Yes, You Can Print from the iPad

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Most of you may be well aware of the fact stated in this post’s title – but I get asked this a lot and see lots of people talking about how it’s not possible to print from the iPad. 

So I thought I’d do a quick post to confirm that yes, you absolutely can print from the iPad – and in fact if you have the right type of printer and a decent app, wireless printing from the iPad works very well.

I’m no expert on this subject (yet Smile) but I’ve been giving it a go at home with a couple of wireless printers – and finding that it’s quite easy if your setup is right.

Apple announced yesterday that wireless printing will be built into iOS 4.2, to be released in November – and hopefully their solution will be more universal, elegant etc than those currently offered.

In the meantime though, here’s a little rundown of how I’ve got wireless printing going for my iPads:

— First I needed a wireless printer of course.  I started out with a Canon Pixma model, and it worked nicely with my iPhone and iPad – but its drivers for Mac didn’t work and I ended up returning it.  The printer itself was very capable and if you’re on a Windows PC it may be a great choice, or if you’re on a Mac and willing to monkey around with finding the right drivers.

I ended up with an HP Photosmart Plus, and I’m very happy with it.

— Setup for the Photosmart Plus was very straightforward.  It also required some driver updating for Mac OS X 10.6, but the process was smooth and successful.

— Once the printer was setup and working on my home network, I went looking for apps to use for printing from the iPad.  Both the Canon and the HP have decent, free apps for printing photos from iPad.  The Canon Easy Photoprint for iPhone app worked fine from both iPhone and iPad. HP iPrint Photo also worked a treat.

HP iPrint Photo app

— Both of the above apps are fairly limited in terms of what they will print.  They are geared towards printing photos and images from your photo libraries on your iPhone or iPad, as their names would imply.  The HP app also lets you print .txt or PDF files.

— My favorite printing app for the iPad so far is Print Central for iPad.  This is a real powerhouse of a printing app – here are just some of its features, via its App Store page:

• Print direct to most WiFi without additional software, or use sharing software for ALL printers.
• USB & Bluetooth printers can be used with free sharing software
• Also use the print server software on your Mac or PC for best quality printing for ALL printers (e.g. USB, WiFi, Bluetooth & Network printers)
• Portable printing via WiFI or flash drive in Hotels/Internet Cafes etc.
• Print remotely via 3G/EDGE

• Open & Print files directly into PrintCentral from any other app that supports the "Open in…" file sharing, including attachments from Apple Mail
• Print from Pages/Numbers via Mail or print button
• Transfer docs and files via iTunes using USB cable (Apps Tab)
• Open documents stored in PrintCentral directly into iWork for easy editing
• Open files stored in the cloud directly into iWork

Print Central iPad printing app

I especially love the fact that you can access and print files from Google Docs, Dropbox and lots of other places within Print Central.

There you go.  I’m still learning and experimenting with wireless printing from my iPad and iOS devices – but I can already tell you that it just feels super cool to be able to do it.  So there’s no need to wait for iOS 4.2 in November for wireless printing from your iPad. 

I’d love to hear about your experience with printing from the iPad.  Please share your thoughts and knowledge in the comments.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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49 thoughts on “Yes, You Can Print from the iPad”

  1. I have Print N Share and can ultimately print to my wireless printer but I have to jump through so many hoops to print. I would like to print directly from a Pages or Numbers. Instead I have to transfer to, open it up as a web page and then I can print. I hope the 4.2 printing allows me to print straight from the app. If it doesn’t then I would consider it to be a big flop.

    1. Print Central lets you print in less steps if you happen to use services like Google Docs or Dropbox – but I agree that it would be good to see an ability to print from within most / all apps.

  2. You need a wireless direct printer to print from an Ipad. For those who have an older printer connected to a wireless router you can not print anything. Ipad can't find or see your printer on the router at all. More stupid ideas from Apple.

  3. So let’s see I have the hp310 wireless printer, net gear router, 3G iPad and I’m not going to be able to print unless I have wifi connected which I don’t have that service.

    1. Are you saying you don't have a wireless network? If so, then yes – your'e going to have a tough time using any number of apps and services.

  4. PrintCentral is no longer available on the AppStore or on the EuroSmartz website. No explanation given. Sigh. Just when I thought I’d found the answer to yet another “how do I ….. on my new iPad”

  5. Nice to know about printing from iPad but I am not yet ready to buy another

    printer. you think a print shop can do it?

    Thanks, RENE V.

    1. Depends what ‘it’ is. You can definitely email and export all sorts of document types from the iPad, so I don’t see why not in the vast majority of cases.

  6. Well i am just trying to figure out away to print from a iPad 2 to a HP2025n and a HP2035n its not a Air Print Printer but i have them running through a next work can anyone help

  7. please i need a solution on how i can print from my ipad using hp officejet H470 .the bluetooth on the ipad is not connecting with the bluetooth on the printer. please help! its frustrating.
    i count on your quick response

  8. Curious…I am currently using eNote Taker and I have a question…can I print my files out of that..and will my files show all the notes that I’ve scribbled on PDF files? They don’t show back in the dropbox. Thanks.

    1. Sorry, but I’ve not used that app and their App Store page has no mention of AirPrint support, so I’m not sure. You may want to check with the app’s developers.

