Do you have a printer and need to print something from your iPhone or iPad? If your printer supports AirPrint, things can be easier. The printer will just appear in the list and you’re done.
However, if you don’t have an AirPrint-enabled printer, then you’re pretty much out of luck. Fortunately, there are several ways to turn any printer into an AirPrint-enabled printer.
In this article, I’ll cover third-party tools that you can install so you can print directly from your iPhone or iPad to a locally connected printer or network / wireless printer.
Before we dive into the details, let’s talk about the requirements for this to work. First, you need the printer to be installed and working on at least one computer. It doesn’t matter if the printer is connected to the machine locally or it is a wireless / network printer, it just needs to be installed on the machine.
Second, to print from your Apple device to a non-AirPrint printer, you need to keep your computer on at all times. Third party software basically acts like a proxy and all print jobs are first sent to the computer and then sent to the actual printer.
Finally, you have to spend a little money, as these third-party apps are paid. It’s worth considering getting around all of these issues and just buying a new AirPrint-enabled printer as they are pretty cheap these days.
With that out of the way, let’s get down to the details. I will mention a few programs, some for Mac and some for Windows. In addition, I will tell you about the hardware you purchased that will also act as a print server.
For Windows computers, the most popular program is O’Print, which costs $ 19.80. You can download a free 30-day trial to make sure it works correctly with your printer and system. Overall, I found the program’s interface a little outdated, but the functionality is great.
After downloading and installing the software, the main interface of the program will show all printers installed on your system.
If you don’t see printers in the list, that means you need to go to System Preferences – Printers & Scanners and add the printer in OS X first. After adding the printer, go back to O’Print and it should appear in the list.
At this point, you really don’t need to do anything unless your printer is using a port other than the standard one. You can click the Edit button (paper with a pen icon) to change the printer name if you like.
Now when you go to print from your iPhone or iPad and click on Select Printer, you should see all O’Print printers listed under Other Printers. You will also see the computer name listed under the printer name.
There is another Windows option that requires a bit of technical tweaking, but it’s completely free. Check out this AirPrintActivator. installation guide and see if it works for you.
Mac Air Print
For Mac users, I recommend two programs: HandyPrint. and Printopia. HandyPrint. requires a donation to activate the license and the minimum amount is $ 5. So, you can buy HandyPrint. for $ 5. Printopia. costs $ 19.99, but HandyPrint. has a PRO version that requires a $ 20 donation. The PRO version can work even if the user is not logged into the Mac.
After HandyPrint. downloads, launch the DMG file and then drag the icon into the Applications folder to install it.
When you run the program, it will detect your printer and display it in the list. You also need to make sure the switch is on.
Now, on your iPhone or iPad, you will see all HandyPrint. printers in the Other Printers list.
Printopia. practically does not differ literally in appearance and functionality.
Printopia. also has a printer to send to Mac, which is a convenient way to print a document directly to your computer. Both programs performed well in my tests, so I see no point in spending $ 20 if you can get HandyPrint. for $ 5.
The last option I have to mention is Printer Pro by Readdle. It is a combination of an iPhone / iPad app and a desktop program that runs on Mac or Windows. The app costs $ 7 on the App Store and the PC app is free.
It works just like the other programs mentioned above, in the sense that you need the desktop application to always be running in order for print jobs to run. The smartphone / tablet app is by far the most professional and perfect app and it has tons of features, so if you are serious about printing and need to change your printer settings a lot, this might be your best option.
It’s worth noting that you must first install the app on your iPhone or iPad and see if you can print directly to the printer without the desktop app. According to the site, it can print directly from the app to most printers without an additional desktop app. Overall, this is a good option and not too expensive.
In addition to software, you can also purchase a hardware device from Lantronix. that acts as a print server. I have an xPrintServer so I know it works well. The only problem is you need to make sure your printer is supported. and costs a whopping $ 200!
This is a really good solution if you are in a small office with a lot of Apple users and many printers. It doesn’t make sense for a home with one or two printers.
These are almost all options for printing to a non-AirPrint printer on your network. Please note, if you only print from Chrome or other Google apps like Gmail, etc., you can easily set up Google Cloud Print and not worry about any of these programs. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to comment. Enjoy!