The wireless world has quickly taken over and with it and things like google docs, we’ve started to lose the means of even caring about printing. Many companies even run with only one or no printers, and not everyone has one since most of our communication is online as well. That doesn’t mean we are completely out of the printing era though, paper or hard documents are still frequently used by the government and plenty of people on average. But that’s okay, because although printers have stayed mostly the same in terms of hardware for years, the software side of printing has evolved to keep up with demand and the times.
These days you can get all manner of applications for your mobile smart devices that not only allow you to print from them through wireless or Bluetooth means, but also do things like printing from a cloud or drive, and even scan images with the camera of your device to then print or upload to your cloud. And this isn’t even factoring in all the controls of a printer you can command through these applications by simply connecting to one wirelessly. So with that said; when it comes to printing applications, which ones are going to draw the best bang for your time?
Brand Specific App
There is always at least one official application for each printer brand out there meant for any operating system you run and when it comes to connectivity, these ones are likely your best bet, especially if you are running a newer model of a printer. Of course on the other hand, there can be a lot of downsides to the brand specific types. Generally, they come with poor feature inclusions, with many of them not even letting you set the quality of the image or even if you want the image in black and white. That doesn’t mean they are all terrible though, most of them tend to focus on image printing, and at that they are good, but not much else.
The major exception happens to be Brother’s printer application, which not only provides scanning capability, but can be used without a computer needing to be turned on, which is why if you are using a brother printer this one is your best option and for android or apple.
If you run an Epson printer though, you can get a few different features than the brother, like color to monochrome, communication and connection with things like evernote and google docs, or even draw files like web pages and PDF’s from the wireless connection of your Epson printer. Not the greatest, but still a steady selection for a brand choice.
PrinterShare Mobile Print App
If you are looking at something that has a bit more to offer in the features department then your best option is probably PrinterShare, which you can find for both apple and android. This pretty little app gives you the options of printing just about anything on your mobile device, from web pages to documents or pictures and even contact lists. It can also manage to connect to most any printer that is wireless (but works better with certain ones). Overall this app manages to provide the best selection of details you may want to change when printing like size and orientation, while giving the most varied ways of being able to print things. Unfortunately you can’t scan stuff with it, but considering you can access any picture you take with your device and print that, what’s the difference?
Oh, and did I mention this app is free? Well free so long as you aren’t printing regularly, then you’ll have to offer up some money for unlimited printing, but if you are needing to print multiple files a day, then you should probably be using a computer and not solely your mobile device.
This particular app has some major ups and downs when it comes to the overall usability. This mobile print program can do almost anything, including the printing of emails, pictures, word documents, anything in clouds or through Google cloud print, any major applications like Evernote and even social media like Instagram, Twitter, or Photobucket and even view pdf or documents without printing them on your mobile device. The downside? There are a lot of printers that it doesn’t support, like Brother, and most of all after thirty days of using it you have to pay monthly or yearly subscriptions to continue using the application. That might be worth it, if you really need all the features the program can offer, but chances are you won’t actually use half them unless your mobile device has replaced your computer completely. Otherwise this one is for android or apple and is probably one of the better ones to run with so long as your printer supports it.
ePrint Free App
Finally we have the one application in this list that cannot print documents contained directly on the mobile device. It can do photos fine, and even documents that are in the cloud, just not on the device. The real unique quality of this app comes with the customization elements, including being able to print out calendars or cards with your photos being used. This is why this one at least gets a mention, plus it comes with a lot of the same features as some of the other apps like being able to connect to a wireless printer without going through a computer, and probably the widest array of options when printing (considering you can make calendars). And best of all, if you aren’t worried about just printing one thing at a time, one copy at a time, then you don’t have to pay anything for this app either. Just be careful with an ink-jet printer as many of them are not supported by this app.
Overall you can find quite the selection of printing options, all meant to be customizable to what you might be looking for in printing and this application area for printing is bound to continue evolving over time to fit with our standards. It will only be a matter of time before you can scan the image of an object with your mobile device and send that message back to a 3d printer to make a copy of that.
Brian Prowse is a writer and self-proclaimed tech geek. He writes for sites such as www.247inktoner.com. When he's not writing or playing around with the coolest gadgets on the market, Brian enjoys gaming on his xbox and graphic design.