Mobile Printing: A Guide for the BYOD World
You'd think smartphones and tablets would kill printing, but they haven't yet. Some documents are just easier to read on paper than on a small screen. And in the increasingly BYOD working world, you have employees and clients walking in with their mobile devices and wanting to print.
Mon, September 16, 2013
PC World — You'd think smartphones and tablets would kill printing, but they haven't yet. Some documents are just easier to read on paper than on a small screen. And in the increasingly BYOD working world, you have employees and clients walking in with their mobile devices and wanting to print.
Printer vendors are only too happy to help, with apps designed to get something off your mobile device and onto paper. But this is no small trick: 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. Some apps can send the job via email to the printer, in which case, you could be anywhere when you send the job. While the apps offer some ability to customize the job--such as number of prints, or size or type of paper--the printouts might not look exactly like what you expect, because the apps can't translate all fonts or formatting perfectly. Not surprisingly, iOS and Android devices get the most app options, but platform- and vendor- independent solutions such as Google Cloud Print are also available.
There's a printing app for that
If this sounds too complicated, you're right. Unless you're lucky enough to have an IT department that can implement an enterprise-wide solution, this guide will help you sift through the sometimes confusing options available for individuals and small businesses. The printer you already own at home or at the office could very well have an app you could use with it, and if you're looking to buy a new printer, check to make sure it has an app to work with your device.
Brother iPrint&Scan:A Brother lets you print to select models via iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices. Scanning from your multifunction printer directly to your handset is also supported. Printing is generally limited to 10MB or 50 pages, and other odd restrictions apply (Windows Phone can't print webpages, for example). A large selection of the company's MFC, DCP, and HL series printers are supported by the various apps, with slightly better support for iOS devices.
Canon Easy-PhotoPrint:A This app is available for iOS, Android, and Windows RT devices, but it is largely limited, as the name implies, to printing photos (and it's optimized specifically for that purpose). However, PDFs can also be printed, and documents can be scanned directly to iOS or Android handsets. Most PIXMA printers are supported.