While the world is going paperless, there are still some instances where printouts are a must. In a pinch, that could mean having to print directly from your smartphone. Luckily, both iOS and Android now support printing directly from your phone. You can send your documents to any printer, so long as you're on the same Wi-Fi network and you know how to add it.
Printing from your smartphone isn't hard – if you have an iPhone, it's a built-in feature that you can access by clicking the share button on documents, depending on which app you're in. Most Android phones also have printing capabilities built in, but if your device isn't giving you an option to connect, you'll have to download the Google Cloud Print app. Keep reading for step-by-step instructions on adding a printer and printing a document from Android, iOS and Windows.
Google Cloud Print comes preinstalled on most Android devices, but you can download it manually.
- If you download the Google Cloud Print app manually, you'll have to identify or add a printer compatible with your device that's on the same shared Wi-Fi network. Open Settings and find Printing to add a printer.
- Once your printer is added, open the app you're printing from and tap the three dots that indicate more options (usually in the upper right corner) to find and select the Print option.
Apple's built-in AirPrint feature makes it easy to print directly from any iPhone or iPad without downloading additional drivers.
- You can only use AirPrint with printers compatible with Apple's technology. Check this list to make sure your printer is AirPrint-enabled.
- Make sure your phone and your printer are on the same Wi-Fi network.
- Next, open the app you want to print from and find the print option, which may be under Share, Print or Other Options. Tap Print or the printer icon and select Choose an AirPrint-Enabled Printer. For this example, we printed something directly from Apple's email client.
- You should be able to easily identify and select the printer of your choice (or add a new printer), specify your printing needs (number of copies, etc.) and send your job to the chosen printer.
If you're still having trouble using AirPrint, make sure you're running the latest version of iOS and that the app you're printing from doesn't have any updates available.
If you're using a Windows 10 device and you want to print wirelessly, the setup is easy.
- First, open Cortana and type in Printer. Select Printers & Scanners when it appears.
- Select Add a Printer or Scanner. Assuming your printer is on the same Wi-Fi network as your Windows 10 device, you should have no problem locating it and adding it to your queue.
- Now you should be able to print with ease.
If you have a Windows 8 device without a built-in driver, here's what you need to do to wirelessly print:
- Download Print Now ($1.99). It's a Windows application that makes it possible for Windows users to wirelessly print through Google Cloud Print.
- Make sure your Windows device is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your cloud-ready printer.
- Link your printer to Google Cloud Print by opening Chrome browser and typing "chrome://devices."
- Under New Devices, locate your printer. Click Manage next to it.
- In the Confirm Registration pop-up window, click Register.
- Go to Google.com/cloudprint and click Printers to confirm your printer is registered.
- Once that's done, it's easy to send files to the printer from OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox or your phone's onboard media library.