Since Apple introduced their iOS4 there has been a handy feature called AirPrint. This program lets you directly connect iPad to printer and print straight from your iPad, as long as the printer is compatible with the AirPrint technology. The program will also let you use your iPad’s Wi-Fi connection to access available printers through a wireless network. This is a useful feature that allows you to print emails, photos, documents or webpages directly from your iPad. AirPrint works with many apps, including Safari, Mail, Notes and Photos.
iPads connect well with any printers that have AirPrint compatible technology built into them. AirPrint allows easy printing from all iDevices, but was designed with iPads in mind. With this technology you do not have to install drivers or download software, it is already there.
AirPrint is available through most printer manufacturers and should be clearly marked on the box at the time of purchase. It is not hard to connect iPad to printer.
The first step is to be sure you have the latest version of Apple’s iOS on your iPad, then you need to connect it to a current network with an AirPrint capable printer on it. When connecting your iPad to a wireless network make sure to know the network name and password and follow the standard Wi-Fi safety procedures.
Connect iPad to Printer
The standard — and easiest — method is to use the printers built-in touchscreen or buttons to select your wireless network. If you have to enter the password, do so when prompted. This should connect your printer to the wireless network.
Some wireless printers do not come with Wi-Fi networking turned on. There are two methods to enable the connection for printers without the AirPrint feature.
- Connect your printer to the iPad using a USB cable. Install the software that came with your printer. Use the setup assistant applications to configure your printer to join the network. You may be prompted for a password which you should enter. Don’t forget to choose the name of your wireless network. When this is complete you should delete the USB printer queue and disconnect the printer from the USB port. Open the print and fax option in System Preferences, add the printer via a plus button.
- Another method is to temporarily connect your printer to an adhoc wireless network. It should not be used for printing just to configure the printer. Install the software from your printer, then enable the use of the Wi-Fi network via the menu bar. Open setup assistant to configure the printer with the network. Choose the name of the network and, when prompted, enter the password. Your printer should restart and be connected to the network. Make sure your iPad recognizes the wireless network using the Wi-Fi menu bar. Open the print and fax features located in preferences and add the printer using the plus button.
Methods to add a wireless printer to your network will vary by the manufacturer so you will have to read the instructions to complete the setup correctly. Once the printer is connected to the network the printer will probably need a firmware update, sometimes printers sit on the store shelves for months or even years, and their programming goes out of date. Once you connect to a network, the printer should be able to find the latest updates it needs, if not then read the manual to find out how to update it.
Once the printer is connected to the network and updated it is very simple to print from the iPad. A Wi-Fi capable AirPrint printer must be connected to the same home network as the iOS device. Simply tell your iPad to send the printable item to the printer with the following steps:
- Select the item you want to print.
- Tap the options icon on your bottom toolbar.
- Tap the “Print” button from the choices that appear to load the Printer Options screen.
- Tap the “Printer” tab at the top of the page to see a list of available printers.
- Tap to select the correct printer.
- Tap the “Print” button to print your item.
Printing from the iPad is easy once you connect iPad to Printer. It saves the hassle of transferring documents from the iPad to the computer and then printing them out. An AirPrint printer is versatile and capable of printing from any device that is on the network, it is not just for your iPad. You can get them as basic printers, or you get combinations printers that include scanners and fax machines. The AirPrint printers are great for home or office applications.