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How to print to a non-AirPrint printer with iOS

Take a look at Printer Pro, a third-party app that helps bridge the gap between your iOS device and nearly any printer.

Printer Pro

One of the cooler features of Apple's iOS is the ability to print documents directly from iPhones and iPod Touches, simply by using an AirPrint compatible printer. Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to have an AirPrint-compatible printer handy and might want to use something more conventional. Thankfully, there's a third-party app, called Printer Pro, that helps bridge the gap between your iOS device and nearly any printer -- preferably a network connected one.

Follow these steps to configure a printer on iOS using Printer Pro:

  1. Download Printer Pro from the Apple App Store for $4.99 (USD); there's also a Printer Pro Lite version that you're encouraged to try for free, to see if your printer is compatible with the tool 
  2. When you run Printer Pro for the first time, you can opt into news sent to your email (unless you have a good reason to do this, simply press the Skip button to continue)

    Figure A


  3. Press the Add printer button located on the bottom left-hand side of the screen

    Figure B


  4. At the Select Printer page, you can pick your network printer, provided it's recognized as a Bonjour device -- or you can add manually via a static IP address using the Add manually button

    Figure C


  5. Once the printer is added successfully, press the Print test page button (be sure your printer is not in a busy state)

    Figure D


  6. If a page printed from the printer, examine the paper and see if there are any strange errors or anomalies that could have made their way to the print buffer; If the test page appears to be fine, click Looks good

    Figure E


  7. On the test page you just printed, check whether the test markings are visible or are cropped off the page; take note of this, match the calibration marker values as best as you can, and then press Next

    Figure F


  8. Click the Start printing button to exit to the main screen, where you can begin printing downloaded documents, web pages, and more

    Figure G

Do you use Printer Pro to wirelessly print documents, photos, web pages, and emails from your iPhone? If not, what printer app do you prefer? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.

About

An avid technology writer and an IT guru, Matthew is here to help bring the best in software, hardware and the web to the collective consciousness of TechRepublic's readership. In addition to writing for TechRepublic, Matthew currently works as a Cus...

19 comments
Belarusa
Belarusa

Thank you Matt! Works like a charm. I tried other apps without success; you've made my day! :-)

Sh4nn3n81
Sh4nn3n81

Thank you Soo Much. Hours of mucking around and now i can get on with my day!

Sh4nn3n81
Sh4nn3n81

Hours of mucking around. Thank you! Works well seen it straight away and bingo can get on with my day!

grays85
grays85

used to work  now doesn't iPhone 4 iOS 7 canon mx885

chipmac
chipmac

Great app, now only $2.99 for iPad, Happy New Year!

runicles
runicles

Just downloaded the lite version to test it out and it worked surprisingly quickly, with the test page at least.  Trying to print an email was  a little more clunky but still worked, has saved me the expense of buying an airprint printer so worth the money, even though I did have to buy the ipad and iphone versions separately which was a little poor.

borris101
borris101

Great app man. Would save so much time if someone wanted to print off something from a smartphone. I think it also works with tablets running Ios but that's just my guess.

Borris

madridgalacticos.com

LittleLady1
LittleLady1

its also worth looking at print n share :)

DeeBaig
DeeBaig

 Great! This should really be useful, especially since use of smartphones and tab is increasing. Most people do a lot of browsing on tablets. They will find it really cumbersome if they have to reload the same page on their computer just to print it. It will save a lot of time. For example, this will allow people to print email attachments directly from smartphones.

DbaiG

Bolee.com

kidsafighting
kidsafighting

You can print to any connected printer even if it is a Windows, Linux or OS X host with google cloud print and the free app Cloud Printer (formerly, Cloud Print) for Mac OS X .  There are also free versions of google cloud printing apps for ipads and android devices.  It just requires a printer installed on a host and google chrome installed on the same host.

doeslayer
doeslayer

Looks neat, but I use a different solution called Finger Print and it is a PC based solution which enables you to print to ANY printer connected to the network your PC is connected to.   If it is really $4.99,  I might give it a try.

ajh
ajh

Pretty slick app. However we've been using xPrintServer Office Edition from Lantronix - for the Enterprise. At the $5 price, it looks like the costs swing at 40 users. But the install and forget it - with little to no end-user admin; has been a win for us.

ewarden1
ewarden1

Matt, I did not see any mention of the companion desktop application in case the network printer(s) is not compatible. I have used this since my printer is network connected rather than wireless connection (seems you can't have both). It has worked very well for me. From their web site "Printer Pro Desktop allows users to print to any printer connected to your Mac/PC using Printer Pro app. We also advise to use Printer Pro Desktop in case the network printer is not compatible with Printer Pro application installed on the iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch." This companion app for the desktop is available for both Windows and Mac.

trswendt
trswendt

Looks like a good app. I just went to the App Store and it's now $6.99.  Is there a place to get it or $4.99?

Matt Nawrocki
Matt Nawrocki

@ewarden1 I wrote this guide specifically for network-enabled printers. The companion app is primarily designed for printers that only connect over USB. However, what you mentioned is very valid, but wasn't within the scope of this how-to.