Google Cloud Print
There are plenty of free Android apps for printing, and Google’s Cloud Print tool is a great option. Instead of using a direct Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection to the printer, Cloud Print lets users connect to any printer compatible with Google Cloud. Depending on your device, Cloud Print is either built into your operating system or available as an app download. Cloud Print comes with most stock Android devices. Wireless printing is automatically available on newer printers—Google provides a list of compatible models—and users can add older “classic” printers manually. There are limits, however, as you can only print from Google apps, including Chrome, Docs, and Gmail.
To test the Cloud Print feature, we used the Brother All-in-One Printer that was on Google’s list of compatible printers. For some reason, it didn’t connect to Google Cloud automatically, so, we ended up adding it manually. After that, the feature worked fine. To add a printer manually, you’ll need to go to Chrome’s Advanced Settings, then Google Cloud Print, and click Manage Cloud Print Devices. You’ll see a list of any printers that are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
On our Google Pixel XL, the Print option was listed in the Sharing menu when printing a Google Doc or Chrome web page. As usual with Android, it may be different on your device; In many cases, the printing option is in the main menu on the app you’re using. Once you find it, Cloud Print offers standard printing options, including paper size, double-sided printing, print select pages only, and more. Users can share their printer with trusted friends and family, so it’s not just limited to your printer.
Free print apps for android
For printing from non-Google apps, StarPrint is a good option, which prints from Word, Excel, and most mobile apps. Users can print over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB, and the app is compatible with thousands of printer models. Printing via USB requires a special USB On-the-Go (OTG) cable, which allows your smartphone or tablet to act as a host so that it can connect to the printer. USB OTG cables are available online for as little as a few dollars. Starprint has an ad-supported free version as well as a paid version that gets rid of ads.
Every major printer brand, including Canon, Epson, HP, and Samsung, also has mobile apps, which can be useful if you’re in a hotel, have shared office space, or generally use the same wireless printer. HP’s ePrint app is compatible with thousands of HP Public Print locations, located at FedEx Kinkos, UPS stores, airport kiosks, and VIP lounges. It can print over Wi-Fi or NFC. Samsung’s Mobile Print app can also scan and fax documents.
Another option is PrinterOn, which connects you to compatible printers in public places in your area, such as airports, hotels, and pharmacies. PrinterOn-enabled printers have unique email addresses, so in a pinch, you can send an email directly to the printer. You can use location services or keyword searches to find compatible printers near you; The company warns that some of the printers that appear in the results may not be publicly available. For example, a hotel printer may be available only to guests.
How to print from an android phone
After you’ve downloaded your preferred printing app, you’ll need to connect it to the printer. In most cases, the app will search for compatible printers on the same Wi-Fi network, but as we’ve experienced with Cloud Print, you may have to add it manually. Next, navigate to the document, web page, or photo you want to print, and there will be an option in the app menu or sharing options. Most apps have a preview function as well as paper size options. The printing apps we look at also have a printing queue so you can see what’s printing or if there’s a problem like a lack of paper or low toner alerts.
Many of these apps require a Wi-Fi connection. If you’re offline, you can print the web page or document to PDF to save it later; Just look for “Print PDF” in the printer options. It’s also easy to save to PDF to make cloud-based documents available offline.