How To Print From Your iOS Device Right Now

Apple's iOS 4.2 update doesn't hit the virtual shelves until sometime in November, leaving you without wireless printing for at at least another month. Here's how you can print from your iOS device right now, no cables attached.

If you've been aching for wireless printing from your iOS device, you're probably already aware of printing apps like Print Central, Print, Print Bureau and the like. They work with your computer to enabling printing of various documents. While these are all completely legitimate options, they're pretty obvious and easy to figure out on your own. Instead, let's take a look at other ways you can print from your iOS device.

Pogoplug

CloudEngine recently released a firmware update for Pogoplug that enables printing for any connected device — including iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches. What's a Pogoplug? It's a Linux-based storage appliance that's sort of a plug-and-play NAS. In addition, it shares your files on the web so you can view and add files remotely. It works by plugging in a hard drive or two, but now you can use an open USB port on the Pogoplug to connect a printer. Most HP and Epson printers made after 2005 should work, so if you've got a Pogoplug, you just need the free Pogoplug app for your iOS device and you can start printing right away. [Pogoplug via iTunes App Store]

Air Sharing

Air Sharing is a great iOS app for transferring files between your computer and your device. I was surprised to find out that it actually supports wireless printer and works phenomenally well with Wi-Fi printers on your network. (Thanks iPad Today!) What's great about Air Sharing is that it just connects to the printer — there's no intermediary to worry about. You just choose a printer and it elegantly handles the job. What's also really great about Air Sharing is that it's around or less than what you'd pay for a standalone printing app ($4 for iPhone/iPod Touch), but printing is just a bonus feature. [Air Sharing Air Sharing HD via iTunes App Store]

Email

Not all printers have this capability, but printing via email is a new feature that's making its way into the latest web-connected printers (especially from HP). If you don't know, check and see if your printer has an email address. If it does, you can send it supported documents, and it'll print them. This is a great option because it requires no special apps and you can do it from any mobile device, iOS or otherwise.

Getting in on the Beta

Although you can't update to iOS 4.2 until November, Apple recently seeded an iOS 4.2 beta to developers. If you're not a developer, you're not entirely out of luck. All you really need to do is know someone who paid the $US99 fee. iOS developers can add up to 100 devices to their account, so your developer friend can register your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad using it's Universal Unique Identifier (UUID - here's how to find it). You'll also need to update your Mac to the latest beta of Mac OS X if you want to print via printer sharing, seeing as only three printers are currently supported at the moment. Printing is also a little finicky in the beta. The disadvantage is that this method might not work so well, but if you're upgrading an iPad, you get all the nice iOS features you've been longing for.


Comments

    I'd just like to point out that the 'reflection' in the main image for the article is completely reversed. The HP logo and button panel have swapped sides completely.

    Aside from that, you can faintly see the top side of the ipad on the underside. I'm fairly sure this isn't what photoshop is intended for.

    3 printers? Which three printers are supported by iOS 4.2?? I have upgraded my iPad and the Mac to enable printing, I have a HP P1005, it works like a charm. In fact my printing system had broken down and I was unable to print till now when I upgraded to Mac OSX 10.6.5 where the CUPS interface and system was updated and it works beautifully...

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