By Ilan Nass, Fueled

The need to print from a smartphone or tablet has become more pressing as we consume more content on these devices and also conduct more business from them. It used to be that printing from a mobile device was inconceivable but recently there have been a lot of products and apps looking to solve this problem.

Fueled is here to showcase five ways you can get your documents from a mobile device to a printer today.

Wi-Fi Direct

Wi-Fi Alliance developed this technology, where it enables Wi-Fi Direct devices to communicate directly instead of relying on a router. There is the Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), where two devices can be connected using a PIN code on one or both devices, or with the push of a button.

You will need to install a print app on your mobile device in order to use the printer. All you need to do is install it one time and you’re all set to you. It also means that you need a different app for each printer you use.

AirPrint

This Apple technology is fairly new, and it has been integrated into all iOS devices that have version 4.2 or later. You can easily use your mobile device to print via Wi-Fi to any AirPrint compatible printer. There is no need to install any drivers.

Just think of how convenient it’ll be if you want to print out a webpage or photo you’ve come across while surfing the web.  All you need is just a few taps on your screen so you can see what you’re sending, and presto! You have a hard copy in your hands a few seconds later.

 All you need to do is find the print option, press the ‘select printer’ button and choose your printer. It’s compatible with some Brother models, Epson’s Wi-Fi compatible printers, and all of HPs ePrint printers.

 ePrint

This refers to all of HP’s line of printers, which means that you can print emails and their attachments by the cloud using your mobile device. Each printer has a unique email address to receive messages to print your document. Whoever owns the printer can approve users and nobody can print using the printer unless they have the email address.

The only downside is that you can’t really control the print settings, and you can only print one document at a time.

Mopria Alliance

All of the major mobile and print technology vendors seem to be getting on board with the Mopria Alliance, which includes founding members Canon, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, and Xerox. The non-profit organization has a goal to make it as simple as possible to print from smartphones, tablets, or other mobile devices. It works by recruiting software application developers to deploy a print function right within their apps. After all, we’re used to being able to print from any application we use in Windows, for example, so why can’t smartphones work the same? There’s one printer on the market supporting Mopria’s standards so far, the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M476 series.

Near Field Communication

Also known as NFC, some new Samsung models have this feature, where a “tag” is embedded into a device and there is an active transceiver in another. They both use radio frequency identification, so you can send details of a printer to any portable device. All you have to do is bring your mobile device close to the printer or have them touching. It is then set up for a one time print without needing to sign in or a passcode.

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