  9. Apple needs to invent a portable printer that just plugs into my iPad so I would be able to print anything I need to at any time.

  10. It is beyond belief that you can’t print from an iPad or iPhone unless you have a degree in physics again a daft idea from apple and a rip off my daughter has an iPod and has to email me what she wants printed so I can print it for her! Terrible awful piece of expensive junk!!

  11. Does anyone know if it will pick up a brother mfc 440cn. I don’t want to waste the money if it isn’t going to work.

  12. I, too, have a Canon Pixma printer, but have Bluetooth-enabled it (using a horrendously expensive Canon Bluetooth dongle) to link with my my laptop, which it does very well. If I can get my hands on my wife’s iPad2, I’ll see if it works with that!

  13. The only reason to have an iPad is to be able to say “I have an iPad” this whole printing thing is pointless. Its a work of art, treat it that way and just hang it on the wall.

  14. I can print from my ipad2 to my hp d110 but all I get are 4×6 photos and I want to be able to print photos in free form sizes and more standard sizes like 5×7 and 8x10s…anybody know of an app that will let me do this?

  15. If you have a wireless printer app like iPrint&Scan for Brother printers the open doc, take screenshot (Press power and home button at same time), then go to the app and print your “Photo”

  16. If your printer/copier is capable of ftp printing why not get a client for your ipad and just drop data into the print folder. this way your copier can stay wired and you can print locally and over the internet provided the port is forwarded to the copier from an outside static address

  17. I have a Kodak wifi printer that is not AirPrint enabled.
    But all is not lost, I have the Kodak pic flick app, that will send a piccie to the printer but not text, email, or web pages. But
    If you press and one the wake up and home button at the same time, iPad takes a screen shot as an image…… Then you can use pic flick to your printer, u may have to edit page sizes a bit as its defaults to a 6×4 inch size

  18. I’ve read all the comments…will I be able to print from my IPad 1 to a Canon Pixma wireless printer? I want to be able to print articles, etc. From the Internet,

  19. Is it possible to find a wireless printer that will work for both an ipad and a windows based desktop computer?

  20. My kids got iPads from school, and they look nice, but that’s about it. That even printing is locked down to Apple-specific devices is crazy. No way I’m going to buy a new printer, the one I have attached to our home network works fine. The kids email me over iWorks (whenever that works, which is definitely not always) what they want printed and I print from my W7-computer. Silly workaround, but at least it works. That people pay money to get their hands and feet tied up in this way, amazes me. Luckily they won’t have the iPads next year…

  21. I have an Epson Stylus Photo R2000, iPad2 iOS5, iPhone 4 iOS5. Installed the Epson iPrint app which works great. Only for Epson though. Most printer manufacturers have their own print utility. Search in app store.

  22. ThaNks I am another one having huge ball ache tryin to figure out how can I print to canon Pixma m870 without having to have the mac book on. I really have gone for style over substance and am paying the price -yesterday my second mac charger in’less than a year gave up!

  23. Why are apple being such idiots regards iPad I just bought this one 600 quid I can’t print there is lots of confusion around apps cost and things there are millions of apps but most seem crap download them and they part finished or have some level of fault and yet we all buy them they say iPad can replace the laptop don’t think so they about 20 years away I mean no flash player and any alternative there is does not work properly I will flog mine it’s crap . Ray I like browser it’s small to take to work best thing I found is sky go galaxy tab better I used one today they have it all stupid I should of got one .

  24. One might believe apple would give us control of our USB printers through the time capsule app for iPad. That elimination told me Apples contract with AirPrint companies means more to them then their hapless customers who bought into MobileMe and got dumped. Bought their computers and watched their compatibility with multiple generations, sacked. Those Apple shares are downtrending as we speak. This is apple without Steve Jobs.

  25. This sounds crazy, but I want to be able to have my son print from an iPad 2 at his school that has no WiFi. The goal is to get in-class assignments from the iPad to the teacher without having to leave the school, walk home to the WiFi, and then print. (By then, the assignment is late.)

    I want to know if it is ever possibly to print from an iPad 2 to a printer in a room without a WiFi signal?
    I can buy a new printer for the room.
    I can buy an Airport for the room.
    I can buy a router (but I can’t connect it to a DSL line, phone line, etc.)

    But I can’t connect anything to another computer, or to a telephone line, or anything.

  26. I bought Print n Share Pro earlier in the year to print in my truck fleet , and it worked perfectly. The trucks all have HP H470 printers in them and a mobile wifi router to connect the printer signal to the app. They work flawlessly. I don’t have a mobile router ; I use my iPhone 4 that creates a wifi network . This all would work in a school or anywhere. I like Print n Share Pro as I swap my truck drivers around and this gives then access to own files, emails and secure websites for ordering/reporting purposes. I hadn’t even come to the topic yet ; yep 3G and 4G printing is covered beautifully.

  27. Is there any way to bridge AirPrint compatibility issues via app or driver? I have a non-AirPrint compatible wireless printer. Thanks in advance…


  28. Help, I’m losing the will to live! Bought an iPad so I could mail my course work directly to tutor then hopefully print out paper copies. What can I do? Any advice on great word apps and printers would be great, I have a canon pixma mp495 printer.
    Should I just give it to a five yr old to figure out.

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