It is more sensible and practical for mobile employees to go paperless with the documents they type out and send to various people with whom they do business. After all, there is software to make editing and electronic signing of documents doable even with mobile devices. But there will always be exceptional instances when the need to get documents printed in hard copy form is necessary. Being mobile under such circumstances can therefore be so challenging as to make the mobile employee contemplate rushing all the way back to the office. First, to do some file transferring to a desktop computer. And next, do some conventional desktop printing. But how does the mobile worker go about it when stuck in far-off locations and rushing all the way back to the office isn’t practical?
Documents accessed from smartphones and tablets, in fact, can be hard to read from phone or tablet displays for some people with eyesight challenges. For those with 20/20 vision, however, varying degrees of phone display resolutions and sophisticated technology currently in most smartphones working on various platforms like iOS, Android or Windows may offer amazing viewing convenience. But there will still be documents that can be hard to read via mobile device displays. Such documents posing readability/viewing challenges are:
- Important voluminous documents
- Multiple spreadsheets with accurate financial figures
- Detailed graphs or diagrams
- Intricate visual images with minute details
All of the above illustrate examples of exceptional documents that mobile device users are capable of receiving from senders online in their original file formats. Personal perusal and scrutiny of these require printing out as hard copy to enable subsequent user comment or recommendatory revision possible over such documents. Having such documents printed out when you are in some far-off location can be doable. There are public cloud-based printing services in existence that allow remote printing from mobile devices like the ones below:
- Google Cloud Print. The free service draws its strength from its cross-platform printing ability. It can work with any printer brand and any device type as long as they run Google Docs or the Chrome web browser. Printing options fully supporting all printers are made up of two choices. Single or double-sided print, and black and white or color pages.
- Hewlett-Packard ePrint. Lets users print by sending an email with a document attached. It is free but you need to have a web-enabled printer of Hewlett-Packard make to use the service.
The above services can be availed of for free by users. But there are also paid business-class cloud printing solutions you may consider like Breezy, PrinterOn (serves as public cloud service or internal server software), and PrintMe Mobile (which comes as software installable on Linux or Windows servers).
Considering the Givens…
Mobile workers are resigned to the fact that printing via mobile devices while on the road is not as easy as doing so in the comforts of an indoor office within arm’s reach of printing amenities. But do remember that with your smartphones and tablets, printing still won’t be just as easy as doing so with desktop printers. The procedure involved just isn’t the same. Worry not too much for there are products that can make mobile printing easy if you own a small company or work from home on a virtual set-up. Considering the mobile printing givens we just mentioned, take a quick look at the options below:
- Apple’s AirPrint. Feature built into iOS 4.2 and later. Enables you to print from an iPad or iPhone wirelessly to a nearby printer. It can work with over 200 kinds of printers.
- PrintBureau. Third-party app for iPhone and iPad printing. Will print directly to most wireless printers and all printers via a Mac or PC using the free WePrint software. The computer just acts as a relay the moment you tap your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad and automatically pass the print job from your device onto the printer without user intervention.
- HandyPrint. Donationware that runs on a Mac that is connected to a printer to enable wireless printing via iPad or iPhone. Runs compatibly with any printer.