5 Best Apps for Printing Remotely from an iPhone
As the gap between smartphones and laptops continues to narrow for business and personal applications, more and more people are turning to the App Store for the solutions they need. One time-saver growing in popularity is remote printing. The power of a well-networked smartphone now allows nearly anyone to store and print documents even while they are away from their office printers. While simple, this can be a powerful application of remote connectivity, with the potential to save hours in a week for anyone looking at multiple heavy print jobs.
That said, there are a number of ways to accomplish this, and they all have their pros and cons.
5. HP iPrint Photo 2.0
HP iPrint Photo 2.0 is a free app, which is always a boost. Unfortunately, that is also the only reason it’s made this list. While it is easy enough to use, it is limited to printing photos, and only photos. It cannot be used to print text files, e-mails or web-pages. This is a considerable limitation on its utility. However, if one only needs to print photos, say, from the iPhone’s camera, it is ideal. It automatically detects available printers on the network, which can save a lot of hassle for prospective users.
4. Print Magic
Print Magic is an affordable iPhone app tailored to enable remote printing. Unlike some printing applications, it does not require any software to be installed on a printer-linked machine. As long as the printer is configured for sharing and has a working printer ink toner, Print Magic can access it to print e-mails, photos and other files directly from one’s iPhone. This makes it a quick and easy solution, though it may not be suitable in a business environment, where one might have access to the printer’s printing facilities, but lack the authority to configure the printer for sharing.
LogMeIn is a bit of a different animal. It is not a simple printer app. LogMeIn is a widely-use, widely-trusted application that allows remote access and use of a computer from any other networked device, including other computers, smartphones, and under that header, iPhones as well. It allows one to print just as though they were at their desk, with no fussing over whether or not a file is compatible. This means that there will be no ambiguity whatsoever about your iPhone’s ability to print–it will print just as well as your computer can, and will do so much more besides. LogMeIn is an excellent platform with a broad array of uses. Anyone looking to print on their iPhone should consider their needs, as LogMeIn might save them money in the long run should they need additional remote functionality.
GoToMyPC is another remote-access application that, again, goes above and beyond the call of simple printing, but in a less-expensive, more-streamlined package than LogMeIn. GoToMyPC’s functionality is somewhat lower than LogMeIn, but many users will find that GoToMyPC’s simpler interface, particularly for configuration, is more than worth the trade. Contrary to the program’s name, it is suitable for use with Macs as well as PCs, while many similar remote desktop applications are not. For the purpose of printing, it comes out ahead of LogMeIn, as it is easier to use while providing additional functionality that quite frequently comes in handy for those looking into remote access solutions.
1. Print & Share
Print & Share takes first on the list for its ease of use and versatility. Unlike Print Magic, Print & Share does require the configuration of software on a linked computer. However, in exchange for this, users will find that Print & Share is eminently stable and more functional once one masters its interface, and is capable of printing anything the iPhone can access with a few button-presses. If all you need is versatile remote printing with no other access options, Print & Share is ideal.
Remote printing is an affordable option for anyone with an iPhone that can save quite a few man-hours even in the short-term. Even priming a big, long print job from the train to work just once may save you the man-hours to earn back the cost, and if you print often, it will save you hours out of every week. Consider what will get you the most mileage, and a simple iPhone app or two can make your whole workweek more efficient.
Patrick Barnes is a tech writer and blogger from Brisbane, Australia. He is currently working for Ink Station, a leading online provider of remanufactured printer ink toner cartridges. Patrick writes tech and business-related articles for several Australian and international websites and blogs.