Mobile devices have been a boon for photographers because they’ve brought portable portfolios to the road and instant connectivity for building fan bases, keeping up with social media and maintaining business workflows no matter where you’re located throughout the world. As more peripheral devices like printers attain wireless abilities, smartphones and tablets are only growing in their abilities, as well, because they can interact with these devices, giving you the power to do almost everything from your smartphone that you can do from a landlocked computer. Wi-Fi not only gives printers wireless networking capabilities, but also sophisticated remote printing options.
Apple’s AirPrint service for iPads, iPhones (3Gs or later) and the iPod touch (3rd generation or later), for instance, works in concert with AirPrint-enabled printers from Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, HP, Lenovo, Lexmark and Samsung. In true Apple fashion, printing from AirPrint is simply a matter of tapping an arrow, selecting a networked printer and quickly making print-setting configurations. It can be done from anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection, and it’s supported natively from iBooks, Mail, Photos, Safari and numerous App Store applications for smart devices. Several AirPrint-compatible printers are available directly from the Apple Store, and the $19.95 FingerPrint utility program from Collobos Software even allows you to use non-AirPrint printers and printers connected to Windows-based PCs.
Google offers a similar service in Google Cloud Print, where you can access your printer from the web without even needing a computer. After adding attached printers to your managed printers list (which requires a Gmail account), you can access printers through the Google Chrome browser or through several available Android and iOS apps if using Apple or other popular smart devices. When surfing the web on your mobile device or computer, if you see a print button with the Google Cloud Print logo, you can print right from the page. Cloud-ready printers can be accessed directly over wireless networks, and older, non-wireless printers also can be set up quickly for Google Cloud Print through the advanced settings in Google’s Chrome browser. Documents are transmitted over a secure HTTPS connection, and the document is deleted from servers after processing. You even can share managed printers with friends or clients, and the system works interactively with Chromebook tablets.
Epson’s Connect-enabled printers make mobile printing a snap with several services for streamlining connectivity and print output. The Epson Email Print and Remote Print for Windows services provide a unique, customizable email address for sending files and photos to any wireless or email-enabled Epson printer in the world. With support for up to 10 attached files, attachments up to 20 MB in size are supported in various image and document formats, including JPG, GIF, TIF, PDG, BMP and PNG, as well as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Print jobs are held in cache for 72 hours if the printer is unavailable or turned off. The Email Print function requires a free Epson Connect account, which you can set up at www.epsonconnect.com/user. A Printer List is available via your account for checking printer status, and on the security side, Epson offers an Approved Sender’s List for allowing email addresses or domains to print received information.
For printing from tablets and smartphones, the iPrint Mobile app is available free of charge from Epson for both Apple iOS- and Google Android-based devices. Compatible with all current Epson printers, the iPrint Mobile app also sends scanned files from Epson devices to Cloud services like Dropbox, and it allows you to preview and print Microsoft Office docs directly from the Cloud. iPrint Mobile also supports Apple’s Photo Stream for printing photos from your collection of mobile images. Several Epson printers are also compatible with Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print.