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iPad app for printing to network printer?

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2020 3:23 am
by DrCR
I'm looking for an app to print text/Word/PDFs/et al. files on an iPad to a network printer. (It's a venerable HP network printer. So nothing special re drivers or the like.) The files may be local or iCloud.

Any particular recommendations? I was about to give Tap & Print a try, but then I found quite a number of positive reviews were alarmingly identical.

Re: iPad app for printing to network printer?

Posted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 1:37 am
by curtisb
iPads can natively print to network printers...so long as the printer supports airPrint. The list of supported devices is pretty long. If your device is on the list but doesn't show up when you attempt to print, it could be that you just need a firmware update to add support.

However, all is not necessarily lost if your device doesn't natively support airPrint. Lantronix, maker of all kinds of niche network devices, has their xPrintServer line. It also only supports specific devices, but the list if very long. The HP list is very long and includes devices going back to the LaserJet 4 (released in the early 90's).

New xPrintServer devices are very expensive, but they can be found easily on eBay for reasonable prices. I have one on my network for a couple of Brother and Xerox printers that don't natively support airPrint. The device is so easy to setup that all that's required to make it work is connect it to an ethernet port and then power it up. It truly is that simple. It automatically finds any printers on your network that it can support and they will show up on your iOS devices as available printers. It has a web interface, but there's also an iOS app that can be used to manage it (the iOS app will just find it on the network so you don't need to know the IP of the device).

Re: iPad app for printing to network printer?

Posted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 10:58 am
by DrCR
That's really insightful. xPrintServer was not something on my radar. Many thanks for the post.

Re: iPad app for printing to network printer?

Posted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:06 am
by curtisb
You're very welcome! The one thing I did forget to mention is that you want to look for the xPrintServer Office Edition, not the Home Edition. Here's one for $45US shipped.

Re: iPad app for printing to network printer?

Posted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:22 am
by Captain Ned
Only works with PostScript-capable printers.

Re: iPad app for printing to network printer?

Posted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 6:33 pm
by DrCR
Yeah, I found it didn't work with my now rather vintage HP deskjet. I'm filing away this info though.

Re: iPad app for printing to network printer?

Posted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:02 pm
by curtisb
Well that sucks. I don't think it'll be a problem for most laser printers, but consumer-grade inkjet printers are a little anemic in what they support.

I did a quick Google search for ways to enable airPrinting to a shared printer from a Windows machine. It turned up a few things, but I haven't tested any of them. Some of them (I'm looking at you AirCastPro) are more expensive than my Brother MFP laser was, in which case I would just buy a newer printer that supports airPrint. I could see where it might be cost effective in an enterprise environment where you need to airPrint enable a lot of printers, though (although I'd still prefer the ease of the xPrintServer if the printer models are supported).

Re: iPad app for printing to network printer?

Posted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 10:04 pm
by ludi
How old is your Brother, anyway? Is it possible it just needs a driver update to get current? We have two Brother units here, one plain-jane LAN-connected laser (3yo) and an MFP I purchased in March when it became clear our office was going to shutter indefinitely. Both are accessible from iOS devices.

Re: iPad app for printing to network printer?

Posted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 10:16 pm
by curtisb
He has an HP Deskjet (hasn't mentioned model yet) that he's trying to print to. airPrint doesn't use drivers, it prints directly to the device. The printer either supports airPrint, or it doesn't.

Personally, I have two Brothers, one supports airPrint natively (MFC-9130CW) and one doesn't (MFC-9970CDW). The xPrintServer worked perfectly fine in my case for providing airPrint capabilities to the MFC-9970CDW. For what it's worth, the MFC-9130CW is not on the compatibility list for the xPrintServer (likely because it natively supports airPrint), but it actually took over airPrint duties for the MFC-9130CW as well. You can tell it's going through the xPrintServer because of how it's displayed in the printer list when you select printers (it says "Auto Discovered" under it). I'm fine with that as long as printing from iPhone/iPad is still an option. I don't use it that much, but my wife and kids do all the time.

Re: iPad app for printing to network printer?

Posted: Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:10 pm
by DrCR
HP Deskjet 6980. Had it for ... maybe ~15 years? Printing from the iPad directly would be nice, but we're living with simply getting it to the PC (e.g. save to iCloud or text to email) and print from there.

Re: iPad app for printing to network printer?

Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2021 2:33 am
by SpiderMan007
Doesn't AirPrint work for you? If not, I can recommend the PrintJinni app (doesn't work for all printers but the list of supported devices is quite long.

Re: iPad app for printing to network printer?

Posted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:15 am
by DrCR
Getting a SSL_ERROR_BAD_CERT_DOMAIN error for that app's domain.

That's cute.

Re: iPad app for printing to network printer?

Posted: Mon Mar 29, 2021 1:01 pm
by Ronmcdon
How much cost to develop apps in your company? I prefer to work with professional software developers https://mlsdev.com/services/mobile-app-development.