We explain how to print from an iPhone or an iPad using AirPrint, and via third-party printer apps.
Don't let anyone tell you that you cannot print from your iPhone or iPad. iOS devices are in fact set up to be used with printers, and if you have a wireless printer it is likely to be a cinch to print off photos, emails, documents or Safari pages from your iPhone or iPad. A cinch, that is, if you have an AirPrint-enabled printer. But don't worry if you don't, as there are further options for printing from iPhone or iPad which we explore below. (Visit Printing Advisor.)
How to print from iPad or iPhone using AirPrint
To use AirPrint to print you'll need either an iPad, iPhone 3GS or later, or a third-generation or later iPod touch. You'll also need an AirPrint enabled printer, a list of which can be found here. As you can see all the major printer makers have AirPrint printers, and if you have a recent wireless printer it is likely to be AirPrint enabled.
Printing using AirPrint is very simple. Make sure your printer is on and connected to Wi-Fi.
Now choose whatever you want to print in Mail, Safari, Notes, Photos or any of the other apps that have the arrow sharing icon bottom left. Hit that arrow and select Print.
You'll find yourself in a page entitled Printer Options. The first time you print you'll need to hit select printer. Then your phone or iPad will scan for a local AirPrint printer. Select the one you want to use, choose the number of copies and hit Print. We told you it was simple.
How to print from iPad or iPhone using third-party apps
There are lots of third-party apps that let you connect a non-AirPrint printer to your iPhone or iPad. PrintCentral and PrintBureau are a couple that come recommended.
They all work in a similar way. They have a browser that allows you to see the files on your iPhone or iPad. You install some client software on your PC in order to physically connect up the printer to the iPhone/iPad so that they can see each other. From then on you can print via wireless.
Finally, a more simple way of connecting printer to iPhone or iPad is offered via dedicated apps from printer makers such as HP ePrint, Xerox Print Portal, and Epson iPrint. These work much more like AirPrint, the app talks to the printer and off you go.