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Monday, September 30, 2013

Smartphone’s and Tablets the End of Printing? Far From It!


You’d think Smartphone’s and tablets would be the end of printing, far from it! Most documents are just easier to read on paper than on a small screen. And in the increasingly expanding BYOD (Bring Your Own device) world, employees and clients with mobile devices will always be wanting to print.

Printer manufacturers are only too happy to help, with hundreds of apps designed to print off your mobile device and onto paper. But, mobile devices weren’t designed for printing, nor were printers designed to talk to anything other than a PC or a Mac. The device and the printers may need to be on the same wireless network, or the printer may need access to the Internet. While some apps offer some ability to customize the job—such as number of prints, or size or type of paper—, iOS and Android devices get the most app options, the printouts might not look exactly like what you expect, because the apps can’t translate all fonts or formatting perfectly.

Platform independent solutions such as Google Cloud Print are available.

Google Cloud Print: Providing you’re using Chrome, Google Cloud Print allows you to print anything via the web
Google Cloud Print makes your existing printers accessible via the Web. The printer needs Internet access through an attached, powered-on computer, “Cloud Ready” printers can connect to the Internet on their own. If you use the Chrome browser, setup is easy: Just visit the Cloud Print page and install the add-on for the browser. Then register your local printers on the Chrome service, which replaces the typical Print dialog with a new one for printing from anywhere. It’s especially useful if you use Google Docs or have an Android device (or both). A new addition lets you extend Google Cloud Print to work with standard Windows apps (like Microsoft Office). It’s not as reliable as printing through the standard Windows printing system, but it’s a credible option in a pinch.

Apple AirPrint: This Apple-provided app is so well-supported it’s worth a look even if your manufacturer offers a printing app on its own. Just about every major and minor printer manufacturer is supported by AirPrint, though you’ll want to make sure the specific model you own is on the list. If it is, and if you use an iOS or MacOS device, give AirPrint a spin: When you’re on the same Wi-Fi network, you’ll be able to print just about anything your device can display.


For a comprehensive list of printing apps available, read this PC World article: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2048634/mobile-printing-a-guide-for-the-byod-world.html

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