Send and print documents directly from a device to a wireless printer
Printing a file or document has long been part of the desktop experience. However, transition to a mobile device hasn’t always been so easy. Plugging a device directly into a printer has never been a feasible option. The obvious solution is via a wireless connection, but this relies on the OS providing the support. And, this is exactly what the KitKat update brings to Android users.
The latest version brings with it wireless printing. The obvious issue here is that the printer being used in the process has to have wireless support. The addition of wireless printing comes in two guises: cloud printing and standard wireless printing. Cloud printing enables those who do not have access to a wireless printer a selection of alternative options. If a Google Drive account is available, a document can be saved there. Another option is to save the current file as a PDF. The wireless printing option works in the same way as standard once connected. Simply select a printer and hit the Print button – job done.
1. Do you have KitKat?
To implement the printing process, the first step is to make sure that you have KitKat installed. Head to Settings and locate System, tap About and this will give you a rundown of the current version. If necessary, update the OS according to the onscreen instructions.
2. Wi-Fi network
Wireless printing means that a wireless printer is needed and that the Wi-Fi on the device to print from is switched on. To check that Wi-Fi is switched on, head to Settings>Wi-Fi. Tap Wi-Fi to check the connection. The device must be on the same Wi-Fi network as the printer.
3. Printing services
Head back to your device’s main Settings screen and locate the Printing option. Tap Printing to reveal the printing services currently available to you. By default, there are two options: Cloud Print and the HP Print Service Plugin. Both of these are on by default.
4. Cloud print
The premise of cloud printing is that users can print to any web-connected printer. Cloudready printers are the ideal choice. Selecting Cloud print will search for any available printers. If none are available, the option to save to Google Drive will still be available.
5. HP printers
The alternative default printing service is provided by HP. The HP Print Service Plugin is pre-installed. Tap the link and your device will start searching for nearby wireless printers. Any available printer will appear here and in the print list below.
6. Start printing
Open the document you wish to print. We are using a Word document created in Quickoffice. Tap the menu icon and select Print from the menu. When there are no printers available, the Save to Google Drive option is the default. Tap Print to save to the current Google Drive account.
7. Print to paper
Where wireless printers are available it is simply a matter of selecting the appropriate printer from the list. Check the paper size, typically A4 as default, and the Colour and Orientation options before hitting Print. This will differ depending on the printer being used.
8. Change HP settings
The HP Plugin enables users to modify a few settings. These can be found via Settings>System>Printing. Select HP Plugin and tap the menu button in the top-right corner and select Settings. Now tap the 2-sided off button to allow for two-sided printing.