Airprint for iOS: Wireless printing solutions

What is Airprint?
Simply put, Airprint is a feature on newer printers that will allow you to wirelessly print from your iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, or even laptop computers, providing they are on the same network. Read more about Airprint directly from Apple. It took me a little while to finally get into wireless printing, but after spending some money on a two Airprint printers, I have found it to be a very useful tool.

Above is the printer my colleague and I purchased for school use, an inexpensive HP all-in-one. We paid only $40 CDN for this printer. With regards to the very low price, we are aware that replacement ink will likely cost more than what we paid for it, an unfortunate truth to many printers nowadays. So far this term, it has worked very well for us. Setup was a cinch, and somehow it detected our network, despite not even asking for a password. Whenever we are in a hurry and don't want to print from our desktop PCs, we use this printer. There are apps on the iPad that we can now print from that would obviously not be available on the PC. We even brought this printer to our recent iPad workshop and showed teachers just how easy printing off an iPad really was. We brought along the same router, and therefore did not have to tinker at all with any settings. It was able to print effortlessly.

 

This is the printer I purchased for my home, the Epson Workforce 545 all-in-one color printer. I paid $79.99 CDN for it. It has definitely come in handy already at home. Printing from the computer directly is quick and efficient. Being able to print from all my Apple devices makes my life much easier. If I need something printed for the next school day, I can do it from the couch. Simply open up the document and find the print button. with iOS 6, you can easily print any webpage, and most of the educational apps that I use, such as Pages, Numbers, or Goodreader, have easy access to Airprint. Here is what the menu looks like in Goodreader:

Then I just make sure my printer is selected, and I can choose which pages to print and the number of copies:


My wife was pleasantly surprised when she found out what our new printer could do. Since she is at home part-time taking care of our toddler, she (also a teacher) is always searching online (usually on Pinterest) for tot school ideas. Now she can find a worksheet (usually in PDF form) and print it, from wherever she is in the house, even two floors up from where the printer is located. No longer necessary is sitting down at the desktop, opening the file(s) you want to print, and printing it there.
ePrint
Both printers also have a feature called ePrint (actually an HP term, but the Epson printer does the same thing), where you can email a document from anywhere in the world to the printer and it will print. I tried doing this with an Microsoft Word attachment, and it worked fine. Set-up takes a few minutes; you need to assign the printer an email address and also assign which email addresses are “permitted” to print in this fashion. This will come handy if I want to email my lesson plan from home to the school for the substitute teacher.

Conclusion

The number of Airprint printers is quickly growing. If you are an avid iPad or iPhone user and are in the market for a printer, make sure your next printer is Airprint capable! The prices are slowly coming down. They can vary from around $40 to a few hundred for high-quality laser printers. As of August 2012, there are currently over 200 Airprint-compatible printers on the market.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. lucy says:

    hi
    nice article, have you ever heard of the print n share app as well?

    1. No I will check it out.

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