The 10 best iPhone apps for printing

The App Store's best offerings for printing documents, photos and contacts from your iPhone

Like many other smartphones, the iPhone is quickly becoming a mobile office. When it comes to making hard copies of data stored on the phone, however, it can be time consuming to transfer files to a computer before printing them off. Thankfully, it's also unnecessary: the App Store offers a range of iPhone apps designed for printing, from all-in-one mobile office suites to basic photo printing apps from the manufacturer of your printer.

10. Air Photo Wifi Printing

Cost: $3.99
Prints: Photos from albums
What's Hot: Easy to use
What's Not: Can't take photos from within app, requires user confirmation on server for individual photos

Sudobility’s iPhone printing app requires you to install a listener application on a Mac or PC on the same Wi-Fi network. Once installed, this app is fairly easy to use but limited; you can only print existing photos from iPhone albums and you can’t change any quality options. The photos won’t print automatically either; you must manually print from the Air Photo server once the photo has been transferred. It’s useful to some degree but much harder to use than necessary. A free trial version of the app is limited to printing one photo per day.

9. Canon Easy Photo-Print App (iEPP)

Price: Free
Prints: Photos from camera and albums
What’s Hot: Ease of use, media type and paper size options
What’s Not: Limited printer support, only prints photos, no quality settings

We appreciate the simplicity of Canon’s iPhone app for photo printing; just choose a photo from the camera roll or snap a new one, and hit print. However, there are a few too many limitations to make this your go-to printing app. Even if you own one of the few compatible Canon printers, the inability to print documents, Web pages or the contents of the clipboard limits this app's usefulness.

8. HP iPrint

Price: Free
Prints: Photos from camera and albums
What’s Hot: Image size and paper source options, supports most HP printers
What’s Not: Only prints one photo at a time, no quality settings

HP’s iPrint works like Canon’s iPhoto app, but supports most networked HP printers, as well as any HP printers shared over an Apple Airport Extreme or Airport Express via USB. It even provides image and paper size options, though it can only print one photo at a time.

7. Lexmark LexPrint

Price: Free
Prints: Photos from camera and albums
What’s Hot: Supports shared USB printers, quality and size options
What’s Not: Only prints one photo at a time

Lexmark’s LexPrint is probably the best of the printer vendor iPhone apps currently available. Though it's limited to printing photos, it lets you print to any Lexmark printer on the same wireless network as well as printers shared through a computer. You’ll have to install a listener application to use the latter, but this is available for both Windows and Mac OS, making the app a worthwhile download.

6. Print Magic

Price: $8.99
Prints: Contents of clipboard (supports images, text and Web pages)
What’s Hot: Mostly automated, can print any clipboard content
What’s Not: Expensive for a single-purpose app, only supports IPP-enabled printers, no quality options

Print Magic prints photos as well as any clipboard content, including text, images and Web pages. It’s fairly easy to use, too, thanks to automatic printer recognition and the ability to change output size. Unfortunately, the current version only recognises IPP-enabled printers. This means it is more likely to recognise networked laser printers rather than wireless home multifunctions. Developer Wellala is expanding printer support in future versions, but until then it's best to hold onto your cash.

5. ezShare Pro

Cost: $8.99
Prints: Most documents (no photos)
What’s Hot: Prints documents from WebDAV or shared folders on a network,
What’s Not: Doesn’t support Windows printers, can’t print photos

ezShare is a versatile file management iPhone app that lets you log in and access documents from a range of WebDAV and cloud-based servers, as well as folders shared on a local network through AFP and SMB. It can also connect to printers shared via SMB through MacOS X, though set up isn’t as intuitive as we would like. ezShare will print most documents but, unlike most iPhone printing apps, won’t let you print photos or Web pages.

4. Air Sharing Pro

Cost: $12.99
Prints: PDF, TXT, HTML, images
What’s Hot: Full document management suite, easy to use, extensive control
What’s Not: Won’t print Word or iWork documents, incompatible with printers shared via Windows PCs

Though you can use the cheaper Air Sharing app to organise and view documents on your iPhone, the Pro version allows you to e-mail, print and access iDisk and WebDAV accounts. The app searches the network for shared printers connected to Macs, and provides access to many of the options normally offered by printer drivers. We’d love to be able to directly connect to networked printers, but the sheer versatility of this app is definitely impressive.

3. PrinterShare

Cost: Free
Prints: Contacts, photos, Web pages, clipboard content
What’s Hot: Easy to set up, prints contacts and Web pages
What’s Not: Few options, requires listener application, lacks printer settings

PrinterShare requires you to first register an online account and install a listener application (compatible with Windows and Mac) in order to work. You can essentially print anywhere in the world over Wi-Fi or mobile broadband provided you know the user’s associated e-mail address; you don’t even need to know their password. Thankfully, you can control print jobs from the listener applications, so your printer won’t be sabotaged. PrinterShare will print contacts, photos, Web pages and clipboard content, though it lacks any ability to configure copies, quality or paper size.

2. Print

Cost: $5.99
Prints: Contacts, Web pages and photos from camera or albums
What’s Hot: Size, copy and paper tray options; Wi-Fi print server for multiple e-mail and iPhone users
What’s Not: Doesn’t print documents or clipboard content

The name reflects the simplicity of the app itself. To use Print (or its more versatile counterpart Print n Share), you will need to install the WePrint server on a Mac or PC — this enables any iPhone user on the same Wi-Fi network to join and select from available printers. You’ll also be able to print over a 3G connection by setting up a proxy server. Set up is simple and the server can be protected by passwords to prevent random printouts from unknown users.

1. ePrint Free

Cost: Free
Prints: Contacts, text, photos from albums and camera
What’s Hot: Connects directly to Wi-Fi printers, comprehensive print options, can print photos as cards or calendars
What’s Not: Doesn’t print existing documents (just photos)

ePrint Free is perhaps one of the most versatile iPhone apps currently available. Not only will it connect directly to a Wi-Fi printer without a listener application or print server, but it also lets you print photos as cards or calendars. You can choose from a variety of quality, size, paper type and tray options tailored to your chosen printer; you can even make your chosen photo sepia. The free app only allows you to print one copy in one format at a time, so you’ll have to shell out $3.99 for the unlimited version if you want extra capabilities.

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