The iPhone and iPod Touch are incredible devices. Their functions often seem closer to those of a laptop than a simple phone or mp3 player. My device has all the applications on it that let me do much of what I do on my laptop. As well as the usual ability to use email and the internet I have a word processor, a spread sheet application, drawing and painting applications an outliner, photo manipulation abilities and, well, the list goes on. What I don’t have that my laptop does is an obvious way to print any of these things. This article presents three different ways you can easily print anything that is on your iPhone or iPod Touch.
01 Print from your iPod Touch or iPhone to any computer via it’s mail application.
Wait! this isn’t what you think! This is so much better than just emailing a document to your computer and printing it. This method is automated and allows you to print anything that’s on your Touch or iPhone from any printer connected to any Mac anywhere in the world. I”m sure there will be a Windows equivalent of this but I’m just going to cover the Mac method for now.
The is to email the item to be printed to a Mac that has its email application running (in this case Apple’s Mail) and printer turned on. Mail then uses rules to automatically launch a script which prints the item. Credit for this method should be given to Martin Michel of macscripter.net who provides detailed instructions and has developed the AppleScript that makes it all work.
a. Download the Apple Script called Pergamail from macscripter.net. You may find it easier to just Google “Pergamail”
b. Create a custom rule. First select Preferences for the main Mail menu then click the Rules icon and create a rule as shown below.
Description: pergamail print out emails
if any of the following conditions are met: Subject – Contains “please print”
Perform the following actions: Run AppleScript (choose the Pergamail script you downloaded)
We are getting Mail to run the Pergamail script under a certain condition. If Mail receives an email with the words “please print” in the subject line it will go ahead and print it. You can make the condition whatever you like as long as you remember to include it in the email you send from your iPhone.
Now whenever you send an email from your iPhone with the words “please print” (or whatever you set the trigger to be) in the subject line, it will automatically be printed… assuming you’ve remembered to turn your printer on.
Well that’s all very wonderful but how do you print thanks that can’t be emailed? You can actually email anything that appears on your iPhone’s screen. Here’s how you do it. To email anything that is on your screen; simply press the home button and the power button together to take a snap shot of the screen. The snap shot will be stored in your photo library. Open your Photos App, Tap the “Saved Photo’s” library and you should see your screen grab. You can email any images in a library by tapping the share icon in the bottom left, selecting the image or images you wish to send then tap the share button again and select email. Don’t forget to include your trigger text in the subject line if you want it to automatically print.
02 Print from your iPod Touch or iPhone to any computer via a dedicated app.
Another way you can print from your device is via one of the dedicated iPhone print applications available. There’s actually not that many to choose from. One of the more versatile ones seems to be Print & Share by EuroSmartz Ltd.
Print & Share comprises of two parts; an iPhone/Touch app and a desktop helper app. Once these have been installed and configured you can use the iPhone app to select and print files, emails, web pages, contact info or images from your photo albums or camera. The items you wish to print need to be selected via the app so you can’t simply print something interesting you come across whilst browsing the web or checking your mail. You would instead need to close the app you were using, open the Print & share app, then use it to locate the file you wish to print.
This works reasonable well but, in my opinion the limitation of having to select items through the app makes it less appealing than the first method I mentioned.
03 Print directly to your HP networked printer.
If you have a networked Hewlett-Packard inkjet printer you could stop all this messing about and print directly to that. You would need to download the HP iPrint Photo app from the app store which lets you print anything that is in your photo library. Of course much of what you will want to print wont be in your library but you can overcome this problem to some degree by taking screen grabs of anything you want to print. Pressing the power and home buttons together whisks a copy of your current screen off to your photo library, where it can be sent directly to your HP printer via the HP iPrint Photo app.