Four easy ways to print from your tablet
The most obvious way to connect a tablet to a printer is via a USB cable, but this may not always be convenient or even possible. HP has a very versatile range of wireless connections for its printers and these are all easy to setup and use. Your tablet can be running Windows, iOS, or Android and needs only an Internet connection to be able to print. This can be via Wi-Fi or 3G/4G but, if you have a Wi-Fi connection, there are a couple of extra ways you could print directly, without needing to trouble an online server.
This wireless technique for printing from Apple devices, such as iPhone and iPad, was co-developed with HP and is similar to Wireless Direct Print, though working through the iOS or OS X interface.
To print from an iOS device, you start by selecting the Share or Print option from whatever application you’re using. If the HP printer you want to use isn’t already paired with your device, you can search for it and select it, after which selecting Print will send the document to that printer.
Apple prepares documents for print as PDF files and they’re converted to PCL in the printer, but this is all done transparently, so what you see on the screen will usually print directly on the printer.
Depending on the application and the printer, you may have control over the size and type of paper printed on, the number of copies and other print parameters. In many cases though, these are selected automatically. For example, if you select a photo to print, AirPrint may well select photo paper from your HP printer, automatically, if that is available.
If an application on your phone or tablet can’t print, as for example with Documents To Go on iOS or Android, there may still be a way to print. Virtually all HP printers support ePrint, the company’s remote printing technology.
ePrint gives any supported printer its own email address, so you can send emails directly to it. It then prints out the contents of the email and any files attached to it. So, even if an application has no direct support for AirPrint or Wireless Direct, you may still be able to send your file via email, as most applications on mobile devices provide this kind of sharing capability.
When you complete the installation of a new HP printer, part of it is carried out online at the HP Connected website. During this setup, the printer is allocated a randomly named email address – which can be changed to something more memorable at any time. From then on, any email sent to the printer’s email address is printed out directly.
There are a couple of other ways to use ePrint which add to its versatility. If you know the email of a printer in a remote location, such as your office when you’re travelling to work, you can send documents to print so they’re waiting for you when you arrive.
If you have a technophobe relation, you could set them up with an ePrint-enabled printer and use it like a one-way, full-colour fax, to send them family photos and other material without the need for them to know how to handle email attachments.
Once you’ve enrolled your printer at HP Connected, it can be assigned an email address for remote ePrinting via email.
Wireless Direct Print
This is part of the ePrint platform which enables mobile devices, usually running Windows or Android operating systems, to connect and print, without the need for a wireless network run via a wireless router. The two devices connect wirelessly, without any intermediary, in a similar way to AirPrint on an iPhone or iPad.
With an Android phone or tablet, you’ll need to download a free HP applet to handle printing. When run, the app searches for available printers and presents them for selection as the target of your print request. Next time you print, as long as the printer is within range, it will be selected automatically.
A recent innovation included in some HP printer models and on some smartphones (including the iPhone 6/6 Plus) and tablets, is Near Field Communication. This technology uses a low-power radio frequency link, similar to that found in the Oyster card system on the London Underground, to link a printer and a mobile device, without having to spend time pairing them through a setup utility.
Simply touching the mobile device to an area designated on the printer brings the NFC transceivers close enough together for them to exchange information and set themselves up ready to print. Once connected via NFC, each device remembers the other so they can print without further setup, each time they come within wireless range of each other.
Using one or more of the technologies available with many new HP printers and MFPs, you can print wirelessly from any number of devices and applications.
Tapping an NFC-enabled smartphone, such as any of the Samsung Galaxy range, on the NFC logo on an HP printer, connects the two.
For more advice on transforming your business, visit HP BusinessNow