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One Stop Solution?

Discussion in 'AirPrint' started by JF7FSU, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. JF7FSU
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    JF7FSU iPF Novice

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    I have a Brother HL-2170W wireless printer hooked in my home network wirelessly. Every PC and my iPad 2 can see it. I would like to know what is the "Best" solution for me to print. I don't want to use a PC as a bridge and don't see a real clear cut solution except Print N Share. Can anyone recommend a one stop solution for all my printing needs?
  2. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    As you know, Apple have their own proprietary printing protocol called 'AirPrint'. Only a few printers support it at present - HP is one of the few that do and you can see the list at the Apple web site

    Apple - iPad - Print right from your iPad with AirPrint.

    If you had a printer that was there (OK - I know your printer isn't), then you could print directly under iOS 4.2 and 4.3 from apps that support in-app printing, such as Apple's iPad iWorks suite ('Pages', 'Numbers' and 'Keynote'). Not all apps support in-app printing, so you need to check out whether the app you're interested in does. For example, Apple's native iPad 'Calendar' app does not support in-app printing.

    If your printer is not on the list then there are third-party apps that can help and Print N Share is one of them. Some printer manufacturers have released apps for PCs with their printers connected (i.e. Lexmark). On these models, an app on your PC or Mac 'pretends' to be an AirPrint printer and the app translates the AirPrint printing protocol into a form that the printer understands.

    However, there are standalone apps for the iPad and 'Print N Share' is one of the best known. It can print directly from the iPad to a WiFi printer without any PC being involved. It does this by cleverly inserting itself into the printing menu of apps that support in-app printing and 'pretends' to be an AirPrint printer. It then, similar to the previous case, translates the AirPrint printing protocol to a form that your printer understands.

    Most all WiFi equipped printers are supported by 'Print N Share' but even those few that are not are able to print via a PC using, again, a small (free) app that's available from the developers of 'Print N Share'. Once again, this app sits on your PC or Mac and links your iPad to the printer via your PC - meaning, too, that the printer can be WiFi, USB or even Bluetooth. The downside is that the PC has to be switched on.

    It's difficult to know in advance whether your printer is one that Print N Share would support directly. I've never seen a list anywhere that shows a 'supported' table of printers. My own printer, a Samsung, was not directly supported so I had to go the WePrint route and install the app on my PC - which I note you don't want to do.

    One 'issue' that sometimes confounds users of 'Print N Share' is that this only works under iOS 4.2 or 4.3 - the iPad's 'multi-tasking' operating system (OS). 'Print N Share' needs to be loaded and running before you can print!! So, if you're going to be doing some printing, you need to first of all fire up 'Print N Share' and leave it running in the background. You can check whether it is running by double tapping the iPad's 'Home' button, to see the tasks that are 'loaded' in the 'Multi-task' menu bar. For various reasons, it's helpful if 'Print N Share' was loaded quite recently. If you haven't printed for a while, use the multi-task bar to 're-activate' it.

    Hope this helps, but don't hesitate to post any more detailed questions that you might have.

    So I'm afraid I've not really been that much help to you because what you wanted to know was whether Print N Share supported your particular printer. It's a pity they don't have a 'lite' version that would allow you to find out.

    I hope that some other Forum member who has your exact model of printer is able to help.

    Tim
    Scotland
  3. JF7FSU
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    JF7FSU iPF Novice

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    Thanks for the explanation. I learned a few things!
  4. zigma99
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    zigma99 iPF Noob

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    I have the same printer and have been wondering why Brother just does not add their wifi enabled printers to their print app. It would make things so much easier.
  5. Deano
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    Deano iPF Noob

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  6. NZGray
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    NZGray iPF Noob

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    Thanks for the info very helpfiul
  7. carina1996
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    carina1996 iPF Noob

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    Thanks you for your reminding, i get it.

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