If I would’ve told you 20 years ago that modern technology has made it to where you can print from your mobile phone, you likely would’ve responded with a blank stare and a bewildered look, subtly expressing a hint of concern for my mental well-being.
But it is true that the advancement of technology has made it to where you can print from your smartphone no matter where you are, as long you have the conditions in place for the type of mobile printing you want to accomplish, which we will go over in this blog.
As a local print vendor, we’ve gotten the question, “How do I print from my phone?” enough to warrant an article thoroughly addressing the steps you need to take to execute mobile printing on your device.
Before getting into the article, though, it should be noted that we will be discussing how to print from your smartphone on Xerox devices as examples since that is where our expertise lies.
However, the same logic will still apply even if you have a different brand of machine, although the apps and exact steps you would need to take to print from your phone might be different.
Why Would You Want to Print from Your Phone?
Let’s first briefly cover why you would want to print from your smartphone as opposed to doing it the old-fashioned way.
The two major reasons why you would want to print from your phone include:
If you’re on the move or traveling, mobile printing allows you to print documents away from your office printer on any machine compatible with your phone (more on this later).
If you’re at home or work and need to print a document quickly, you can print from your phone instead of carrying your computer to the printer or walking and executing the action at the machine itself.
There are plenty of scenarios when having the ability to print from your mobile phone would be beneficial, but you need to know exactly how to do it, which is what we will go over next.
How Do I Print From My Phone?
Printing directly from your phone is usually a simple process, but it can change depending on the type of phone that you have and the manufacturer of your printer.
Mobile applications are the primary way in which you print documents from your printer, and there are three main apps that you need to be concerned with if you want to print from your phone on a Xerox printer.
Below are descriptions of these three apps and the exact steps you can take to print documents from your smartphone:
Apple AirPrint is Apple’s approach to mobile printing and is available for the iPhone, iPad and macOS. The app allows users to print to the Xerox device and any supported application such as Mail, Safari, Notes, Photos, etc.
AirPrint can be utilized in conjunction with almost every Xerox device and setup comes automatically configured on the machine, which means it requires no additional download or purchase to implement.
However, you may have to enable your Xerox machine to use AirPrint if it was previously disabled. Follow these steps to enable AirPrint on your Xerox printer:
Step 1. Go to the device’s embedded webpage by entering the IP address of the printer in a web browser.
Step 2: Log in as an administrator.
Step 3: Select the Properties tab.
Step 4: Select Connectivity and then Setup.
Step 5: Under Mobile Workflows, ensure AirPrint is enabled.
These steps may vary slightly depending on the model of your machine. Reach out to your provider if you need help enabling AirPrint on your device.
As mentioned previously, the process is relatively straightforward, although it can change depending on the iOS version you have on your iPhone.
Keeping that in mind, here are the basic steps you can take to print from your iPhone on a Xerox machine:
Choose the photo or document that you want to print and click on the up-arrow icon in the corner of the picture that will bring up the actions you can take with it (it will usually be in the bottom left or right of the photo).
Scroll down toward the bottom of the actions and hit “Print".
Choose the number of copies or prints you want to make and click “Select Printer.”
Find the printer you want to choose from and then hit “Print”.
See the picture below for an example of what it looks like to print from an iPhone:
One key thing to remember when executing mobile printing is your phone and the printer you want to use must be on the same WI-Fi network to work properly.
Apple AirPrint is also not exclusively compatible with Xerox machines. If you have another brand of printer, like Canon or HP, you will be able to perform mobile print jobs in a similar, if not the same, way as you would on a Xerox printer.
Mopria Print Service for Android
The next mobile printing app, Mopria, is exclusively for Android users and differs from Apple AirPrint in that it does not come standard with your phone and must be downloaded from the Google Play store.
Mopria works similarly to Apple AirPrint in that users can connect automatically to their printer from their mobile devices and print directly to the machine of their choice, although specific firmware may be required to download the app on your Xerox device.
Similar to Apple AirPrint, you must first enable Mopria on your Xerox machine if it is not enabled already. Follow the steps from the section above to enable printing from your Android device—it should be the same as AirPrint.
Once you have Mopria enabled on your Xerox machine, you can then follow these steps to complete printing tasks from your Android:
Step 1: Click the three-dotted icon in the bottom-left corner of your Android and choose “Print.”
Step 2: Click “Select Printer” and choose the device you want to print to.
Step 3: After the desired printer is chosen, click the orange print icon on the right of the screen to print.
Just like Apple AirPrint, though, your Android must be connected to the same network as the desired printer to work appropriately. Also like its counterpart at Apple, Mopria can be enabled on most other common manufactured printers, and it is not limited to Xerox machines.
There’s another simple way to print from your phone if you have a Xerox printer and would prefer not to use one of the first two options discussed previously.
The app, @PrintByXerox, which is located in the Xerox App Gallery, is free to download for Xerox customers and can be used as a medium to print from your mobile device.
To do this, you send an email with an attachment of the documents you need to print to the Print@PrintByXerox.com address---no app download is required on your phone to complete this.
You will then receive a code via email that you can use at the machine to finish the print job you sent to the @PrintByXerox email address. Once you receive that code, you can use it on any machine that has the @PrintByXerox app downloaded on it.
There’s also the Touchless Access application under the “Mobile Solutions” category in the App Gallery that lets you scan a QR code to access and control the printer from your mobile device. It’s free to use and you don’t have to be connected to your local network to access it.
The @PrintByXerox app is Xerox’s answer to mobile printing, but many other manufacturers have their own applications for mobile printing.
Examples include Canon’s PRINT App, which lets you scan photos or documents from your mobile device, or HP Smart, which offers a similar mobile printing experience as others with the download of the HP Smart app on all necessary devices.
Should You Invest in Apps for Your Printer?
Mobile printing has become a fashionable choice for individuals that are constantly on the move or would rather complete print tasks from their smartphone than at their computer.
There really is no downside to printing from your phone other than you must set up the mechanisms on your printer to implement mobile printing. Most, if not all, mobile applications will be free to use no matter which printer brand you choose.
Because we pride ourselves on staying with the trend of technology, we know that the ability to print from your phone is just one of the ways you can use the advancement of printer technology to your benefit.
Printer apps go beyond just printing from your smartphone. Speaking from our experience with Xerox, they have applications on their App Gallery that can instantly translate a document into another language, convert notes into a Microsoft Word document and connect to various cloud storage and other industry services, like QuickBooks, that frequent the business world.
These other printer apps can be hugely beneficial, but only if you use their features regularly. Since most apps cost money, you will need to vet out the app you’re interested in before purchasing.
The positive thing with many Xerox applications is they include a 30-day free trial, where you can test the app’s features before making a final purchase decision.
Before you get to that step, though, read our blog on the pros and cons of printer apps to see whether investing in apps for your printer is something that could help your business.