Sometimes you’ll find the need to print from an iPad or iPhone whilst you’re away from your home or office.
Maybe you’re on holiday, at a client’s office, a friend’s house or just out in the city and you need to print.
You might want to print a document, a boarding pass, a PowerPoint presentation, a ticket, an itinerary, an assignment, or an invoice, amongst other possibilities.
Separately, I’ve written about portable and mobile printers for your iPad and iPhone if you regularly need to print whilst away from the home or office.
For times when you’re not carrying a printer with you, your options might include:
- AirPrint. If the printer you want to print to is AirPrint compatible, you’re in luck. Your job is as easy as connecting to the Wi-Fi network your printer is on, and printing directly from any of the apps on your device that support printing. Its now you begin to appreciate the beauty of the AirPrint technology!
- Third-party printing apps like PrintCentral Pro. These apps enable you to print directly to the largest range of printers including those that aren’t AirPrint compatible. If the printer you want to print to has inbuilt Wi-Fi Direct or HP’s Wireless Direct technology, you can connect directly to the printer from your iPhone or iPad rather than having to be granted access to somebody’s Wi-Fi network.
- Emailing the content. Either to yourself, the print shop, accommodation, or person who has the printer.
- Uploading the content to a cloud storage service. Cloud services might include Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, OneDrive, and so on. Then downloading the content and printing from a computer connected to a printer.
- HP ePrint. Using the HP ePrint app, you can print your documents directly to the nearest HP Public Print Location. Over 10,000 locations worldwide are supported, and include FedEx Office stores, UPS stores, retail print outlets, hotels, airport lounges, universities, public libraries, and more.
- Printing via 3G or Google Cloud Print. Many internet cafes now enable you to send your print jobs via Google Cloud Print. Some third-party printing apps like PrintCentral Pro can also be used for Google Cloud Print.
- Fax it. An old road warrior trick is to fax the document you want printed to your hotel or client’s office. Obviously, you wont get a great quality copy, and you should also make sure that you are not going to be charged for an incoming fax! Popular faxing apps include JotNot Pro by MobiTech 3000 LLC and Scanner Pro by Readdle. Costs will apply when using a faxing app.
Be careful about the security of any confidential documents that you might be printing, uploading to the cloud, or sending via email.
Also, be aware that when you download documents to another computer in order to print, the computer can save a temporary copy of the document to its hard drive. This document may, or may not be deleted when you finish your session on that computer. Likewise, copies of documents sent to cloud storage services or via Google Cloud Print may be backed-up or otherwise retained on their servers.
Consider investigating a service like Breezy (United States only) to help maintain the security of confidential documents whilst printing from an iDevice on the road.
So, as you can see, you have several options at your disposal if you need to print from your iPad or iPhone whilst away from the home or your office. Also worth reading is my article about how to print from an app that doesn’t natively support printing.