Thursday, April 28, 2011

Printing with iPad

Since I purchased my iPad in October I've been trying to print from it. I thought if I connected my mac to a printer and as both the iPad and Mac were on the same wireless network that the printer may get selected by apps while printing but no such luck! I kept touching the print button with no printer getting selected.

So I started printing from the cloud as these were bigger files with photos. I discovered was a great way to put your files on the net. I would share through iWork, directly from the app and then print through my laptop. A tedious process nonetheless it still works nicely and I saved my files on the cloud as well.
Then I started looking at apps to get my printing done. The first app that I found was Printershare which had a free version and a paid version. It made printing possible but I had by then purchased Pages, Numbers and Keynote from the app store. I like these apps tremendously esp. the way they work on iPad, it's a pleasure creating documents on them. I've started making my colposcopy reports etc. on Pages and it's literally child's play and so much fun.
It was not possible for me to print these reports from the iPad. I had purchased Pages, Numbers etc. for my Mac so I thought that I might as well may make my documents on Mac, but it wasn't fun doing it on that. The first time that I printed directly from my iPad, it was through Printershare. But I could not print from Pages or Numbers.

Then came the jailbreak era. My son convinced me to explore the benefits of Jailbreaking. He was so enthused about it that I did not have the heart to say no, besides I was curious too. More about jailbreaking in another post. Now I had the freedom of trying all the paid printing apps before purchasing them. At the same time I was desperately searching for a calendar app to print my appointments directly from the app. That is how I came to explore all the printer apps which were printing directly from the calendar as well. I tried printcentral, and other similar apps but I was not at all satisfied. In fact Printcentral was quite a let down.
Truprint (for jailbroken iPads only) makes it easier for the iPad to print to wireless printers. As I was trying to print with my existing printers, it was not of much use to me.
In the end I came across during my search on the web of the airprint activator. I started to think in a different direction altogether. I downloaded the latest activator and tried printing without any luck. I even created another user account on my Mac , still no luck. So I downloaded the version v2.0b9,
Meanwhile we had purchased an Airport Express
from Chicago The Apple store, to extend my wireless network at home. I thought that maybe I could print with it, so I connected that. By chance my Mac, iPad and printer were all on the apple network created by the Airport Express

and for the first time I saw an option of printers on my iPad!! voila!

Now I just tap print and print directly from any app of the iPad with my printer connected to airport express, my Mac open nearby connected wirelessly to the same apple network.
(since I downloaded the activator there have been 3 more versions of it. But I am so happy with mine that I don't want to upgrade).
On the eve of the iPad2 being launched in India I am happy to come out with my first iPad post.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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