When worlds collide – this is ostensibly an iOS tip, but it involves a Mac App, which should technically be an OS X tip, but hey – you probably know how to print from your Mac. It’s more likely that, like me, you have a printer that you use with your Mac and it isn’t one of them newfangled fancy AirPrint ones, neither. While AirPrint protocol has been around since iOS 4, I still haven’t bought a printer with it built in. Hey, mine works just fine, still!
If so, you can print from your iPhone or iPad to the printer connected to your Mac, using Printopia 2, a $20 Mac utility available from developer eCamm.
If your Mac can print to your printer, so can your iOS device. Grab the trial version of Printopia to check this out, and decide if it’s worth the $20 for the full version. Once downloaded, open the .zip file, which will become the folder Printopia Demo. Open that folder and double click on the Install Printopia Demo icon to install the preference pane that makes this all work.
Once it’s installed, Printopia 2 will launch your System Preferences app and navigate to the Printopia settings panel. All the printers you have available, including USB or networked printers, will show up in the list. Check the printers you want to use with your iPhone or iPad and you’re ready to print from any iOS app that supports printing. Which should be almost all of them, these days.
The cool thing? Printopia lets you print to your Mac, which is a lot like Print to PDF on your Mac as well. Note the last couple of options in the Printopia preference pane, Send To Dropbox on Mac, Send to Evernote, and Send to Mac. These become ways for you to get your files over to Dropbox, Evernote, or just your Mac, via the iOS print dialog. Printopia will figure out the best format for the actual thing you are printing, and send it to the right place on your Mac. Brilliant!