Something interesting happened to our home and office computing habits when the iPhone and iPad came along. We just don’t use the printer the way we did a decade ago. Printer and paper usage is down, yes, but not gone completely.
Printing isn’t obsolete, of course, but many Mac users just don’t print files or photos as much– files get shared online, shared from device to device, or posted socially– instead of being sent to the printer. We save money on printer ink, and don’t upgrade printers as often, don’t use as much paper, and a few of the problems that remain are solved by this Mac app.
Printers Gonna Print
If you have a recently purchased printer connected to your Mac it’s usually rather easy to print a file or photo right from the iPhone or iPad, either wirelessly to the printer, or to the Mac. That’s all well and good but many, many printers remain in the dark ages– non-wireless– and our iDevices start to take up more time and effort just to figure out how to print something.
Often we rely on sneaker net or a convoluted method of sending iPhone or iPad files to Mac or Windows users so they can print a document for us. Enter Printopia, the Nirvana of printing apps for iPhone and iPad-toting Mac users.
What this clever little utility does is remarkable. Not only does it let iPhone and iPad users print easily on almost any printer (I have an HP that’s 10 years old and still cranking away), but it does more than expected and prints– digitally speaking– to folders online. Think Dropbox or iCloud Drive.
First, Printopia does wireless printing with ease. Set it up on a Mac with a connected printer, and it’s just automatic. Select Print on iPhone and iPad and the obvious printing choices show up.
Printing? Note the additional choices in the Preferences. Printopia recognizes your attached printers, but gives you a few options to save some trees.
Send the documents, files, or photos to Dropbox. Or, share them to Evernote. Or, simply send them to the Mac to be saved. Printopia works not only with old printers but with old Macs back to Mac OS X 10.7.
Printopia doesn’t modify anything on the Mac and doesn’t mess with printer sharing. It’s just an app that works and gives you more printing options. There is not much to not like about this. Print or send files with a tap and save trees in the process.
What’s not to like? Try-before-you-buy, too.