One of the limitations of the iPad is that it normally can’t print to just any old printer. If you want to print from your iPad, you usually need an AirPrint compatible printer. If you’re like me, and bought your printer before Apple introduced AIrPrint, or if you just own a printer that isn’t AirPrint compatible, there is a way to print from your iPad to your current printer.
To print to a printer that isn’t AirPrint compatible, that printer needs to be accessible by a computer that is on the same network as your iPad, and the computer needs to be turned on. I keep my Mac running 24/7 (with the display set to sleep after a short period of inactivity) so that my AppleTV can access my iTunes library, so the requirement of a running computer isn’t a problem for me.
If you can keep a computer running a lll of the time, then you can get iPad or iPhone printing by installing FingerPrint, an app that runs on both Windows and Mac. Once you install FingerPrint, your printer should appear in the print options when you print from any app that is printing-enabled.
FingerPrint not only lets you print, but also send documents to Dropbox, open photos in iPhoto (Mac only), and open photos and documents on your computer.
Fingerprint isn’t the only app that lets you print from your iPad via your computer. If you’re on a Mac, Printopia does the same thing, plus adds Evernote support. It is twice as expensive as FingerPrint’s $9.99 price tag, though.
FingerPrint is available for Windows and Mac. I’ve tried the Mac version, and it has worked flawlessly for me. You can also download a free trial, which is probably a good idea so that you know that the app works with your setup.
If you know of other ways to print from your iPad, let us know in the comments.