that relatively few printers are currently AirPrint enabled. Because it’s in Apple’s design DNA to keep things proprietary, the standards they invent rarely become ubiquitous or universal which can be a tedious issue. What that means for the end user is that this solution works great for your personal printer at home if you go out and buy a compatible model, replacing one you have most likely already spent a decent amount on before the ink cost is added in, and don’t expect to connect to the printer at work with your iPhone or think that you can print quickly and easily at a friend’s house. When trying to connect to random printers in offices or personal networks, you will almost never find one that “just works.” Apple just didn’t design it that way.
So, are there any other options, such as for enterprise or small business users? The answer is yes, there are a number of venders currently making or working on iOS apps for wireless print options. Most of them are capable of handling a larger spectrum of printer types and/or can work in printer hub situations. Below are 4 App’s bidding for top spot against Apple’s Airprint:
2. Print Magic by Wellala, Inc.
Print Magic is one the the most popular choices when it comes to AirPrint alternatives, This app can do everything the average person needs to get done. Its been cited as one of the Top 5 in paid productivity apps and was also featured as “New & Noteworthy” by Apple. Currently users have succusfully used the app on over 1,000 printer models and the number grow daily. One of the nice features associated with Print Magic is the ability to print anything you can select copy and paste.
3. Print Agent PRO by Dar-soft
Print Agent Pro offers an easy to use, clean cut UI allowing for its users to focus on productivity. It comes ready to print word, excel and powerpoint documents, PDF’s, photo’s, contacts, and just about anything else you can think of. The team over at Dar-soft have done their homework and it shows, this app is relatively cheap for its features list and customers have nothing but good things to say.
4. PrintBureau by EuroSmartz Ltd
PrintBureau is definitely a top contender, it has high remarks for names like, AppShouter, Macworld, and Gizmodo. This app provides a fully functional printing option capable of printing to any printer, whether networked, on WiFi, USB, or Bluetooth. This includes Apple AirPrint printers. All from the comfort of wherever you find your self, at home, in the office, or on the other side of the planet. The best part about this app is it doesn’t stop here with it’s features, they also offer the capability of setting your iOS device as a WiFi hard drive when at home. Store, convert, and zip files through intergrated file management, cloud services such as idisk and dropbox, and acts as it own email platform.
5. gCloud Print by SnackableApps
With gCloud we step into the Google Cloud. Obviously that grants benefits right out of the box, the inter-connectivity of Google offers you the ability to share with just about site or anything you come in contact with online. gCloud covers most standard documents as well as PDF’s, JPEG’s, and PNG files. It does require a Google account with Cloudprinting enabled and Google Chrome installation on your Mac or PC.
If you print from your iPhone or iPad regularly, then the best solution is probably to combine several of these options. Keep in mind that knowing where to buy printer ink is equally important, you need to take a look at the AirPrint compatible cartridges if you choose to go this route as some printers offer both standard cartridges and there AirPrint counterparts.
If you’ve gone through the trouble of researching and pricing out your AirPrint options it’s safe to say that it would usually be worth the cost to buy an AirPrint compatible printer for home use, since you know there dependability and ease of use are second to none.
You should also make it a point to find one of the better alternative apps to print on non-AirPrint enabled printers, that way you’ll be able to connect to your workplace computer network and printers. Don’t forget to use the IT support at your business, as they can normally help you identify the best choice of software to use if your not sure where to start. Finally, consider a “third-tier” app for general use. These are usually a little more limited in their power and / or flexibility, but they can accommodate a much wider variety of printers so that you have some type of solution ready while on the go.
Printer software, design, integration, and universality will eventually catch up to our other advancing technologies and it will become easier to print from all mobile devices. Perhaps printer makers will even adopt Apple’s AirPrint standard or the industry will establish a better universal standard. Just a few decades ago, back when laser toners were cutting-edge technology, computer printers would regularly failed to print what you saw on the screen, skewing Web sites, or my personal favorite, printing images in resolutions so large that if you didn’t babysit your print you could come back to an empty paper tray and a mountain of useless paper on the floor. Time will be the only solution for mobile printing as well.
In the meantime, there are a number of workable options to choose from, and though it will take a little work, it is certainly possible to print from your mobile device right now, and it’s only becoming easier.