iPad printing and file sharing are questions that comes up pretty frequently because there are times when you might just want to have a paper document or transfer files. “How to print from an iPad” is one of the most frequently asked questions I see on Twitter some days. Here we offer you some of the most current solutions to iPad printing.
1. Email The Document
This might sound almost too easy, but most people agree this is probably what Apple had in mind in regards to printing and the iPad. If you are working in Pages or Numbers (or any other document-type app) you can email the document to your computer which is connected to a pritner and then print it.
2. Use An App (There’s an App for that)
This is a little more complicated but not too bad. The top-rated app for printing (and many other things) from an iPad is called Air Sharing HD. Here is a quick review and overview of the application.
What Air Sharing HD Does
It lets you wirelessly mount your iPad as a drive on your computer so you can put files on your iPad or take files off. You can also send files from the iPad to a printer that is connected to a Mac. Some of the other things you can do with this application are:
- Create a wireless hard disk
- View Documents
- Connect to your computer
- Mount remote file servers
- View and Download Email Attachments
- Perform File Operations
- Print Documents
- Share files with other users
That’s a pretty good value for $9.99. Basically, you have a really nice mobile working solution with this app. I found that it was very easy and quick to use this with both my iMac and my MacBook Pro.
Here is how you can print several file types:
To print files that are on your iPad, just view it in Air Sharing, tap the icon in the lower-left of the screen and select Print. Note that you can also email this document from here as well. I did a few basic documents and it worked out pretty good, although I did notice a few slight formatting issues but nothing that made it not usable.
Printing Email Attachments and Messages
With Air Sharing HD, there are two ways to print your emails and attachments.
- Method One
If the attachment is an image or text file then you will have to deal with the nuance of accessing an email server as if it were a file server. Navigate to the email using the built-in file browser, open the attachment and print it.
- Method Two
If the attachment is a document (Word, PDF, Pages, Numbers) you can open it right in the built-in browser by holding your finger down on it and choosing to open it, then print it.
Printing Pages, Keynote and Numbers Documents
There isn’t any way to directly open iWork documents from any other app (this includes air sharing hd). This means you will have to mail the document to yourself, then, once it is in your Mail inbox, print it using the air sharing hd app.
ePrint is a printing app that allows you to print from your iPad (and iPhone/iPod Touch) directly to a networked printer. You can print email attachments, web pages, contacts, and photos. There is a free version but it puts a border around your prints and it is also quite limited as to what it will print. The app supports multiple printer types (as long as they are networked). There are mixed reviews on this one and some have found it to be extremely useful while others say they will wait for the next version or an application that does a better job.
PrintCentral is the newest print solution for the iPad. It has an impressive set of features that will let you print anything from anywhere. You can print to a wireless printer or to a Mac/PC and even over 3G. This app has the following features you may want to check out:
- Full functional printing
- Full iPad app integration
- WiFi Hard Drive
- Documents on the iPad
- iDisk, Dropbox, Box.net and Google doc support
- Full featured Email app built-in
- Web browser
- Print Photos
3. Other Ways To Print – HP Has The Answer for iPad Printing Solutions
HP announced on June 29, 2010 the release of their Photosmart D110a e-all-in-one with e-print Printer. This is the first line of web-connected printers from HP to feature e-print. E-print in the ability to email messages with attachments to the printer from any device (smartphones and tablets). And there is no driver or app needed. The HP D110a has the following features:
- 29 ppm black at up to 600 dpi
- 23 ppm color at up to 4800 x 1200 dpi
- Scanning up to 1200 dpi
- prints directly off the web or via USB/SD
- No Fax on this model
That’s pretty impressive considering this printer is only $129.99 (retail)