Last night I saw a question on an iPad forum – asking whether it was possible to print from an iPad via Airprint while out and about, away from a home network. I don’t believe this is possible with AirPrint currently – if any of you know how this can be done please share details in the comments. The question made me curious though, and I immediately thought of a couple very good 3rd party printing apps I have on my iPad.
One of those is Print Central – and sure enough when I looked at its feature list at its App Store page I saw this item: Print remotely via 3G/EDGE. I honestly hadn’t even noticed this feature before, and decided to give it a test run yesterday. The test was successful. Remote printing over 3G worked without a hitch for me, after just a minimal bit of setup.
Read on for the quick details on how this works …
Here’s all you need to do to get remote printing working via Print Central:
*** Please note that you’ll need a 3G iPad for this.
— Purchase and install the Print Central app installed on your iPad (or iPhone) – here’s the App Store link for it.
— Download and install the free desktop companion app for Print Central. It’s called WePrint and you can download it from here:
— Create a new Gmail account for use with Print Central. It is best not to use an existing account. Make sure you make a not of our username and password details for the new account.
— Add the Gmail username and password to the Print Via Proxy tab in the settings of WePrint on the desktop, under Settings > Print Via Proxy.
— Once you input the new Gmail account details, there’s a Test button on the same screen – that you should use to confirm connection to it works.
— On the iPad, tap on the + button when you view the printers screen. Add the same Gmail username and password in the Print Via 3G tab.
That’s it. Once those steps are completed, you should be able to test printing a document when you have WiFi turned off on the iPad and Cellular Data turned on.
The WePrint app for the desktop is a print server, accessible via the internet. It has file sharing and ‘start automatically’ enabled by default – I prefer disabling both of these for security sake, and luckily they’re both easy to turn off.