The iPad – more than an iPhone, less than a laptop, grand nonetheless. When traveling, the MacBook Pro stays at home due to the iPad’s tremendous ability to travel and prove an ample substitute for many of the things a MacBook handles with ease.
With the iPad, one can use Pages, compose notes, load and store pictures, and much more. That said, an issue arises when one attempts printing that which one has created on the iPad. At the point when printing a document or picture becomes necessary, how is such a task accomplished? Unfortunately printing options for the iPad are scarce, but solutions exist nonetheless.
Apple’s Solution: If one is trying to print from an iWork creation on the iPad, Apple offers the following advice, “To print your file, send it to your computer via email, iWork.com public beta, or File Sharing in iTunes. You can then access the file from your computer and print it from there. When exporting documents, including PDF, ensure the target computer has access to the fonts used in the document.”
Expensive App Solution: Three types of apps exist for printing from the iPad; those that print directly to Wi-Fi-enabled printers, those that seek out a Wi-Fi network shared by a Mac which can print to the shared printers, and finally one that requires the user to run a server in the background on a Mac or PC every time you want to print something. Printing apps are far from the best option.
Air Sharing HD is an app that prints to printers shared by Macs on the same Wi-Fi network as your iPad, but the app isn’t perfect. At $9.99, the app isn’t cheap, and does not work with Windows PCs. The app can’t locate local files on your iPad, instead relying on a variety of what the app considers servers, including MobileMe and email accounts, and then prints to any printer connected to a Mac on the same network. Documentz Pro, $6.99, also claims to print to shared printers, but could be the worst $6.99 one could possibly spend on an app. The app is virtually impossible to get a document into for printing, and is not advised for those looking to print from the iPad.
Inexpensive App Solution: Canon’s free Easy Photo-Print for iPhone may work for you if you want to print directly to a Wi-Fi enabled Canon printer. Unfortunately, you must own a Canon printer, the app isn’t optimized for the iPad, and the app only prints photos and screen shots saved to your photo gallery. HP iPrint Photo, also free, works well on iPhone, but cannot detect a HP printer from the iPad. Odd indeed. Finally there is ePrint, $2.99, which claims to be able to print contacts, photos, Web pages, notes or your clipboard. Bold claims for a $2.99 app. Unfortunately the app crashes more often than a child who has polished off a giant bag of Skittles (or other sugar-laden) candy.
The iPad needs a good printing solution. As noted, options exist but none of them are perfect and several cost a good deal of money and do not provide nearly as much bang for the buck as they should. Have you found a good printing solution outside of those mentioned? If so, please share and help end the suffering.