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Printing from your iPad or iPhone is deceptively simple–so simple that a clear explanation is hard to find when searching online or in the App store. How to print from your iPad or iPhone? The short answer is that you do not need a special app; however, you do need an Airprint printer which is connected to the same wireless network as your iPad–then your printing capability magically appears. Here’s the long (and hopefully clear) answer:

1. Do not be tempted to try to connect to a non-Airprint printer. There are apps which claim to do this (Print, Print n Share, Print to all printers, etc.) but in my experience  they don’t work without a serious amount of tinkering, support a limited list of printers, or in some cases do not work at all.

2. Do buy an Airprint printer. Check out the list of supported printers  here. I realize this will set you back anywhere from $60 to $200, but after you have used it without hassle every day for a year, you can rationalize that your happiness and lack of aggravation cost you from about 15 to 55 cents a day! At the moment, Brother, Canon, EpsonHP, and Lexmark manufacture Airprint printers, although the HP printers–which has supported Airprint the longest–seem to be the most widely used. Some good HP Airprint printers include:

HP Photosmart 5510 Wireless Color Photo Printer

HP 3050 or 3050A Wireless All-in-One Color Photo Printer

HP Envy 100 e-All-in-One D410a – this is an excellent, attractive and compact all-in-one printer. See my review of this printer in an earlier post.

HP Envy 114 e-All-in-One D411c – this is an newer version of the HP Envy 100.

3. Connect your new printer to the same wireless network as your iPad/iPhone. (Sometimes this is easier said than done. You will initially need your regular computer to accomplish this. Follow the printer instructions exactly, and use the included CD.)

4. Print! There is no need to “install” the printer to your iPad or iPhone — it will automatically add the printer.  Simply tap the “action” icon   in either Mail (upper right), Safari (upper left), or Photos (upper right), then tap “Print”. You may have to then choose “Printer” and then the name of your printer. Finally, tap “Print” again.

See Apple’s support article on this topic here.

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