Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Print to Regular Printers

Printing to Non-AirPrint Printers from Your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch
For the longest time I have accepted the fact that I cannot print from my iPad. My trusty, reliable (and old) Brother laser printer is just 5 feet away; but, alas, is not Apple AirPrint compatible.  And no AirPrint compatiblity = my iPad is from Mars and my printer is from Venus.

Now I always had the choice to go out and buy an AirPrint compatible printer for $100 or so.  But that seemed an awful pricey solution for printing the occasional email.  So it seemed I was doomed to continue to fire up ye olde laptop for any printing.

However, it turns out there is a solution.  Collobos makes a product called Fingerprint.  I installed the software on my PC and – mirabile dictu  – I can now print from my iPad to my old printer!  The $19.95 product (free trial available) essentially turns your old printer into an AirPrint compatible printer.
Here's the step-by-step:
  • Download the trial version of Fingerprint software to your Mac or PC and install it (Not all printers are supported. Use the free trial to make sure yours is before purchasing) 
  • Ironically,your iPad already has everything built in for printing.
  • So on the iPad, go into your email
  • Open up a note
  • Tap the "share" button and select "Print"

  • Choose the printer and tap "Print".  And that should do it! 

Collobos has a Troubleshooting FAQ if you run into problems.

You can now print from your iPad or  iPhone or iPod touch (any iOS device).  It will work in any iOS app that supports printing (typically an option of the Share button).  

 This solution isn't free, but I thought it certainly beats paying for a new printer.